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Article: Modeling the coevolution of joint attention and language

TitleModeling the coevolution of joint attention and language
Authors
KeywordsJoint attention
Language origin
Coevolution
Ratchet effect
Computer simulation
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe Royal Society.
Citation
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2012, v. 279 n. 1747, p. 4643-4651 How to Cite?
AbstractJoint attention (JA) is important to many social, communicative activities, including language, and humans exhibit a considerably high level of JA compared with non-human primates. We propose a coevolutionary hypothesis to explain this degree-difference in JA: once JA started to aid linguistic comprehension, along with language evolution, communicative success (CS) during cultural transmission could enhance the levels of JA among language users. We illustrate this hypothesis via a multi-agent computational model, where JA boils down to a genetically transmitted ability to obtain non-linguistic cues aiding comprehension. The simulation results and statistical analysis show that: (i) the level of JA is correlated with the understandability of the emergent language; and (ii) CS can boost an initially low level of JA and ‘ratchet’ it up to a stable high level. This coevolutionary perspective helps explain the degree-difference in many language-related competences between humans and non-human primates, and reflects the importance of biological evolution, individual learning and cultural transmission to language evolution.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/181947
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 4.823
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 2.375
ISI Accession Number ID

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorGong, T-
dc.contributor.authorShuai, L-
dc.date.accessioned2013-03-28T01:50:49Z-
dc.date.available2013-03-28T01:50:49Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2012, v. 279 n. 1747, p. 4643-4651-
dc.identifier.issn0962-8452-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/181947-
dc.description.abstractJoint attention (JA) is important to many social, communicative activities, including language, and humans exhibit a considerably high level of JA compared with non-human primates. We propose a coevolutionary hypothesis to explain this degree-difference in JA: once JA started to aid linguistic comprehension, along with language evolution, communicative success (CS) during cultural transmission could enhance the levels of JA among language users. We illustrate this hypothesis via a multi-agent computational model, where JA boils down to a genetically transmitted ability to obtain non-linguistic cues aiding comprehension. The simulation results and statistical analysis show that: (i) the level of JA is correlated with the understandability of the emergent language; and (ii) CS can boost an initially low level of JA and ‘ratchet’ it up to a stable high level. This coevolutionary perspective helps explain the degree-difference in many language-related competences between humans and non-human primates, and reflects the importance of biological evolution, individual learning and cultural transmission to language evolution.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe Royal Society.-
dc.relation.ispartofProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences-
dc.subjectJoint attention-
dc.subjectLanguage origin-
dc.subjectCoevolution-
dc.subjectRatchet effect-
dc.subjectComputer simulation-
dc.titleModeling the coevolution of joint attention and languageen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailGong, T: tgong@hku.hk-
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1098/rspb.2012.1431-
dc.identifier.pmid22977146-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84867535235-
dc.identifier.hkuros222778-
dc.identifier.volume279-
dc.identifier.issue1747-
dc.identifier.spage4643-
dc.identifier.epage4651-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000310218400017-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdom-

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