Presentation

Keys words: motor skill, cultural evolution, cultural transmission, production of variation, pottery wheel-throwing, field experiment, expertise, artifact variability, comparative studies, ecological psychology, dual-inheritance theory.



With a background in social sciences (sociology, ethnology, psychology) and movement sciences (anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, motor control), I have developed an experimental and interdisciplinary approach to traditional motor skills. I study in particular the pottery wheel-throwing in different cultural contexts. My interest in traditional motor skills comes from participant observations (I was taught wheel-throwing by experts) in pottery workshops in France (during my teenage), Morocco (2002), and Turkey (2003).


In studying the wide-spread skill of pottery wheel-throwing, I have traveled across different cultural areas from Europe to Asia (France, Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Palestinian Territories, Azerbaijan, India, Nepal, and Thailand). In the course of a Ph.D. and a Post-doctorate, I have published several articles in archaeological and generalist journals. As a result of my research experience in ethnology and movement sciences I am able to run fieldworks where experimental protocols are adapted to the social context of the craftsmen. The data collected in controlled situations are particularly valuable, first for their significance regarding the “real” environment and second, because they allow to statistically test theoretical hypotheses.


Over time, I have faced several analytical issues that I have fixed in finding and importing methods and concepts from different disciplines. Then, my work became progressively characterized by interdisciplinary collaborations: Blandine Bril (experimental psychology), Reinoud Bootsma (movement sciences), Valentine Roux and Leore Grosman (archeology), John Endler (biology), Remy Casanova (mechanics), Thelma Coyle (Matlab engineer), Patrick Lecouffe (photography), and Sylvain Meylan (ActoGraph Software engineer).