What lab members are currently reading


The following are what Lizard Lab members are currently reading in 2017.

Martin Whiting is reading:

I am currently reading Harry Greene’s autobiography. At the end of 2016 I read Frans de Waal’s new book on animal cognition and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a must read for anyone interested in comparative cognition and how an animal’s biology constrains its learning ability and the types of tests that are appropriate.



Naïla Even is reading:

Naïla is reading the french version of “Reading in the brain”, which is called in French “les neurones de la lecture” (neurons of reading).

Naïla is a big fan of the author, Stanislas Dehaene, who is a cognitive scientist in Paris but he is very well recognised internationally. The preface to this book was written by Jean Pierre Changeux, who is the head of the lab where Naïla did her Masters.

The book is amazing and describe the theory of how we read (from the shape of the letter, syllables, with or without linking to sound or sense of the words.. brain regions (similar across etnies) and the evolution of it too!) He bases his examples on solid scientific references and studies that he describes. He also compares different languages (as far as he can!) their analogy, and discrepancy regarding reading them (English is trickier than French!! italian is the easiest!!).

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Birgit Szabo is currently reading:

cognition, evolution and behavior cover

Iván Beltrán is currently reading:


Arnaud Badiane is reading:

Arnaud is an avid reader of science books. Check out Arnaud’s fantastic book selection here. He lists the books he has read and what he is currently reading.

Here are some of his thoughts about his favourite books:

1- Currently, I am reading « the beginning of infinity » by David Deutsch. I would say it is about the methods and the way to practice science and explain the world. It’s an orignal approach putting emphasis on the differences between good and bad explanations to explain the world.

2- I would also recommend « predictably irrational » and « the upside of irrationality » by Dan Ariely. It is what is called behavioral economics. He relates many behavioral experiments in humans to show how and why we behave irrationally in given situations. It was very interesting and entertaining, as it also apply to everyday situations.

3- « The language instinct » by Steven Pinker. It a great read with Pinker’s amazing writing skills. It is a must read as it reviews thoroughly, the literature about language. I read some of Noam Chomsky’s books on that subject, and although being good books, they are quite technical and a bit harder to read. I think Pinker is the way to go!

4- « The Bonobo and the atheist » by F. De Waal. It is a very good and interesting book, I really enjoyed it. Sometimes, like many primatologists I would say, he falls a bit into the anthropomorphism bias but we pardon him!

5- « The third Chimpanzee » by Jared Diamond. I would recommend this one too, although I don’t necessarily agree with all his views. I learned many things and it inspired me to think about a host of new questions.

Of course, I am not even adding to this list all of R. Dawkins’, S. Pinker’s and M. Riddley’s books that are all excellent. I also like reading books about morality and politics.