François Tonneau obtuvo su doctorado en Psicología Experimental en la Universidad de Lille 3 en el norte de Francia. Su disertación se tituló “Modelos de memoria y competencia temporal” (Universidad de Lille 3, mayo de 1996), y tuvo como objetivo desarrollar una alternativa no representacional a los modelos cognitivistas de memoria. El enfoque del trabajo fue principalmente teórico e incluso filosófico, que era en ese momento (y sigue siendo) muy inusual en el panorama de la psicología experimental.
François Tonneau obtained his Ph. D. on Experimental Psychology at Lille 3 University in Northern France. His dissertation was entitled, ‟Memory models and temporal competition” (Lille 3 University, May 1996), and aimed at developing a non-representational alternative to cognitivist models of memory. The focus of the work was mainly theoretical and even philosophical, which was at the time (and still is) highly unusual in the landscape of experimental psychology.
Since then, François Tonneau has maintained a strong interest in theoretical and philosophical issues in behavior analysis, while also engaging in empirical work. From a philosophical standpoint, he defends the importance, in our understanding of behavior, of a strong realist stance toward the traditional issues of “perception”, “memory”, and “consciousness”. On the empirical side, he has published on a broad range of behavioral phenomena, including eye movements, group choice, function transfer and stimulus control in humans, within-session dynamics in rats, and spatial orientation in hamsters. He is especially interested in non-operant processes such as Pavlovian conditioning, and in the relations between behavior analysis, behavioral ecology, and evolutionary theory.
He has been teaching or doing research in France (Lille 3 University), the United States (Temple University), México (University of Guadalajara), Portugal (University of Minho), and Brazil (Federal University of Pará). In Spain, he has imparted invited seminars or courses at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and ABA España. With Nicholas Thompson, he has co-edited Perspectives in Ethology Vol. 13 (Kluwer Academic, 2000).
A sample of representative publications include:
Tonneau, F., Ortiz, R., & Cabrera, F. (2000). Early-session increases in responding during extinction. Behavioural Processes, 49, 121-129.
Tonneau, F. (2004). Consciousness outside the head. Behavior and Philosophy, 32, 97-123.
Tonneau, F. (2004). [Review of the book Relational Frame Theory: A post-Skinnerian Account of Human Language and Cognition]. British Journal of Psychology, 95, 265-268.
Disma, G., Sokolowski, M. B. C., & Tonneau, F. (2011). Children’s competition in a natural setting: Evidence for the ideal free distribution. Evolution and Human Behavior, 32, 373-379.
Picanço, C. R., & Tonneau, F. (2018). A low-cost platform for eye-tracking research: Using Pupil in behavior analysis. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 110, 157-170.