06th - 11th October 2016
bande annonce

The paths of reading

Thursday 04th October 2012 from 18h00 to 19h30

Directed by
Jean-Pierre Gibrat
Written by
Jean Pierre Gibrat
Produced by
ARTE France - Mosaïque Films - Merlin LDT - Caravel Production

Documentary, France, 2012, 50 min

The film structures itself around a central question we ask as an enigma: how to reconcile the cultural singularity that is reading, developed recently by our single species, with the slow pace of genetic evolution, and therefore with the fixity of brain biology? Stanislas Dehaene proposed an astonishing scientific hypothesis: neuronal recycling. In other words, our cultural inventions, such as reading, would result in the diversion of pre-existing brain function. Conducted as an investigation, the story finds the traces of an evolutionary tinkering, which enabled man to conceive words, signs, an alphabet within the constraints imposed by equipment brain poorly suited to this task. How were the first forms of writing chosen? What was the left occipito-temporal region made for before we learned to read?


Debate with :

  • Stanislas Dehaene, professor at the Collège de France and at the Unité mixte Inserm-CEA
  • Thomas Schmitt
  • Jean-Pierre Gibrat, director