Existing accounts of the origin of human communication assume a pre-existing behavioral system shared among members of a social group. This paper is concerned with the origin of that system; specifically, it explores its characteristics and functionality as well as the circumstances under which it could have appeared. A number of agent-based computer simulations test whether the capacities for arbitrary imitation and pattern completion can lead to a behavioral system that could be co-opted for communication. The results show that arbitrary imitation and pattern completion may indeed generate a population-wide shared behavioral system whose structure reflects the structure of the environment, and therefore could easily have been co-opted for communication. This system may have paved the way for other biological capacities widely believed to be necessary for communication, such as shared intentionality and symbolicity, to co-evolve.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society|
|Editors||Niels Taatgen , Hedderik van Rijn|
|Publisher||Cognitive Science Society|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
|Event||31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society - Amsterdam, Netherlands|
Duration: 29 Jul 2009 → 1 Aug 2009
|Conference||31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society|
|Abbreviated title||CogSci 2009|
|Period||29/07/09 → 1/08/09|
Tamariz, M. (2009). Arbitrary Imitation, Pattern Completion and the Origin and Evolution of Human Communication. In N. Taatgen , & H. van Rijn (Eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society Cognitive Science Society.