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Evolution of Communication

image of Evolution of Communication
ISSN 1387-5337
E-ISSN 1569-9757

As of 2004 <em>Evolution of Communication</em> has been reformulated and appears under the title <a href="15720381"><em>Interaction Studies: Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems</em></a>.

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  • The Synthetic Modeling of Language Origins
    • Author: Luc Steels
    • Source: Evolution of Communication, Volume 1, Issue 1, 1997, pages: 1 –34
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    • This paper surveys work on the computational modeling of the origins and evolution of language. The main approaches are described and some example experiments from the domains of the evolution of communication, phonetics, lexicon formation, and syntax are discussed.
  • AIBO’s first words: The social learning of language and meaning
    • Authors: Luc Steels, and Frédéric Kaplan
    • Source: Evolution of Communication, Volume 4, Issue 1, 2000, pages: 3 –32
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    • This paper explores the hypothesis that language communication in its very first stage is bootstrapped in a social learning process under the strong influence of culture. A concrete framework for social learning has been developed based on the notion of a language game. Autonomous robots have been programmed to behave according to this framework. We show experiments that demonstrate why there has to be a causal role of language on category acquisition; partly by showing that it leads effectively to the bootstrapping of communication and partly by showing that other forms of learning do not generate categories usable in communication or make information assumptions which cannot be satisfied.
  • Communication of Food Location Between Human and Dog (Canis Familiaris)
    • Authors: Brian Hare, Josep Call, and Michael Tomasello
    • Source: Evolution of Communication, Volume 2, Issue 1, 1998, pages: 137 –159
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    • Two domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) participated in a series of studies in which they communicated with a human about the location of hidden food. In the first study both dogs were able to follow human pointing reliably to one of several locations where food was hidden, both in front of them and behind them. They also showed some skills at following human gaze direction in this same task, when both head and eyes indicated the same location. They did not follow eye direction when it conflicted with head direction. A second study clearly ruled out a low-level visual tracking explanation for at least one of the subjects. In a third study one of the two dogs was able to lead a naive human to one of three locations containing food consistently, mainly by barking and orienting its body to the food. The subject did not behave differently, however, when the human turned his back or covered his eyes; he continued to orient to the food and bark under all conditions. In a fourth study in which more clearly visual signals were involved, both subjects strongly preferred to drop a retrieved object at the front of, rather than at the back of, the human — even when the human turned his back so that subjects had to bring the object around his body upon return. The knowledge of human pointing and gaze direction displayed by these two domestic dogs is in many ways comparable to that displayed in experimental studies by nonhuman primates.
  • The Ontogeny of Chimpanzee Gestural Signals: A Comparison Across Groups and Generations
    • Authors: Michael Tomasello, Josep Call, Jennifer Warren, G. Thomas Frost, Malinda Carpenter, and Katherine Nagell
    • Source: Evolution of Communication, Volume 1, Issue 2, 1997, pages: 223 –259
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    • Observations of the gestural communication of two groups of captive chimpanzees are reported. For one group the observations represent a fourth longitudinal time point over a 12 year period; the other group was observed for the first time. There were two main questions. The first concerned how young chimpanzees use their gestures, with special foci on the flexibility displayed in signal use and on the sensitivity to audience displayed in signal choice. It was found that chimpanzees are very flexible in their signal use (different signals for same goal, same signal for different goals) and somewhat sensitive to audience (signal choice based on attentional state of recipient). The second question was how chimpanzees acquire their gestural signals. Comparisons between the two groups showed much individual variability both within and between groups. In addition, when each of the two contemporary groups was compared with the previous longitudinal time points for one of the groups, no differences in concordance were found. It was concluded that youngsters were not imitatively learning their communicatory gestures from conspecifics, but rather that they were individually ritualizing them with one another in social interaction. An experimental study in which two individuals were taught new gestures and returned to their groups — with no subsequent signs of imitation — corroborated this conclusion. Implications of the current findings for the understanding of chimpanzee communication and social learning are discussed.
  • The adaptive advantage of symbolic theft over sensorimotor toil: Grounding language in perceptual categories
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