Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, debunked common assumptions about autism in Thinking in Pictures (1995). In her latest book, she sheds new light on animal behavior. Comparing an autistic person's frontal lobes (which can receive mixed messages from the brain) to animals' less developed ones, Grandin argues that autism can help us understand animals' more defined actions. She offers funny, thought-provoking insights into their conduct__Mozart's pet starling inspired his music; some dogs sense people's oncoming seizures. A thoughtful, concluding "troubleshooting" guide to animal behavior contains useful advice. A few poorly edited, repetitive chapters, not to mention the controversial brain research cited, irked some critics. Overall, however, readers will leave Animals with greater understanding of why Fluffy feels__and acts__the way he does.
This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.