John Skoyles (scientist)

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John Skoyles is a neuroscientist and evolutionary psychologist. He studied philosophy of science at the London School of Economics and then did MRC funded research upon neuroscience and dyslexia at University College London.

He published a letter while a first year undergraduate in the science journal Nature[1][2] on the left lateralizing role of the Greek alphabet and the origins of Greek and Western civilization.[1][3] He is the coauthor of a book, Up from Dragons: The evolution of intelligence[4] with Dorion Sagan upon the role of neural plasticity, the prefrontal cortex, symbols upon human evolution and the rise of modern human cognition. Being himself a dyslexic,[5] he has written about the development of dyslexia and neural networks,[6] and the role of the brain in dyslexia.[7]

In 2004 he initiated and was a consultant for the BBC documentary The Family That Walks On All Fours[8] that reported on the Ulas family, the first humans reported that could not walk bipedally but who were proficient quadrupedal runners and walkers.[9]

He is a member of the Centre for Mathematics and Physics in the Life Sciences and Experimental Biology at University College London and the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics.


  1. ^ a b Skoyles, J. R. (1984). "Alphabet and the Western mind". Nature. 309 (5967): 409–410. doi:10.1038/309409b0. PMID 6727998.
  2. ^ biography The Third Culture Edge Foundation
  3. ^ Skoyles, J. (1990). "The origin of classical greek culture: The transparent chain theory of literacy/society interaction". Journal of Social and Biological Systems. 13 (4): 321–353. doi:10.1016/0140-1750(90)90502-W.
  4. ^ Skoyles JR. Sagan D. (2002). Up from Dragons: The evolution of human intelligence. McGraw-Hill, New York. ISBN 978-0-07-137825-3
  5. ^ Famous people with dyslexia: Inventors & scientists
  6. ^ Skoyles, J. R. (1988). "Training the brain using neural-network models". Nature. 333 (6172): 401. doi:10.1038/333401b0. PMID 3374581.
  7. ^ Skoyles, J.; Skottun, B. C. (2004). "On the prevalence of magnocellular deficits in the visual system of non-dyslexic individuals". Brain and Language. 88 (1): 79–82. doi:10.1016/s0093-934x(03)00162-7. PMID 14698733.
  8. ^ The Family That Walks On All Fours, Passionate Productions, first broadcast BBC2, Friday 17 March 2006
  9. ^ Humphrey N. Keynes R. Skoyles JR. (2006). Hand-walkers : five siblings who never stood up. Discussion Paper. Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, London, UK.

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