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Topics in Cognitive Science

Olivier Morin, Piers Kelly, James Winters
We present a theoretical framework bearing on the evolution of written communication. We analyze writing as a special kind of graphic code. Like languages, graphic codes consist of stable, conventional mappings between symbols and meanings, but (unlike spoken or signed languages) their symbols consist of enduring images. This gives them the unique capacity to transmit information in one go across time and space. Yet this capacity usually remains quite unexploited, because most graphic codes are insufficiently informative...
October 10, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Jean-Pierre Chevrot, Katie Drager, Paul Foulkes
Sociolinguists study the interaction between language and society. Variationist sociolinguistics - the subfield of sociolinguistics which is the focus of this issue - uses empirical and quantitative methods to study the production and perception of linguistic variation. Linguistic variation refers to how speakers choose between linguistic forms that say the same thing in different ways, with the variants differing in their social meaning. For example, how frequently someone says fishin' or fishing depends on a number of factors, such as the speaker's regional and social background and the formality of the speech event...
October 7, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Marta Dynel
This paper aims to distil the essence of deception performed by means of withholding information, a topic hitherto largely neglected in the psychological, linguistic, and philosophical research on deception. First, the key conditions for deceptively withholding information are specified. Second, several notions related to deceptively withholding information are critically addressed with a view to teasing out the main forms of withholding information. Third, it is argued that deceptively withholding information can be conceptualized in pragmatic-philosophical terms as being based on the violation of Grice's first maxim of Quantity, which is conducive to covertly untruthful meaning, specifically hearer-inferred what is said that presents the violation of the first maxim of Quality...
September 30, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Laurence Buson, Aurélie Nardy, Dominique Muller, Jean-Pierre Chevrot
Sociolinguistic studies generally focus on specific sociolinguistic variables. Consequently, they rarely examine whether different sociolinguistic variables have coherent orientation in a specific language variety (a social or a regional dialect) or whether the speakers freely mix sociolinguistic variants. While different attempts have been made to identify coherence and mixing in the production or perception of dialects, our aim is to answer this question at the level of the cognitive representation of varieties...
September 8, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Neal R Norrick
This chapter introduces an epistemic perspective on narration and illustrates, based on data from storytelling in free natural conversation, how collaborative remembering can instantiate distributed cognition: first, when tellers deploy expressions of forgetfulness or explicitly enlist the aid of other participants; second, during various forms of collaborative turn sequencing with rapid speaker shift and a high degree of overlap; third, when conversational participants cooperate to produce a mosaic-like narrative consisting of their partially separate perspectives and contributions; and fourth, when they weave their voices into a single narrative thread in a Goffmanian team performance...
September 8, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Erin S Isbilen, Morten H Christiansen
In the fields of linguistics and cognitive science, considerable attention has been devoted to the question of how linguistic structure emerged over evolutionary time. Here, we highlight the contribution of a fundamental constraint on processing, the Now-or-Never bottleneck. Language takes place in the here and now, with the transience of acoustic speech signals and our exceedingly limited memory for sound sequences requiring immediate processing. To overcome this bottleneck, the cognitive system employs basic chunking mechanisms to rapidly compress and recode incoming linguistic input into increasingly abstract levels of representation, thereby prolonging its retention in memory...
September 6, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Kenny Smith
Recent work suggests that linguistic structure develops through cultural evolution, as a consequence of the repeated cycle of learning and use by which languages persist. This work has important implications for our understanding of the evolution of the cognitive basis for language; in particular, human language and the cognitive capacities underpinning it are likely to have been shaped by co-evolutionary processes, where the cultural evolution of linguistic systems is shaped by and in turn shapes the biological evolution of the capacities underpinning language learning...
September 4, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Gerard Docherty, Paul Foulkes, Simon Gonzalez, Nathaniel Mitchell
In recent years, significant momentum has built up in efforts to integrate the social with the cognitive in theoretical models of speech production/processing and phonological representation. While acknowledging these advances, we argue that what limits our ability to elaborate models of processing and representation in which social-indexical properties of speech are effectively integrated is that we remain some way from fully understanding how these properties are manifested within spoken interaction in the first place...
August 30, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Lorraine Hope, Fiona Gabbert
In many applied contexts where accurate and reliable information informs operational decision-making, emergency response resource allocation, efficient investigation, judicial process, and, ultimately, the delivery of justice, the costs of unfettered conversational remembering can be high. To date, research has demonstrated that conversations between co-witnesses in the immediate aftermath of witnessed events and co-witness retellings of witnessed events often impair both the quality and quantity of information reported subsequently...
August 2, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Desmond C Ong, Jamil Zaki, Noah D Goodman
Research on social cognition has fruitfully applied computational modeling approaches to explain how observers understand and reason about others' mental states. By contrast, there has been less work on modeling observers' understanding of emotional states. We propose an intuitive theory framework to studying affective cognition-how humans reason about emotions-and derive a taxonomy of inferences within affective cognition. Using this taxonomy, we review formal computational modeling work on such inferences, including causal reasoning about how others react to events, reasoning about unseen causes of emotions, reasoning with multiple cues, as well as reasoning from emotions to other mental states...
July 31, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Vesa Peltokorpi, Anthony C Hood
Transactive memory systems (TMS) theory has attracted considerable attention in the scholarly fields of cognitive, organizational, and social psychology; communication; information science; and management. A central theme underlying and connecting these scholarly fields has been the role of interpersonal communication in explaining how members of dyads, groups, and teams learn "who knows what," specialize in different information domains, and retrieve information from domain experts. However, because theoretical and empirical evidence is scattered across related, yet distinct scholarly fields, it is difficult to determine how and why communication influences TMS and related outcomes...
July 27, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Nicole Alea, Susan Bluck, Emily L Mroz, Zanique Edwards
Receiving another's autobiographical story may serve to elicit feelings of liking and empathy for the story sharer. Research has mostly examined social functions of autobiographical stories for in-person communications. The current experiment (N = 60) examined whether levels of liking, closeness, and empathy felt for a stranger (female confederate) after receiving her story depended on if (a) the story was received in-person or through instant message (IM), and (b) the story was positive or negative. Liking and having empathy for the stranger was higher in the in-person conditions compared to IM conditions...
July 22, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Jutta L Mueller, Carel Ten Cate, Juan M Toro
Most human language learners acquire language primarily via the auditory modality. This is one reason why auditory artificial grammars play a prominent role in the investigation of the development and evolutionary roots of human syntax. The present position paper brings together findings from human and non-human research on the impact of auditory cues on learning about linguistic structures with a special focus on how different types of cues and biases in auditory cognition may contribute to success and failure in artificial grammar learning (AGL)...
July 22, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Ivan Colagè, Francesco d'Errico
It is often, though sometimes only implicitly, assumed that biological/genetic evolution sets neural substrates, that neural substrates fix cognitive abilities, and that cognitive abilities determine the spectrum of cultural practices exhibited by a biological species. We label this view as the "bottom-up-only" view. In this paper we will show that such a "chain of dependence" is much looser than usually assumed, especially as far as recent periods (the last 800,000 years vs. the last 7 million years or more) are considered...
July 22, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Charles B Stone, Qi Wang
Social media has become one of the most powerful and ubiquitous means by which individuals curate, share, and communicate information with their friends, family, and the world at large. Indeed, 90% of the American adolescents are active social media users, as well as 65% of American adults (Perrin, 2015; see also Duggan & Brenner, 2013). Despite this, psychologists are only beginning to understand the mnemonic consequences associated with social media use. In this article, we will distill this nascent literature by focusing on two primary factors: the type of information (personal vs...
July 5, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Friedemann Pulvermüller
Signs and symbols relate to concepts and can be used to speak about objects, actions, and their features. Theories of semantic grounding address the question how the latter two, concepts and real-world entities, come into play and interlink in symbol learning. Here, a neurobiological model is used to spell out concrete mechanisms of symbol grounding, which implicate the "association" of information about sign and referents and, at the same time, the extraction of semantic features and the formation of abstract representations best described as conjoined and disjoined feature sets that may or may not have a real-life equivalent...
July 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Wayne D Gray
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Piek Vossen, Tommaso Caselli, Agata Cybulska
Will reading different stories about the same event in the world result in a similar image of the world? Will reading the same story by different people result in a similar proxy for experiencing the story? The answer to both questions is no because language is abstract by definition and relies on our episodic experience to turn a story into a more concrete mental movie. Since our episodic knowledge differs, also the mental movie will be different. Language leaves out details, and this becomes specifically clear when building machines that read texts to represent events and to establish event relations across mentions, such as co-reference, causality, subevents, scripts, timelines, and storylines...
July 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Don Fallis
We want to keep hackers in the dark about our passwords and our credit card numbers. We want to keep potential eavesdroppers in the dark about our private communications with friends and business associates. This need for secrecy raises important questions in epistemology (how do we do it?) and in ethics (should we do it?). In order to answer these questions, it would be useful to have a good understanding of the concept of keeping someone in the dark. Several philosophers (e.g., Bok, 1983; Carson, 2010; Mahon, 2009; Scheppele, 1988) have analyzed this concept (or, equivalently, the concept of keeping secrets) in terms of concealing and/or withholding information...
July 1, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Yoella Bereby-Meyer, Sayuri Hayakawa, Shaul Shalvi, Joanna D Corey, Albert Costa, Boaz Keysar
Theories of dishonest behavior implicitly assume language independence. Here, we investigated this assumption by comparing lying by people using a foreign language versus their native tongue. Participants rolled a die and were paid according to the outcome they reported. Because the outcome was private, they could lie to inflate their profit without risk of repercussions. Participants performed the task either in their native language or in a foreign language. With native speakers of Hebrew, Korean, Spanish, and English, we discovered that, on average, people inflate their earnings less when they use a foreign language...
July 1, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
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