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Sample records for evolution cognition language

  1. The evolution of language from social cognition.

    PubMed

    Seyfarth, Robert M; Cheney, Dorothy L

    2014-10-01

    Despite their differences, human language and the vocal communication of nonhuman primates share many features. Both constitute a form of joint action, rely on similar neural mechanisms, and involve discrete, combinatorial cognition. These shared features suggest that during evolution the ancestors of modern primates faced similar social problems and responded by evolving similar systems of perception, communication and cognition. When language later evolved from this common foundation, many of its distinctive features were already in place. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Social Cognition and the Evolution of Language: Constructing Cognitive Phylogenies

    PubMed Central

    Fitch, W. Tecumseh; Huber, Ludwig; Bugnyar, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Human language and social cognition are closely linked: advanced social cognition is necessary for children to acquire language, and language allows forms of social understanding (and, more broadly, culture) that would otherwise be impossible. Both “language” and “social cognition” are complex constructs, involving many independent cognitive mechanisms, and the comparative approach provides a powerful route to understanding the evolution of such mechanisms. We provide a broad comparative review of mechanisms underlying social intelligence in vertebrates, with the goal of determining which human mechanisms are broadly shared, which have evolved in parallel in other clades, and which, potentially, are uniquely developed in our species. We emphasize the importance of convergent evolution for testing hypotheses about neural mechanisms and their evolution. PMID:20346756

  3. Key cognitive preconditions for the evolution of language.

    PubMed

    Donald, Merlin

    2017-02-01

    Languages are socially constructed systems of expression, generated interactively in social networks, which can be assimilated by the individual brain as it develops. Languages co-evolved with culture, reflecting the changing complexity of human culture as it acquired the properties of a distributed cognitive system. Two key preconditions set the stage for the evolution of such cultures: a very general ability to rehearse and refine skills (evident early in hominin evolution in toolmaking), and the emergence of material culture as an external (to the brain) memory record that could retain and accumulate knowledge across generations. The ability to practice and rehearse skill provided immediate survival-related benefits in that it expanded the physical powers of early hominins, but the same adaptation also provided the imaginative substrate for a system of "mimetic" expression, such as found in ritual and pantomime, and in proto-words, which performed an expressive function somewhat like the home signs of deaf non-signers. The hominid brain continued to adapt to the increasing importance and complexity of culture as human interactions with material culture became more complex; above all, this entailed a gradual expansion in the integrative systems of the brain, especially those involved in the metacognitive supervision of self-performances. This supported a style of embodied mimetic imagination that improved the coordination of shared activities such as fire tending, but also in rituals and reciprocal mimetic games. The time-depth of this mimetic adaptation, and its role in both the construction and acquisition of languages, explains the importance of mimetic expression in the media, religion, and politics. Spoken language evolved out of voco-mimesis, and emerged long after the more basic abilities needed to refine skill and share intentions, probably coinciding with the common ancestor of sapient humans. Self-monitoring and self-supervised practice were necessary

  4. [From animal communication to the human language and cognition: evolution or revolution?].

    PubMed

    Chernigovskaia, T V

    2008-09-01

    The paper discusses the problem of language and cognitive specificity in humans as compared to other species. The main hypotheses of human evolution and the emergence of language seem to be well researched on genetic basis of higher functions. Cognitive abilities of other animals and their communication signals and the main views on basic principles of brain underlying these functions are described.

  5. Why language really is not a communication system: a cognitive view of language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Reboul, Anne C.

    2015-01-01

    While most evolutionary scenarios for language see it as a communication system with consequences on the language-ready brain, there are major difficulties for such a view. First, language has a core combination of features—semanticity, discrete infinity, and decoupling—that makes it unique among communication systems and that raise deep problems for the view that it evolved for communication. Second, extant models of communication systems—the code model of communication (Millikan, 2005) and the ostensive model of communication (Scott-Phillips, 2015) cannot account for language evolution. I propose an alternative view, according to which language first evolved as a cognitive tool, following Fodor’s (1975, 2008) Language of Thought Hypothesis, and was then exapted (externalized) for communication. On this view, a language-ready brain is a brain profoundly reorganized in terms of connectivity, allowing the human conceptual system to emerge, triggering the emergence of syntax. Language as used in communication inherited its core combination of features from the Language of Thought. PMID:26441802

  6. Why language really is not a communication system: a cognitive view of language evolution.

    PubMed

    Reboul, Anne C

    2015-01-01

    While most evolutionary scenarios for language see it as a communication system with consequences on the language-ready brain, there are major difficulties for such a view. First, language has a core combination of features-semanticity, discrete infinity, and decoupling-that makes it unique among communication systems and that raise deep problems for the view that it evolved for communication. Second, extant models of communication systems-the code model of communication (Millikan, 2005) and the ostensive model of communication (Scott-Phillips, 2015) cannot account for language evolution. I propose an alternative view, according to which language first evolved as a cognitive tool, following Fodor's (1975, 2008) Language of Thought Hypothesis, and was then exapted (externalized) for communication. On this view, a language-ready brain is a brain profoundly reorganized in terms of connectivity, allowing the human conceptual system to emerge, triggering the emergence of syntax. Language as used in communication inherited its core combination of features from the Language of Thought.

  7. Using music to study the evolution of cognitive mechanisms relevant to language.

    PubMed

    Patel, Aniruddh D

    2017-02-01

    This article argues that music can be used in cross-species research to study the evolution of cognitive mechanisms relevant to spoken language. This is because music and language share certain cognitive processing mechanisms and because music offers specific advantages for cross-species research. Music has relatively simple building blocks (tones without semantic properties), yet these building blocks are combined into rich hierarchical structures that engage complex cognitive processing. I illustrate this point with regard to the processing of musical harmonic structure. Because the processing of musical harmonic structure has been shown to interact with linguistic syntactic processing in humans, it is of interest to know if other species can acquire implicit knowledge of harmonic structure through extended exposure to music during development (vs. through explicit training). I suggest that domestic dogs would be a good species to study in addressing this question.

  8. Nitric oxide signaling in the development and evolution of language and cognitive circuits.

    PubMed

    Funk, Owen H; Kwan, Kenneth Y

    2014-09-01

    The neocortex underlies not only remarkable motor and sensory capabilities, but also some of our most distinctly human cognitive functions. The emergence of these higher functions during evolution was accompanied by structural changes in the neocortex, including the acquisition of areal specializations such as Broca's speech and language area. The study of these evolutionary mechanisms, which likely involve species-dependent gene expression and function, represents a substantial challenge. These species differences, however, may represent valuable opportunities to understand the molecular underpinnings of neocortical evolution. Here, we discuss nitric oxide signaling as a candidate mechanism in the assembly of neocortical circuits underlying language and higher cognitive functions. This hypothesis was based on the highly specific mid-fetal pattern of nitric oxide synthase 1 (NOS1, previously nNOS) expression in the pyramidal (projection) neurons of two human neocortical areas respectively involved in speech and language, and higher cognition; the frontal operculum (FOp) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). This expression is transiently present during mid-gestation, suggesting that NOS1 may be involved in the development of these areas and the assembly of their neural circuits. As no other gene product is known to exhibit such exquisite spatiotemporal expression, NOS1 represents a remarkable candidate for these functions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  9. The knowledge instinct, cognitive algorithms, modeling of language and cultural evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perlovsky, Leonid I.

    2008-04-01

    The talk discusses mechanisms of the mind and their engineering applications. The past attempts at designing "intelligent systems" encountered mathematical difficulties related to algorithmic complexity. The culprit turned out to be logic, which in one way or another was used not only in logic rule systems, but also in statistical, neural, and fuzzy systems. Algorithmic complexity is related to Godel's theory, a most fundamental mathematical result. These difficulties were overcome by replacing logic with a dynamic process "from vague to crisp," dynamic logic. It leads to algorithms overcoming combinatorial complexity, and resulting in orders of magnitude improvement in classical problems of detection, tracking, fusion, and prediction in noise. I present engineering applications to pattern recognition, detection, tracking, fusion, financial predictions, and Internet search engines. Mathematical and engineering efficiency of dynamic logic can also be understood as cognitive algorithm, which describes fundamental property of the mind, the knowledge instinct responsible for all our higher cognitive functions: concepts, perception, cognition, instincts, imaginations, intuitions, emotions, including emotions of the beautiful. I present our latest results in modeling evolution of languages and cultures, their interactions in these processes, and role of music in cultural evolution. Experimental data is presented that support the theory. Future directions are outlined.

  10. Language acquisition meets language evolution.

    PubMed

    Chater, Nick; Christiansen, Morten H

    2010-09-01

    Recent research suggests that language evolution is a process of cultural change, in which linguistic structures are shaped through repeated cycles of learning and use by domain-general mechanisms. This paper draws out the implications of this viewpoint for understanding the problem of language acquisition, which is cast in a new, and much more tractable, form. In essence, the child faces a problem of induction, where the objective is to coordinate with others (C-induction), rather than to model the structure of the natural world (N-induction). We argue that, of the two, C-induction is dramatically easier. More broadly, we argue that understanding the acquisition of any cultural form, whether linguistic or otherwise, during development, requires considering the corresponding question of how that cultural form arose through processes of cultural evolution. This perspective helps resolve the "logical" problem of language acquisition and has far-reaching implications for evolutionary psychology. Copyright © 2009 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  11. Neural correlates of Early Stone Age toolmaking: technology, language and cognition in human evolution.

    PubMed

    Stout, Dietrich; Toth, Nicholas; Schick, Kathy; Chaminade, Thierry

    2008-06-12

    Archaeological and palaeontological evidence from the Early Stone Age (ESA) documents parallel trends of brain expansion and technological elaboration in human evolution over a period of more than 2Myr. However, the relationship between these defining trends remains controversial and poorly understood. Here, we present results from a positron emission tomography study of functional brain activation during experimental ESA (Oldowan and Acheulean) toolmaking by expert subjects. Together with a previous study of Oldowan toolmaking by novices, these results document increased demands for effective visuomotor coordination and hierarchical action organization in more advanced toolmaking. This includes an increased activation of ventral premotor and inferior parietal elements of the parietofrontal praxis circuits in both the hemispheres and of the right hemisphere homologue of Broca's area. The observed patterns of activation and of overlap with language circuits suggest that toolmaking and language share a basis in more general human capacities for complex, goal-directed action. The results are consistent with coevolutionary hypotheses linking the emergence of language, toolmaking, population-level functional lateralization and association cortex expansion in human evolution.

  12. Language evolution in the laboratory.

    PubMed

    Scott-Phillips, Thomas C; Kirby, Simon

    2010-09-01

    The historical origins of natural language cannot be observed directly. We can, however, study systems that support language and we can also develop models that explore the plausibility of different hypotheses about how language emerged. More recently, evolutionary linguists have begun to conduct language evolution experiments in the laboratory, where the emergence of new languages used by human participants can be observed directly. This enables researchers to study both the cognitive capacities necessary for language and the ways in which languages themselves emerge. One theme that runs through this work is how individual-level behaviours result in population-level linguistic phenomena. A central challenge for the future will be to explore how different forms of information transmission affect this process. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Language and cognition.

    PubMed

    Perlovsky, Leonid

    2009-04-01

    What is the role of language in cognition? Do we think with words, or do we use words to communicate made-up decisions? The paper briefly reviews ideas in this area since 1950s. Then we discuss mechanisms of cognition, recent neuroscience experiments, and corresponding mathematical models. These models are interpreted in terms of a biological drive for cognition. Based on the Grossberg-Levine theory of drives and emotions, we identify specific emotions associated with the need for cognition. We demonstrate an engineering application of the developed technique, which significantly improves detection of patterns in noise over the previous state-of-the-art. The developed mathematical models are extended toward language. Then we consider possible brain-mind mechanisms of interaction between language and cognition. A mathematical analysis imposes restrictions on possible mechanisms. The proposed model resolves some long-standing language-cognition issues: how the mind learns correct associations between words and objects among an astronomical number of possible associations; why kids can talk about almost everything, but cannot act like adults, what exactly are the brain-mind differences; why animals do not talk and think like people. Recent brain imaging experiments indicate support for the proposed model. We discuss future theoretical and experimental research.

  14. Language and Cognition Interaction Neural Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Perlovsky, Leonid

    2011-01-01

    How language and cognition interact in thinking? Is language just used for communication of completed thoughts, or is it fundamental for thinking? Existing approaches have not led to a computational theory. We develop a hypothesis that language and cognition are two separate but closely interacting mechanisms. Language accumulates cultural wisdom; cognition develops mental representations modeling surrounding world and adapts cultural knowledge to concrete circumstances of life. Language is acquired from surrounding language “ready-made” and therefore can be acquired early in life. This early acquisition of language in childhood encompasses the entire hierarchy from sounds to words, to phrases, and to highest concepts existing in culture. Cognition is developed from experience. Yet cognition cannot be acquired from experience alone; language is a necessary intermediary, a “teacher.” A mathematical model is developed; it overcomes previous difficulties and leads to a computational theory. This model is consistent with Arbib's “language prewired brain” built on top of mirror neuron system. It models recent neuroimaging data about cognition, remaining unnoticed by other theories. A number of properties of language and cognition are explained, which previously seemed mysterious, including influence of language grammar on cultural evolution, which may explain specifics of English and Arabic cultures. PMID:21876687

  15. The evolution of language

    PubMed Central

    Nowak, Martin A.; Krakauer, David C.

    1999-01-01

    The emergence of language was a defining moment in the evolution of modern humans. It was an innovation that changed radically the character of human society. Here, we provide an approach to language evolution based on evolutionary game theory. We explore the ways in which protolanguages can evolve in a nonlinguistic society and how specific signals can become associated with specific objects. We assume that early in the evolution of language, errors in signaling and perception would be common. We model the probability of misunderstanding a signal and show that this limits the number of objects that can be described by a protolanguage. This “error limit” is not overcome by employing more sounds but by combining a small set of more easily distinguishable sounds into words. The process of “word formation” enables a language to encode an essentially unlimited number of objects. Next, we analyze how words can be combined into sentences and specify the conditions for the evolution of very simple grammatical rules. We argue that grammar originated as a simplified rule system that evolved by natural selection to reduce mistakes in communication. Our theory provides a systematic approach for thinking about the origin and evolution of human language. PMID:10393942

  16. The Evolution of Language

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, Martin A.; Krakauer, David C.

    1999-07-01

    The emergence of language was a defining moment in the evolution of modern humans. It was an innovation that changed radically the character of human society. Here, we provide an approach to language evolution based on evolutionary game theory. We explore the ways in which protolanguages can evolve in a nonlinguistic society and how specific signals can become associated with specific objects. We assume that early in the evolution of language, errors in signaling and perception would be common. We model the probability of misunderstanding a signal and show that this limits the number of objects that can be described by a protolanguage. This "error limit" is not overcome by employing more sounds but by combining a small set of more easily distinguishable sounds into words. The process of "word formation" enables a language to encode an essentially unlimited number of objects. Next, we analyze how words can be combined into sentences and specify the conditions for the evolution of very simple grammatical rules. We argue that grammar originated as a simplified rule system that evolved by natural selection to reduce mistakes in communication. Our theory provides a systematic approach for thinking about the origin and evolution of human language.

  17. Language Experience Changes Language and Cognitive Ability

    PubMed Central

    Poarch, Gregory

    2014-01-01

    The sustained use of two languages by bilinguals has been shown to induce broad changes in language and cognitive abilities across the lifespan. The largest changes are seen as advantages in executive control, a set of processes responsible for controlled attention, inhibition, and shifting. Moreover, there is evidence that these executive control advantages mitigate cognitive decline in older age and contribute to cognitive reserve. In this paper, we examine some of the evidence for these findings and explain their relation to bilingual language use. These effects are considered in terms of their implications for our understanding of cognitive and brain plasticity. Some implications for social policy are discussed. PMID:25435805

  18. Archaeology and cognitive evolution.

    PubMed

    Wynn, Thomas

    2002-06-01

    Archaeology can provide two bodies of information relevant to the understanding of the evolution of human cognition--the timing of developments, and the evolutionary context of these developments. The challenge is methodological. Archaeology must document attributes that have direct implications for underlying cognitive mechanisms. One example of such a cognitive archaeology is found in spatial cognition. The archaeological record documents an evolutionary sequence that begins with ape-equivalent spatial abilities 2.5 million years ago and ends with the appearance of modern abilities in the still remote past of 400,000 years ago. The timing of these developments reveals two major episodes in the evolution in spatial ability, one, 1.5 million years ago and the other, one million years later. The two episodes of development in spatial cognition had very different evolutionary contexts. The first was associated with the shift to an open country adaptive niche that occurred early in the time range of Homo erectus. The second was associated with no clear adaptive shift, though it does appear to have coincided with the invasion of more hostile environments and the appearance of systematic hunting of large mammals. Neither, however, occurred in a context of modern hunting and gathering.

  19. Evolution of Brain and Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schoenemann, P. Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The evolution of language and the evolution of the brain are tightly interlinked. Language evolution represents a special kind of adaptation, in part because language is a complex behavior (as opposed to a physical feature) but also because changes are adaptive only to the extent that they increase either one's understanding of others, or one's…

  20. Evolution of Brain and Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schoenemann, P. Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The evolution of language and the evolution of the brain are tightly interlinked. Language evolution represents a special kind of adaptation, in part because language is a complex behavior (as opposed to a physical feature) but also because changes are adaptive only to the extent that they increase either one's understanding of others, or one's…

  1. New Frontiers in Language Evolution and Development.

    PubMed

    Oller, D Kimbrough; Dale, Rick; Griebel, Ulrike

    2016-04-01

    This article introduces the Special Issue and its focus on research in language evolution with emphasis on theory as well as computational and robotic modeling. A key theme is based on the growth of evolutionary developmental biology or evo-devo. The Special Issue consists of 13 articles organized in two sections: A) Theoretical foundations and B) Modeling and simulation studies. All the papers are interdisciplinary in nature, encompassing work in biological and linguistic foundations for the study of language evolution as well as a variety of computational and robotic modeling efforts shedding light on how language may be developed and may have evolved. Copyright © 2016 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  2. Culture shapes the evolution of cognition.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Bill; Kirby, Simon; Smith, Kenny

    2016-04-19

    A central debate in cognitive science concerns the nativist hypothesis, the proposal that universal features of behavior reflect a biologically determined cognitive substrate: For example, linguistic nativism proposes a domain-specific faculty of language that strongly constrains which languages can be learned. An evolutionary stance appears to provide support for linguistic nativism, because coordinated constraints on variation may facilitate communication and therefore be adaptive. However, language, like many other human behaviors, is underpinned by social learning and cultural transmission alongside biological evolution. We set out two models of these interactions, which show how culture can facilitate rapid biological adaptation yet rule out strong nativization. The amplifying effects of culture can allow weak cognitive biases to have significant population-level consequences, radically increasing the evolvability of weak, defeasible inductive biases; however, the emergence of a strong cultural universal does not imply, nor lead to, nor require, strong innate constraints. From this we must conclude, on evolutionary grounds, that the strong nativist hypothesis for language is false. More generally, because such reciprocal interactions between cultural and biological evolution are not limited to language, nativist explanations for many behaviors should be reconsidered: Evolutionary reasoning shows how we can have cognitively driven behavioral universals and yet extreme plasticity at the level of the individual-if, and only if, we account for the human capacity to transmit knowledge culturally. Wherever culture is involved, weak cognitive biases rather than strong innate constraints should be the default assumption.

  3. Culture shapes the evolution of cognition

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Bill; Kirby, Simon; Smith, Kenny

    2016-01-01

    A central debate in cognitive science concerns the nativist hypothesis, the proposal that universal features of behavior reflect a biologically determined cognitive substrate: For example, linguistic nativism proposes a domain-specific faculty of language that strongly constrains which languages can be learned. An evolutionary stance appears to provide support for linguistic nativism, because coordinated constraints on variation may facilitate communication and therefore be adaptive. However, language, like many other human behaviors, is underpinned by social learning and cultural transmission alongside biological evolution. We set out two models of these interactions, which show how culture can facilitate rapid biological adaptation yet rule out strong nativization. The amplifying effects of culture can allow weak cognitive biases to have significant population-level consequences, radically increasing the evolvability of weak, defeasible inductive biases; however, the emergence of a strong cultural universal does not imply, nor lead to, nor require, strong innate constraints. From this we must conclude, on evolutionary grounds, that the strong nativist hypothesis for language is false. More generally, because such reciprocal interactions between cultural and biological evolution are not limited to language, nativist explanations for many behaviors should be reconsidered: Evolutionary reasoning shows how we can have cognitively driven behavioral universals and yet extreme plasticity at the level of the individual—if, and only if, we account for the human capacity to transmit knowledge culturally. Wherever culture is involved, weak cognitive biases rather than strong innate constraints should be the default assumption. PMID:27044094

  4. Triadic (ecological, neural, cognitive) niche construction: a scenario of human brain evolution extrapolating tool use and language from the control of reaching actions.

    PubMed

    Iriki, Atsushi; Taoka, Miki

    2012-01-12

    Hominin evolution has involved a continuous process of addition of new kinds of cognitive capacity, including those relating to manufacture and use of tools and to the establishment of linguistic faculties. The dramatic expansion of the brain that accompanied additions of new functional areas would have supported such continuous evolution. Extended brain functions would have driven rapid and drastic changes in the hominin ecological niche, which in turn demanded further brain resources to adapt to it. In this way, humans have constructed a novel niche in each of the ecological, cognitive and neural domains, whose interactions accelerated their individual evolution through a process of triadic niche construction. Human higher cognitive activity can therefore be viewed holistically as one component in a terrestrial ecosystem. The brain's functional characteristics seem to play a key role in this triadic interaction. We advance a speculative argument about the origins of its neurobiological mechanisms, as an extension (with wider scope) of the evolutionary principles of adaptive function in the animal nervous system. The brain mechanisms that subserve tool use may bridge the gap between gesture and language--the site of such integration seems to be the parietal and extending opercular cortices.

  5. Evolution, brain, and the nature of language.

    PubMed

    Berwick, Robert C; Friederici, Angela D; Chomsky, Noam; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2013-02-01

    Language serves as a cornerstone for human cognition, yet much about its evolution remains puzzling. Recent research on this question parallels Darwin's attempt to explain both the unity of all species and their diversity. What has emerged from this research is that the unified nature of human language arises from a shared, species-specific computational ability. This ability has identifiable correlates in the brain and has remained fixed since the origin of language approximately 100 thousand years ago. Although songbirds share with humans a vocal imitation learning ability, with a similar underlying neural organization, language is uniquely human. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Mirror neurons, language, and embodied cognition.

    PubMed

    Perlovsky, Leonid I; Ilin, Roman

    2013-05-01

    Basic mechanisms of the mind, cognition, language, its semantic and emotional mechanisms are modeled using dynamic logic (DL). This cognitively and mathematically motivated model leads to a dual-model hypothesis of language and cognition. The paper emphasizes that abstract cognition cannot evolve without language. The developed model is consistent with a joint emergence of language and cognition from a mirror neuron system. The dual language-cognition model leads to the dual mental hierarchy. The nature of cognition embodiment in the hierarchy is analyzed. Future theoretical and experimental research is discussed. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Embodied cognitive evolution and the cerebellum

    PubMed Central

    Barton, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    Much attention has focused on the dramatic expansion of the forebrain, particularly the neocortex, as the neural substrate of cognitive evolution. However, though relatively small, the cerebellum contains about four times more neurons than the neocortex. I show that commonly used comparative measures such as neocortex ratio underestimate the contribution of the cerebellum to brain evolution. Once differences in the scaling of connectivity in neocortex and cerebellum are accounted for, a marked and general pattern of correlated evolution of the two structures is apparent. One deviation from this general pattern is a relative expansion of the cerebellum in apes and other extractive foragers. The confluence of these comparative patterns, studies of ape foraging skills and social learning, and recent evidence on the cognitive neuroscience of the cerebellum, suggest an important role for the cerebellum in the evolution of the capacity for planning, execution and understanding of complex behavioural sequences—including tool use and language. There is no clear separation between sensory–motor and cognitive specializations underpinning such skills, undermining the notion of executive control as a distinct process. Instead, I argue that cognitive evolution is most effectively understood as the elaboration of specialized systems for embodied adaptive control. PMID:22734053

  8. Evolution, selection and cognition: from "learning" to parameter setting in biology and in the study of language.

    PubMed

    Piattelli-Palmarini, M

    1989-02-01

    Most biologists and some cognitive scientists have independently reached the conclusion that there is no such thing as learning in the traditional "instructive" sense. This is, admittedly, a somewhat extreme thesis, but I defend it here in the light of data and theories jointly extracted from biology, especially from evolutionary theory and immunology, and from modern generative grammar. I also point out that the general demise of learning is uncontroversial in the biological sciences, while a similar consensus has not yet been reached in psychology and in linguistics at large. Since many arguments presently offered in defense of learning and in defense of "general intelligence" are often based on a distorted picture of human biological evolution, I devote some sections of this paper to a critique of "adaptationism," providing also a sketch of a better evolutionary theory (one based on "exaptation"). Moreover, since certain standard arguments presented today as "knock-down" in psychology, in linguistics and in artificial intelligence are a perfect replica of those once voiced by biologists in favor of instruction and against selection, I capitalize on these errors of the past to draw some lessons for the present and for the future.

  9. Major Transitions in Language Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plotkin, Joshua B.; Nowak, Martin A.

    2001-11-01

    Language is the most important evolutionary invention of the last few million years. How human language evolved from animal communication is a challenging question for evolutionary biology. In this paper we use mathematical models to analyze the major transitions in language evolution. We begin by discussing the evolution of coordinated associations between signals and objects in a population. We then analyze word-formation and its relationship to Shannon's noisy coding theorem. Finally, we model the population dynamics of words and the adaptive emergence of syntax.

  10. Evolution of speech and evolution of language.

    PubMed

    de Boer, Bart

    2017-02-01

    Speech is the physical signal used to convey spoken language. Because of its physical nature, speech is both easier to compare with other species' behaviors and easier to study in the fossil record than other aspects of language. Here I argue that convergent fossil evidence indicates adaptations for complex vocalizations at least as early as the common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans. Furthermore, I argue that it is unlikely that language evolved separately from speech, but rather that gesture, speech, and song coevolved to provide both a multimodal communication system and a musical system. Moreover, coevolution must also have played a role by allowing both cognitive and anatomical adaptations to language and speech to evolve in parallel. Although such a coevolutionary scenario is complex, it is entirely plausible from a biological point of view.

  11. Evolution of speech-specific cognitive adaptations

    PubMed Central

    de Boer, Bart

    2015-01-01

    This paper argues that an evolutionary perspective is natural when investigating cognitive adaptations related to language. This is because there appears to be correspondence between traits that linguists consider interesting and traits that have undergone selective pressure related to language. The paper briefly reviews theoretical results that shed light on what kind of adaptations we can expect to have evolved and then reviews concrete work related to the evolution of adaptations for combinatorial speech. It turns out that there is as yet no strong direct evidence for cognitive traits that have undergone selection related to speech, but there is indirect evidence that indicates selection. However, the traits that may have undergone selection are expected to be continuously variable ones, rather than the discrete ones that linguists have focused on traditionally. PMID:26483746

  12. Human evolution and cognition.

    PubMed

    Tattersall, Ian

    2010-09-01

    Human beings are distinguished from all other organisms by their symbolic way of processing information about the world. This unique cognitive style is qualitatively different from all the earlier hominid cognitive styles, and is not simply an improved version of them. The hominid fossil and archaeological records show clearly that biological and technological innovations have typically been highly sporadic, and totally out of phase, since the invention of stone tools some 2.5 million years ago. They also confirm that this pattern applied in the arrival of modern cognition: the anatomically recognizable species Homo sapiens was well established long before any population of it began to show indications of behaving symbolically. This places the origin of symbolic thought in the realms of exaptation, whereby new structures come into existence before being recruited to new uses, and of emergence, whereby entire new levels of complexity are achieved through new combinations of attributes unremarkable in themselves. Both these phenomena involve entirely routine evolutionary processes; special as we human beings may consider ourselves, there was nothing special about the way we came into existence. Modern human cognition is a very recent acquisition; and its emergence ushered in an entirely new pattern of technological (and other behavioral) innovation, in which constant change results from the ceaseless exploration of the potential inherent in our new capacity.

  13. Physical Complexity and Cognitive Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jedlicka, Peter

    Our intuition tells us that there is a general trend in the evolution of nature, a trend towards greater complexity. However, there are several definitions of complexity and hence it is difficult to argue for or against the validity of this intuition. Christoph Adami has recently introduced a novel measure called physical complexity that assigns low complexity to both ordered and random systems and high complexity to those in between. Physical complexity measures the amount of information that an organism stores in its genome about the environment in which it evolves. The theory of physical complexity predicts that evolution increases the amount of `knowledge' an organism accumulates about its niche. It might be fruitful to generalize Adami's concept of complexity to the entire evolution (including the evolution of man). Physical complexity fits nicely into the philosophical framework of cognitive biology which considers biological evolution as a progressing process of accumulation of knowledge (as a gradual increase of epistemic complexity). According to this paradigm, evolution is a cognitive `ratchet' that pushes the organisms unidirectionally towards higher complexity. Dynamic environment continually creates problems to be solved. To survive in the environment means to solve the problem, and the solution is an embodied knowledge. Cognitive biology (as well as the theory of physical complexity) uses the concepts of information and entropy and views the evolution from both the information-theoretical and thermodynamical perspective. Concerning humans as conscious beings, it seems necessary to postulate an emergence of a new kind of knowledge - a self-aware and self-referential knowledge. Appearence of selfreflection in evolution indicates that the human brain reached a new qualitative level in the epistemic complexity.

  14. Music, evolution and language.

    PubMed

    Masataka, Nobuo

    2007-01-01

    Darwin (1871) noted that the human musical faculty 'must be ranked amongst the most mysterious with which he is endowed'. Indeed, previous research with human infants and young children has revealed that we are born with variable musical capabilities. Here, the adaptive purpose served by these differing capabilities is discussed with reference to comparative findings regarding the acoustic behavior of nonhuman primates. The findings provide evidence supporting Darwin's hypothesis of an intermediate stage of human evolutionary history characterized by a communication system that resembles music more closely than language and possibly acting as a precursor for both current language and music.

  15. Language Evolution: A Changing Perspective.

    PubMed

    Corballis, Michael C

    2017-04-01

    From ancient times, religion and philosophy have regarded language as a faculty bestowed uniquely and suddenly on our own species, primarily as a mode of thought with communication as a byproduct. This view persists among some scientists and linguists and is counter to the theory of evolution, which implies that the evolution of complex structures is incremental. I argue here that language derives from mental processes with gradual evolutionary trajectories, including the generative capacities to travel mentally in time and space and into the minds of others. What may be distinctive in humans is the means to communicate these mental experiences along with knowledge gained from them.

  16. Language Diversity and Cognitive Representations. Human Cognitive Processing, Volume 3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuchs, Catherine, Ed.; Robert, Stephane, Ed.

    This book brings together the contributions of individual language scholars, linguists, anthropologists, psychologists, and neurophysicians. Each chapter focuses on the human cognitive processes involved in language activity and the impact of language diversity on them. The basic issue is how to correlate language diversity with the universality…

  17. Extended, Embodied Cognition and Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkinson, Dwight

    2010-01-01

    A "cognitivist" approach to cognition has traditionally dominated second language acquisition (SLA) studies. In this article, I examine two alternative approaches--"extended cognition" and "embodied cognition"--for how they might help us conceptualize SLA. More specifically, I present: (i) summaries of extended and embodied cognition, followed by…

  18. Extended, Embodied Cognition and Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkinson, Dwight

    2010-01-01

    A "cognitivist" approach to cognition has traditionally dominated second language acquisition (SLA) studies. In this article, I examine two alternative approaches--"extended cognition" and "embodied cognition"--for how they might help us conceptualize SLA. More specifically, I present: (i) summaries of extended and embodied cognition, followed by…

  19. Joint attention and language evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwisthout, Johan; Vogt, Paul; Haselager, Pim; Dijkstra, Ton

    2008-06-01

    This study investigates how more advanced joint attentional mechanisms, rather than only shared attention between two agents and an object, can be implemented and how they influence the results of language games played by these agents. We present computer simulations with language games showing that adding constructs that mimic the three stages of joint attention identified in children's early development (checking attention, following attention, and directing attention) substantially increase the performance of agents in these language games. In particular, the rates of improved performance for the individual attentional mechanisms have the same ordering as that of the emergence of these mechanisms in infants' development. These results suggest that language evolution and joint attentional mechanisms have developed in a co-evolutionary way, and that the evolutionary emergence of the individual attentional mechanisms is ordered just like their developmental emergence.

  20. Language Teacher Cognitions: Complex Dynamic Systems?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feryok, Anne

    2010-01-01

    Language teacher cognition research is a growing field. In recent years several features of language teacher cognitions have been noted: they can be complex, ranging over a number of different subjects; they can be dynamic, changing over time and under different influences; and they can be systems, forming unified and cohesive personal or…

  1. Language Teacher Cognitions: Complex Dynamic Systems?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feryok, Anne

    2010-01-01

    Language teacher cognition research is a growing field. In recent years several features of language teacher cognitions have been noted: they can be complex, ranging over a number of different subjects; they can be dynamic, changing over time and under different influences; and they can be systems, forming unified and cohesive personal or…

  2. Cognition and Written Language: A Symposium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Purves, Alan, Ed.

    Originally presented at a symposium on cognition and written language, the 14 papers in this collection discuss research findings regarding reading and writing processes, ways that the development of effective reading and writing can be abetted by instruction, and research needs in the area of cognition and written language. The papers focus on…

  3. Language as cognitive tool kit: How language supports relational thought.

    PubMed

    Gentner, Dedre

    2016-11-01

    The extreme version of the Whorfian hypothesis-that the language we learn determines how we view the world-has been soundly rejected by linguists and psychologists alike. However, more moderate versions of the idea that language may influence thought have garnered recent empirical support. This article defends 1 such view. I propose that language serves as a cognitive tool kit that allows us to represent and reason in ways that would be impossible without such a symbol system. I present evidence that learning and using relational language can foster relational reasoning-a core capacity of higher order cognition. In essence, language makes one smarter. (PsycINFO Database Record

  4. Cognitive Linguistics and the Second Language Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holme, Randal

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive Linguistics (CL) makes the functional assumption that form is motivated by meaning. CL also analyses form-meaning pairings as products of how cognition structures perception. CL thus helps teachers to fit language to the nature of the cognition that learns whilst devising modes of instruction that are better attuned to the nature of the…

  5. Cognitive Linguistics and the Second Language Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holme, Randal

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive Linguistics (CL) makes the functional assumption that form is motivated by meaning. CL also analyses form-meaning pairings as products of how cognition structures perception. CL thus helps teachers to fit language to the nature of the cognition that learns whilst devising modes of instruction that are better attuned to the nature of the…

  6. The evolution of cognitive mechanisms in response to cultural innovations.

    PubMed

    Lotem, Arnon; Halpern, Joseph Y; Edelman, Shimon; Kolodny, Oren

    2017-07-24

    When humans and other animals make cultural innovations, they also change their environment, thereby imposing new selective pressures that can modify their biological traits. For example, there is evidence that dairy farming by humans favored alleles for adult lactose tolerance. Similarly, the invention of cooking possibly affected the evolution of jaw and tooth morphology. However, when it comes to cognitive traits and learning mechanisms, it is much more difficult to determine whether and how their evolution was affected by culture or by their use in cultural transmission. Here we argue that, excluding very recent cultural innovations, the assumption that culture shaped the evolution of cognition is both more parsimonious and more productive than assuming the opposite. In considering how culture shapes cognition, we suggest that a process-level model of cognitive evolution is necessary and offer such a model. The model employs relatively simple coevolving mechanisms of learning and data acquisition that jointly construct a complex network of a type previously shown to be capable of supporting a range of cognitive abilities. The evolution of cognition, and thus the effect of culture on cognitive evolution, is captured through small modifications of these coevolving learning and data-acquisition mechanisms, whose coordinated action is critical for building an effective network. We use the model to show how these mechanisms are likely to evolve in response to cultural phenomena, such as language and tool-making, which are associated with major changes in data patterns and with new computational and statistical challenges.

  7. A Proposed Neurological Interpretation of Language Evolution

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Since the very beginning of the aphasia history it has been well established that there are two major aphasic syndromes (Wernicke's-type and Broca's-type aphasia); each one of them is related to the disturbance at a specific linguistic level (lexical/semantic and grammatical) and associated with a particular brain damage localization (temporal and frontal-subcortical). It is proposed that three stages in language evolution could be distinguished: (a) primitive communication systems similar to those observed in other animals, including nonhuman primates; (b) initial communication systems using sound combinations (lexicon) but without relationships among the elements (grammar); and (c) advanced communication systems including word-combinations (grammar). It is proposed that grammar probably originated from the internal representation of actions, resulting in the creation of verbs; this is an ability that depends on the so-called Broca's area and related brain networks. It is suggested that grammar is the basic ability for the development of so-called metacognitive executive functions. It is concluded that while the lexical/semantic language system (vocabulary) probably appeared during human evolution long before the contemporary man (Homo sapiens sapiens), the grammatical language historically represents a recent acquisition and is correlated with the development of complex cognition (metacognitive executive functions). PMID:26124540

  8. Modeling the cultural evolution of language

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steels, Luc

    2011-12-01

    The paper surveys recent research on language evolution, focusing in particular on models of cultural evolution and how they are being developed and tested using agent-based computational simulations and robotic experiments. The key challenges for evolutionary theories of language are outlined and some example results are discussed, highlighting models explaining how linguistic conventions get shared, how conceptual frameworks get coordinated through language, and how hierarchical structure could emerge. The main conclusion of the paper is that cultural evolution is a much more powerful process that usually assumed, implying that less innate structures or biases are required and consequently that human language evolution has to rely less on genetic evolution.

  9. The mystery of language evolution.

    PubMed

    Hauser, Marc D; Yang, Charles; Berwick, Robert C; Tattersall, Ian; Ryan, Michael J; Watumull, Jeffrey; Chomsky, Noam; Lewontin, Richard C

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved. We show that, to date, (1) studies of nonhuman animals provide virtually no relevant parallels to human linguistic communication, and none to the underlying biological capacity; (2) the fossil and archaeological evidence does not inform our understanding of the computations and representations of our earliest ancestors, leaving details of origins and selective pressure unresolved; (3) our understanding of the genetics of language is so impoverished that there is little hope of connecting genes to linguistic processes any time soon; (4) all modeling attempts have made unfounded assumptions, and have provided no empirical tests, thus leaving any insights into language's origins unverifiable. Based on the current state of evidence, we submit that the most fundamental questions about the origins and evolution of our linguistic capacity remain as mysterious as ever, with considerable uncertainty about the discovery of either relevant or conclusive evidence that can adjudicate among the many open hypotheses. We conclude by presenting some suggestions about possible paths forward.

  10. The mystery of language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Hauser, Marc D.; Yang, Charles; Berwick, Robert C.; Tattersall, Ian; Ryan, Michael J.; Watumull, Jeffrey; Chomsky, Noam; Lewontin, Richard C.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved. We show that, to date, (1) studies of nonhuman animals provide virtually no relevant parallels to human linguistic communication, and none to the underlying biological capacity; (2) the fossil and archaeological evidence does not inform our understanding of the computations and representations of our earliest ancestors, leaving details of origins and selective pressure unresolved; (3) our understanding of the genetics of language is so impoverished that there is little hope of connecting genes to linguistic processes any time soon; (4) all modeling attempts have made unfounded assumptions, and have provided no empirical tests, thus leaving any insights into language's origins unverifiable. Based on the current state of evidence, we submit that the most fundamental questions about the origins and evolution of our linguistic capacity remain as mysterious as ever, with considerable uncertainty about the discovery of either relevant or conclusive evidence that can adjudicate among the many open hypotheses. We conclude by presenting some suggestions about possible paths forward. PMID:24847300

  11. Triadic (ecological, neural, cognitive) niche construction: a scenario of human brain evolution extrapolating tool use and language from the control of reaching actions

    PubMed Central

    Iriki, Atsushi; Taoka, Miki

    2012-01-01

    Hominin evolution has involved a continuous process of addition of new kinds of cognitive capacity, including those relating to manufacture and use of tools and to the establishment of linguistic faculties. The dramatic expansion of the brain that accompanied additions of new functional areas would have supported such continuous evolution. Extended brain functions would have driven rapid and drastic changes in the hominin ecological niche, which in turn demanded further brain resources to adapt to it. In this way, humans have constructed a novel niche in each of the ecological, cognitive and neural domains, whose interactions accelerated their individual evolution through a process of triadic niche construction. Human higher cognitive activity can therefore be viewed holistically as one component in a terrestrial ecosystem. The brain's functional characteristics seem to play a key role in this triadic interaction. We advance a speculative argument about the origins of its neurobiological mechanisms, as an extension (with wider scope) of the evolutionary principles of adaptive function in the animal nervous system. The brain mechanisms that subserve tool use may bridge the gap between gesture and language—the site of such integration seems to be the parietal and extending opercular cortices. PMID:22106423

  12. Empirical approaches to the study of language evolution.

    PubMed

    Fitch, W Tecumseh

    2017-02-01

    The study of language evolution, and human cognitive evolution more generally, has often been ridiculed as unscientific, but in fact it differs little from many other disciplines that investigate past events, such as geology or cosmology. Well-crafted models of language evolution make numerous testable hypotheses, and if the principles of strong inference (simultaneous testing of multiple plausible hypotheses) are adopted, there is an increasing amount of relevant data allowing empirical evaluation of such models. The articles in this special issue provide a concise overview of current models of language evolution, emphasizing the testable predictions that they make, along with overviews of the many sources of data available to test them (emphasizing comparative, neural, and genetic data). The key challenge facing the study of language evolution is not a lack of data, but rather a weak commitment to hypothesis-testing approaches and strong inference, exacerbated by the broad and highly interdisciplinary nature of the relevant data. This introduction offers an overview of the field, and a summary of what needed to evolve to provide our species with language-ready brains. It then briefly discusses different contemporary models of language evolution, followed by an overview of different sources of data to test these models. I conclude with my own multistage model of how different components of language could have evolved.

  13. Innateness, evolution, and genetics of language.

    PubMed

    Ganger, J; Stromswold, K

    1998-04-01

    Our goal in this article is to review a debate over the evolution of language and to suggest some keys to its resolution. We begin with a review of some of the theoretical and empirical evidence for the innateness of language that has caused renewed interest in the evolution of language. In a second section we review some prominent theories of the evolution of language, focusing on the controversy over whether language could have been adapted for some purpose. We argue that for evolutionary studies of language to advance, theorists must make more persuasive arguments for the purpose of language, and, furthermore, linguists must continue to develop a detailed theory of syntax. Finally, we suggest ways that behavioral and population genetics could help to inform studies of the evolution of language.

  14. The co-evolution of language and emotions.

    PubMed

    Jablonka, Eva; Ginsburg, Simona; Dor, Daniel

    2012-08-05

    We argue that language evolution started like the evolution of reading and writing, through cultural evolutionary processes. Genuinely new behavioural patterns emerged from collective exploratory processes that individuals could learn because of their brain plasticity. Those cultural-linguistic innovative practices that were consistently socially and culturally selected drove a process of genetic accommodation of both general and language-specific aspects of cognition. We focus on the affective facet of this culture-driven cognitive evolution, and argue that the evolution of human emotions co-evolved with that of language. We suggest that complex tool manufacture and alloparenting played an important role in the evolution of emotions, by leading to increased executive control and inter-subjective sensitivity. This process, which can be interpreted as a special case of self-domestication, culminated in the construction of human-specific social emotions, which facilitated information-sharing. Once in place, language enhanced the inhibitory control of emotions, enabled the development of novel emotions and emotional capacities, and led to a human mentality that departs in fundamental ways from that of other apes. We end by suggesting experimental approaches that can help in evaluating some of these proposals and hence lead to better understanding of the evolutionary biology of language and emotions.

  15. The co-evolution of language and emotions

    PubMed Central

    Jablonka, Eva; Ginsburg, Simona; Dor, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    We argue that language evolution started like the evolution of reading and writing, through cultural evolutionary processes. Genuinely new behavioural patterns emerged from collective exploratory processes that individuals could learn because of their brain plasticity. Those cultural–linguistic innovative practices that were consistently socially and culturally selected drove a process of genetic accommodation of both general and language-specific aspects of cognition. We focus on the affective facet of this culture-driven cognitive evolution, and argue that the evolution of human emotions co-evolved with that of language. We suggest that complex tool manufacture and alloparenting played an important role in the evolution of emotions, by leading to increased executive control and inter-subjective sensitivity. This process, which can be interpreted as a special case of self-domestication, culminated in the construction of human-specific social emotions, which facilitated information-sharing. Once in place, language enhanced the inhibitory control of emotions, enabled the development of novel emotions and emotional capacities, and led to a human mentality that departs in fundamental ways from that of other apes. We end by suggesting experimental approaches that can help in evaluating some of these proposals and hence lead to better understanding of the evolutionary biology of language and emotions. PMID:22734058

  16. First Language/Second Language: Acquisition, Writing, and Cognitive Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diaz, Diana M.

    Scholars from varied disciplines--first language (L1) acquisition, second language (L2) acquisition, composition research, and cognitive psychology--have found a high level of permeability in their search for more effective classroom models of writing instruction. Among the most influential work in this area has been Stephen Krashen's theory of L2…

  17. Black Language and Holistic Cognitive Style.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Grace C.

    The use of holistic cognitive style in black language is discussed in this paper. Two types of cognitive style, analytic and holistic, are identified. Holistic thinkers are described as socially oriented while analytical thinkers are characterized as task oriented. Evidence is given to support the claim that blacks tend to be holistic thinkers and…

  18. The Ecology of Language Evolution. Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mufwene, Salikoko S.

    This book explores the development of creoles and other new languages, highlighting conceptual and methodological issues for genetic linguistics and discussing the significance of ecologies that influence language evolution. It presents examples of changes in the structure, function, and vitality of languages, suggesting that similar ecologies…

  19. The Ecology of Language Evolution. Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mufwene, Salikoko S.

    This book explores the development of creoles and other new languages, highlighting conceptual and methodological issues for genetic linguistics and discussing the significance of ecologies that influence language evolution. It presents examples of changes in the structure, function, and vitality of languages, suggesting that similar ecologies…

  20. Language evolution as a Darwinian process: computational studies.

    PubMed

    Oudeyer, Pierre-Yves; Kaplan, Frédéric

    2007-03-01

    This paper presents computational experiments that illustrate how one can precisely conceptualize language evolution as a Darwinian process. We show that there is potentially a wide diversity of replicating units and replication mechanisms involved in language evolution. Computational experiments allow us to study systemic properties coming out of populations of linguistic replicators: linguistic replicators can adapt to specific external environments; they evolve under the pressure of the cognitive constraints of their hosts, as well as under the functional pressure of communication for which they are used; one can observe neutral drift; coalitions of replicators may appear, forming higher level groups which can themselves become subject to competition and selection.

  1. Pragmatics and the aims of language evolution.

    PubMed

    Scott-Phillips, Thomas C

    2017-02-01

    Pragmatics has historically played a relatively peripheral role in language evolution research. This is a profound mistake. Here I describe how a pragmatic perspective can inform language evolution in the most fundamental way: by making clear what the natural objects of study are, and hence what the aims of the field should be.

  2. Cerebellum, Language, and Cognition in Autism and Specific Language Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Hodge, Steven M.; Makris, Nikos; Kennedy, David N.; Caviness, Verne S.; Howard, James; McGrath, Lauren; Steele, Shelly; Frazier, Jean A.; Tager-Flusberg, Helen; Harris, Gordon J.

    2013-01-01

    We performed cerebellum segmentation and parcellation on magnetic resonance images from right-handed boys, aged 6–13 years, including 22 boys with autism (16 with language impairment (ALI)), 9 boys with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), and 11 normal controls. Language-impaired groups had reversed asymmetry relative to unimpaired groups in posterior-lateral cerebellar lobule VIIIA (right side larger in unimpaired groups, left side larger in ALI and SLI), contralateral to previous findings in inferior frontal cortex language areas. Lobule VIIA Crus I was smaller in SLI than in ALI. Vermis volume, particularly anterior I-V, was decreased in language-impaired groups. Language performance test scores correlated with lobule VIIIA asymmetry and with anterior vermis volume. These findings suggest ALI and SLI subjects show abnormalities in neurodevelopment of fronto-corticocerebellar circuits that manage motor control and the processing of language, cognition, working memory, and attention. PMID:19924522

  3. Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corballis, Michael C.

    2010-01-01

    The mirror system provided a natural platform for the subsequent evolution of language. In nonhuman primates, the system provides for the understanding of biological action, and possibly for imitation, both prerequisites for language. I argue that language evolved from manual gestures, initially as a system of pantomime, but with gestures…

  4. Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corballis, Michael C.

    2010-01-01

    The mirror system provided a natural platform for the subsequent evolution of language. In nonhuman primates, the system provides for the understanding of biological action, and possibly for imitation, both prerequisites for language. I argue that language evolved from manual gestures, initially as a system of pantomime, but with gestures…

  5. Ape gestures and language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Pollick, Amy S.; de Waal, Frans B. M.

    2007-01-01

    The natural communication of apes may hold clues about language origins, especially because apes frequently gesture with limbs and hands, a mode of communication thought to have been the starting point of human language evolution. The present study aimed to contrast brachiomanual gestures with orofacial movements and vocalizations in the natural communication of our closest primate relatives, bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We tested whether gesture is the more flexible form of communication by measuring the strength of association between signals and specific behavioral contexts, comparing groups of both the same and different ape species. Subjects were two captive bonobo groups, a total of 13 individuals, and two captive chimpanzee groups, a total of 34 individuals. The study distinguished 31 manual gestures and 18 facial/vocal signals. It was found that homologous facial/vocal displays were used very similarly by both ape species, yet the same did not apply to gestures. Both within and between species gesture usage varied enormously. Moreover, bonobos showed greater flexibility in this regard than chimpanzees and were also the only species in which multimodal communication (i.e., combinations of gestures and facial/vocal signals) added to behavioral impact on the recipient. PMID:17470779

  6. Restrictions on biological adaptation in language evolution.

    PubMed

    Chater, Nick; Reali, Florencia; Christiansen, Morten H

    2009-01-27

    Language acquisition and processing are governed by genetic constraints. A crucial unresolved question is how far these genetic constraints have coevolved with language, perhaps resulting in a highly specialized and species-specific language "module," and how much language acquisition and processing redeploy preexisting cognitive machinery. In the present work, we explored the circumstances under which genes encoding language-specific properties could have coevolved with language itself. We present a theoretical model, implemented in computer simulations, of key aspects of the interaction of genes and language. Our results show that genes for language could have coevolved only with highly stable aspects of the linguistic environment; a rapidly changing linguistic environment does not provide a stable target for natural selection. Thus, a biological endowment could not coevolve with properties of language that began as learned cultural conventions, because cultural conventions change much more rapidly than genes. We argue that this rules out the possibility that arbitrary properties of language, including abstract syntactic principles governing phrase structure, case marking, and agreement, have been built into a "language module" by natural selection. The genetic basis of human language acquisition and processing did not coevolve with language, but primarily predates the emergence of language. As suggested by Darwin, the fit between language and its underlying mechanisms arose because language has evolved to fit the human brain, rather than the reverse.

  7. Restrictions on biological adaptation in language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Chater, Nick; Reali, Florencia; Christiansen, Morten H.

    2009-01-01

    Language acquisition and processing are governed by genetic constraints. A crucial unresolved question is how far these genetic constraints have coevolved with language, perhaps resulting in a highly specialized and species-specific language “module,” and how much language acquisition and processing redeploy preexisting cognitive machinery. In the present work, we explored the circumstances under which genes encoding language-specific properties could have coevolved with language itself. We present a theoretical model, implemented in computer simulations, of key aspects of the interaction of genes and language. Our results show that genes for language could have coevolved only with highly stable aspects of the linguistic environment; a rapidly changing linguistic environment does not provide a stable target for natural selection. Thus, a biological endowment could not coevolve with properties of language that began as learned cultural conventions, because cultural conventions change much more rapidly than genes. We argue that this rules out the possibility that arbitrary properties of language, including abstract syntactic principles governing phrase structure, case marking, and agreement, have been built into a “language module” by natural selection. The genetic basis of human language acquisition and processing did not coevolve with language, but primarily predates the emergence of language. As suggested by Darwin, the fit between language and its underlying mechanisms arose because language has evolved to fit the human brain, rather than the reverse. PMID:19164588

  8. Language, Cognition, and ESL Literacy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cazden, Courtney B.; Starfield, Sue

    1994-01-01

    In "Vygotsky and ESL Literacy Teaching," Cazden uses examples from South Africa to discuss internalization of socially acquired language, instruction as "scaffolded assistance," and social meanings of English-as-a-Second-Language literacy. In "Cummins, EAP, and Academic Literacy," Starfield focuses on a University of…

  9. Language, Cognition, and ESL Literacy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cazden, Courtney B.; Starfield, Sue

    1994-01-01

    In "Vygotsky and ESL Literacy Teaching," Cazden uses examples from South Africa to discuss internalization of socially acquired language, instruction as "scaffolded assistance," and social meanings of English-as-a-Second-Language literacy. In "Cummins, EAP, and Academic Literacy," Starfield focuses on a University of…

  10. Cognition and the evolution of camouflage.

    PubMed

    Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy

    2016-02-24

    Camouflage is one of the most widespread forms of anti-predator defence and prevents prey individuals from being detected or correctly recognized by would-be predators. Over the past decade, there has been a resurgence of interest in both the evolution of prey camouflage patterns, and in understanding animal cognition in a more ecological context. However, these fields rarely collide, and the role of cognition in the evolution of camouflage is poorly understood. Here, we review what we currently know about the role of both predator and prey cognition in the evolution of prey camouflage, outline why cognition may be an important selective pressure driving the evolution of camouflage and consider how studying the cognitive processes of animals may prove to be a useful tool to study the evolution of camouflage, and vice versa. In doing so, we highlight that we still have a lot to learn about the role of cognition in the evolution of camouflage and identify a number of avenues for future research. © 2016 The Author(s).

  11. Cognition and the evolution of camouflage

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Camouflage is one of the most widespread forms of anti-predator defence and prevents prey individuals from being detected or correctly recognized by would-be predators. Over the past decade, there has been a resurgence of interest in both the evolution of prey camouflage patterns, and in understanding animal cognition in a more ecological context. However, these fields rarely collide, and the role of cognition in the evolution of camouflage is poorly understood. Here, we review what we currently know about the role of both predator and prey cognition in the evolution of prey camouflage, outline why cognition may be an important selective pressure driving the evolution of camouflage and consider how studying the cognitive processes of animals may prove to be a useful tool to study the evolution of camouflage, and vice versa. In doing so, we highlight that we still have a lot to learn about the role of cognition in the evolution of camouflage and identify a number of avenues for future research. PMID:26911959

  12. Modelling language evolution: Examples and predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Tao; Shuai, Lan; Zhang, Menghan

    2014-06-01

    We survey recent computer modelling research of language evolution, focusing on a rule-based model simulating the lexicon-syntax coevolution and an equation-based model quantifying the language competition dynamics. We discuss four predictions of these models: (a) correlation between domain-general abilities (e.g. sequential learning) and language-specific mechanisms (e.g. word order processing); (b) coevolution of language and relevant competences (e.g. joint attention); (c) effects of cultural transmission and social structure on linguistic understandability; and (d) commonalities between linguistic, biological, and physical phenomena. All these contribute significantly to our understanding of the evolutions of language structures, individual learning mechanisms, and relevant biological and socio-cultural factors. We conclude the survey by highlighting three future directions of modelling studies of language evolution: (a) adopting experimental approaches for model evaluation; (b) consolidating empirical foundations of models; and (c) multi-disciplinary collaboration among modelling, linguistics, and other relevant disciplines.

  13. Language evolution and human-computer interaction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grudin, Jonathan; Norman, Donald A.

    1991-01-01

    Many of the issues that confront designers of interactive computer systems also appear in natural language evolution. Natural languages and human-computer interfaces share as their primary mission the support of extended 'dialogues' between responsive entities. Because in each case one participant is a human being, some of the pressures operating on natural languages, causing them to evolve in order to better support such dialogue, also operate on human-computer 'languages' or interfaces. This does not necessarily push interfaces in the direction of natural language - since one entity in this dialogue is not a human, this is not to be expected. Nonetheless, by discerning where the pressures that guide natural language evolution also appear in human-computer interaction, we can contribute to the design of computer systems and obtain a new perspective on natural languages.

  14. Language evolution and human-computer interaction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grudin, Jonathan; Norman, Donald A.

    1991-01-01

    Many of the issues that confront designers of interactive computer systems also appear in natural language evolution. Natural languages and human-computer interfaces share as their primary mission the support of extended 'dialogues' between responsive entities. Because in each case one participant is a human being, some of the pressures operating on natural languages, causing them to evolve in order to better support such dialogue, also operate on human-computer 'languages' or interfaces. This does not necessarily push interfaces in the direction of natural language - since one entity in this dialogue is not a human, this is not to be expected. Nonetheless, by discerning where the pressures that guide natural language evolution also appear in human-computer interaction, we can contribute to the design of computer systems and obtain a new perspective on natural languages.

  15. Cognitive Evolution by MMSE in Poststroke Patients

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    da Costa, Fabricia Azevedo

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the cognitive and clinical evolution of post-acute stroke patients and the evolution of each Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) item. A longitudinal study was conducted with 42 poststroke individuals in rehabilitation. The MMSE and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale were used to assess…

  16. Evidentiality in language and cognition.

    PubMed

    Papafragou, Anna; Li, Peggy; Choi, Youngon; Han, Chung-Hye

    2007-05-01

    What is the relation between language and thought? Specifically, how do linguistic and conceptual representations make contact during language learning? This paper addresses these questions by investigating the acquisition of evidentiality (the linguistic encoding of information source) and its relation to children's evidential reasoning. Previous studies have hypothesized that the acquisition of evidentiality is complicated by the subtleness and abstractness of the underlying concepts; other studies have suggested that learning a language which systematically (e.g. grammatically) marks evidential categories might serve as a pacesetter for early reasoning about sources of information. We conducted experimental studies with children learning Korean (a language with evidential morphology) and English (a language without grammaticalized evidentiality) in order to test these hypotheses. Our experiments compared 3- and 4-year-old Korean children's knowledge of the semantics and discourse functions of evidential morphemes to their (non-linguistic) ability to recognize and report different types of evidential sources. They also compared Korean children's source monitoring abilities to the source monitoring abilities of English-speaking children of the same age. We found that Korean-speaking children have considerable success in producing evidential morphology but their comprehension of such morphology is very fragile. Nevertheless, young Korean speakers are able to reason successfully about sources of information in non-linguistic tasks; furthermore, their performance in these tasks is similar to that of English-speaking peers. These results support the conclusion that the acquisition of evidential expressions poses considerable problems for learners; however, these problems are not (necessarily) conceptual in nature. Our data also suggest that, contrary to relativistic expectations, children's ability to reason about sources of information proceeds along similar lines in

  17. Cognitive pragmatics of language disorders in adults.

    PubMed

    Davis, G Albyn

    2007-05-01

    Cognitive pragmatics is the study of the mental structures and processes involved in the use of language in communicative contexts. Paradigms of cognitive psychology (off-line and on-line) have been applied to the study of the abilities to go beyond the literal (inference) and derive meaning in relation to context (e.g., metaphor and sarcasm). These pragmatic functions have been examined for the involvement of processes of meaning activation, embellishment, and revision. Clinical investigators have explored abilities and deficits in acquired aphasia, right hemisphere dysfunction, and closed head injury. This article reviews and provides some analysis of clinical studies that are consistent with the themes constituting cognitive pragmatics.

  18. Language learning, language use and the evolution of linguistic variation.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kenny; Perfors, Amy; Fehér, Olga; Samara, Anna; Swoboda, Kate; Wonnacott, Elizabeth

    2017-01-05

    Linguistic universals arise from the interaction between the processes of language learning and language use. A test case for the relationship between these factors is linguistic variation, which tends to be conditioned on linguistic or sociolinguistic criteria. How can we explain the scarcity of unpredictable variation in natural language, and to what extent is this property of language a straightforward reflection of biases in statistical learning? We review three strands of experimental work exploring these questions, and introduce a Bayesian model of the learning and transmission of linguistic variation along with a closely matched artificial language learning experiment with adult participants. Our results show that while the biases of language learners can potentially play a role in shaping linguistic systems, the relationship between biases of learners and the structure of languages is not straightforward. Weak biases can have strong effects on language structure as they accumulate over repeated transmission. But the opposite can also be true: strong biases can have weak or no effects. Furthermore, the use of language during interaction can reshape linguistic systems. Combining data and insights from studies of learning, transmission and use is therefore essential if we are to understand how biases in statistical learning interact with language transmission and language use to shape the structural properties of language.This article is part of the themed issue 'New frontiers for statistical learning in the cognitive sciences'.

  19. Language learning, language use and the evolution of linguistic variation

    PubMed Central

    Perfors, Amy; Fehér, Olga; Samara, Anna; Swoboda, Kate; Wonnacott, Elizabeth

    2017-01-01

    Linguistic universals arise from the interaction between the processes of language learning and language use. A test case for the relationship between these factors is linguistic variation, which tends to be conditioned on linguistic or sociolinguistic criteria. How can we explain the scarcity of unpredictable variation in natural language, and to what extent is this property of language a straightforward reflection of biases in statistical learning? We review three strands of experimental work exploring these questions, and introduce a Bayesian model of the learning and transmission of linguistic variation along with a closely matched artificial language learning experiment with adult participants. Our results show that while the biases of language learners can potentially play a role in shaping linguistic systems, the relationship between biases of learners and the structure of languages is not straightforward. Weak biases can have strong effects on language structure as they accumulate over repeated transmission. But the opposite can also be true: strong biases can have weak or no effects. Furthermore, the use of language during interaction can reshape linguistic systems. Combining data and insights from studies of learning, transmission and use is therefore essential if we are to understand how biases in statistical learning interact with language transmission and language use to shape the structural properties of language. This article is part of the themed issue ‘New frontiers for statistical learning in the cognitive sciences’. PMID:27872370

  20. LANGUAGE AND COGNITION IN THE YOUNG CHILD.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    ANISFELD, MOSHE

    THE LITERATURE ON INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT APPEARS TO ATTRIBUTE TO THE YOUNG CHILD A HIGH LEVEL OF LINGUISTIC DEVELOPMENT AND A RELATIVELY LOW LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT IN OTHER COGNITIVE SPHERES. IN AN ATTEMPT TO RESOLVE THIS DISCREPANCY, THE AUTHOR ADVANCED THE HYPOTHESIS THAT THE DESCRIPTIONS OF LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT ARE BASED ON AN ANALYSIS OF THE…

  1. Language Influence on Children's Cognitive Number Representation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alsawaie, Othman N.

    2004-01-01

    This study examined the effect of language on children's cognitive representation of number. The sample for the study consisted of 90 Arabic speaking children with a mean age of 80 months. Children were interviewed individually and asked to represent written two-digit numbers using base-10 blocks. A new approach for testing the linguistic…

  2. The Language Organ: Linguistics as Cognitive Physiology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Stephen R.; Lightfoot, David W.

    This book treats human language as the manifestation of a faculty of the mind, a mental organ whose nature is determined by human biology, suggesting that its functional properties should be explored just as physiology explores the functional properties of physical organs. The book asserts that linguistics investigates cognition, taking as its…

  3. Cognition Plus: Correlates of Language Learning Success.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ehrman, Madeline E.; Oxford, Rebecca L.

    1995-01-01

    Examines the relationships of individual difference variables to end-of-training proficiency ratings in speaking and reading for a large sample of adults in intensive training in a wide range of languages at the U.S. Department of State. Variables included tested cognitive aptitude, learning strategies, learning styles, personality, motivation and…

  4. Unraveling the evolution of uniquely human cognition.

    PubMed

    MacLean, Evan L

    2016-06-07

    A satisfactory account of human cognitive evolution will explain not only the psychological mechanisms that make our species unique, but also how, when, and why these traits evolved. To date, researchers have made substantial progress toward defining uniquely human aspects of cognition, but considerably less effort has been devoted to questions about the evolutionary processes through which these traits have arisen. In this article, I aim to link these complementary aims by synthesizing recent advances in our understanding of what makes human cognition unique, with theory and data regarding the processes of cognitive evolution. I review evidence that uniquely human cognition depends on synergism between both representational and motivational factors and is unlikely to be accounted for by changes to any singular cognitive system. I argue that, whereas no nonhuman animal possesses the full constellation of traits that define the human mind, homologies and analogies of critical aspects of human psychology can be found in diverse nonhuman taxa. I suggest that phylogenetic approaches to the study of animal cognition-which can address questions about the selective pressures and proximate mechanisms driving cognitive change-have the potential to yield important insights regarding the processes through which the human cognitive phenotype evolved.

  5. Cognition and Function in Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Barbara A., Ed.; Jurafsky, Dan, Ed.; Michaelis, Laura A., Ed.

    Selected papers include: "From Core to Periphery: A Study on the Directionality of Syntactic Change in Japanese" (Kaoru Horie); "On the Extension of Body-Part Nouns to Object-Part Nouns and Spatial Adpositions" (Yo Matsumoto); "Noun Classes: Language Change and Learning" (Maria Polinsky, Dan Jackson);…

  6. Cognition and Function in Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Barbara A., Ed.; Jurafsky, Dan, Ed.; Michaelis, Laura A., Ed.

    Selected papers include: "From Core to Periphery: A Study on the Directionality of Syntactic Change in Japanese" (Kaoru Horie); "On the Extension of Body-Part Nouns to Object-Part Nouns and Spatial Adpositions" (Yo Matsumoto); "Noun Classes: Language Change and Learning" (Maria Polinsky, Dan Jackson);…

  7. The shape and tempo of language evolution.

    PubMed

    Greenhill, S J; Atkinson, Q D; Meade, A; Gray, R D

    2010-08-22

    There are approximately 7000 languages spoken in the world today. This diversity reflects the legacy of thousands of years of cultural evolution. How far back we can trace this history depends largely on the rate at which the different components of language evolve. Rates of lexical evolution are widely thought to impose an upper limit of 6000-10,000 years on reliably identifying language relationships. In contrast, it has been argued that certain structural elements of language are much more stable. Just as biologists use highly conserved genes to uncover the deepest branches in the tree of life, highly stable linguistic features hold the promise of identifying deep relationships between the world's languages. Here, we present the first global network of languages based on this typological information. We evaluate the relative evolutionary rates of both typological and lexical features in the Austronesian and Indo-European language families. The first indications are that typological features evolve at similar rates to basic vocabulary but their evolution is substantially less tree-like. Our results suggest that, while rates of vocabulary change are correlated between the two language families, the rates of evolution of typological features and structural subtypes show no consistent relationship across families.

  8. The shape and tempo of language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Greenhill, S. J.; Atkinson, Q. D.; Meade, A.; Gray, R. D.

    2010-01-01

    There are approximately 7000 languages spoken in the world today. This diversity reflects the legacy of thousands of years of cultural evolution. How far back we can trace this history depends largely on the rate at which the different components of language evolve. Rates of lexical evolution are widely thought to impose an upper limit of 6000–10 000 years on reliably identifying language relationships. In contrast, it has been argued that certain structural elements of language are much more stable. Just as biologists use highly conserved genes to uncover the deepest branches in the tree of life, highly stable linguistic features hold the promise of identifying deep relationships between the world's languages. Here, we present the first global network of languages based on this typological information. We evaluate the relative evolutionary rates of both typological and lexical features in the Austronesian and Indo-European language families. The first indications are that typological features evolve at similar rates to basic vocabulary but their evolution is substantially less tree-like. Our results suggest that, while rates of vocabulary change are correlated between the two language families, the rates of evolution of typological features and structural subtypes show no consistent relationship across families. PMID:20375050

  9. Evolution of brain and language.

    PubMed

    Schoenemann, P Thomas

    2012-01-01

    In this chapter evolutionary changes in the human brain that are relevant to language are reviewed. Most of what is known involves assessments of the relative sizes of brain regions. Overall brain size is associated with some key behavioral features relevant to language, including complexity of the social environment and the degree of conceptual complexity. Prefrontal cortical and temporal lobe areas relevant to language appear to have increased disproportionately. Areas relevant to language production and perception have changed less dramatically. The extent to which these changes were a consequence specifically of language versus other behavioral adaptations is a good question, but the process may best be viewed as a complex adaptive system, whereby cultural learning interacts with biology iteratively over time to produce language. Overall, language appears to have adapted to the human brain more so than the reverse.

  10. Language, embodiment, and the cognitive niche.

    PubMed

    Clark, Andy

    2006-08-01

    Embodied agents use bodily actions and environmental interventions to make the world a better place to think in. Where does language fit into this emerging picture of the embodied, ecologically efficient agent? One useful way to approach this question is to consider language itself as a cognition-enhancing animal-built structure. To take this perspective is to view language as a kind of self-constructed cognitive niche: a persisting but never stationary material scaffolding whose crucial role in promoting thought and reason remains surprisingly poorly understood. It is the very materiality of this linguistic scaffolding, I suggest, that gives it some key benefits. By materializing thought in words, we create structures that are themselves proper objects of perception, manipulation, and (further) thought.

  11. New thinking: the evolution of human cognition.

    PubMed

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2012-08-05

    Humans are animals that specialize in thinking and knowing, and our extraordinary cognitive abilities have transformed every aspect of our lives. In contrast to our chimpanzee cousins and Stone Age ancestors, we are complex political, economic, scientific and artistic creatures, living in a vast range of habitats, many of which are our own creation. Research on the evolution of human cognition asks what types of thinking make us such peculiar animals, and how they have been generated by evolutionary processes. New research in this field looks deeper into the evolutionary history of human cognition, and adopts a more multi-disciplinary approach than earlier 'Evolutionary Psychology'. It is informed by comparisons between humans and a range of primate and non-primate species, and integrates findings from anthropology, archaeology, economics, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, philosophy and psychology. Using these methods, recent research reveals profound commonalities, as well striking differences, between human and non-human minds, and suggests that the evolution of human cognition has been much more gradual and incremental than previously assumed. It accords crucial roles to cultural evolution, techno-social co-evolution and gene-culture co-evolution. These have produced domain-general developmental processes with extraordinary power-power that makes human cognition, and human lives, unique.

  12. New thinking: the evolution of human cognition

    PubMed Central

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2012-01-01

    Humans are animals that specialize in thinking and knowing, and our extraordinary cognitive abilities have transformed every aspect of our lives. In contrast to our chimpanzee cousins and Stone Age ancestors, we are complex political, economic, scientific and artistic creatures, living in a vast range of habitats, many of which are our own creation. Research on the evolution of human cognition asks what types of thinking make us such peculiar animals, and how they have been generated by evolutionary processes. New research in this field looks deeper into the evolutionary history of human cognition, and adopts a more multi-disciplinary approach than earlier ‘Evolutionary Psychology’. It is informed by comparisons between humans and a range of primate and non-primate species, and integrates findings from anthropology, archaeology, economics, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, philosophy and psychology. Using these methods, recent research reveals profound commonalities, as well striking differences, between human and non-human minds, and suggests that the evolution of human cognition has been much more gradual and incremental than previously assumed. It accords crucial roles to cultural evolution, techno-social co-evolution and gene–culture co-evolution. These have produced domain-general developmental processes with extraordinary power—power that makes human cognition, and human lives, unique. PMID:22734052

  13. Unraveling the evolution of uniquely human cognition

    PubMed Central

    MacLean, Evan L.

    2016-01-01

    A satisfactory account of human cognitive evolution will explain not only the psychological mechanisms that make our species unique, but also how, when, and why these traits evolved. To date, researchers have made substantial progress toward defining uniquely human aspects of cognition, but considerably less effort has been devoted to questions about the evolutionary processes through which these traits have arisen. In this article, I aim to link these complementary aims by synthesizing recent advances in our understanding of what makes human cognition unique, with theory and data regarding the processes of cognitive evolution. I review evidence that uniquely human cognition depends on synergism between both representational and motivational factors and is unlikely to be accounted for by changes to any singular cognitive system. I argue that, whereas no nonhuman animal possesses the full constellation of traits that define the human mind, homologies and analogies of critical aspects of human psychology can be found in diverse nonhuman taxa. I suggest that phylogenetic approaches to the study of animal cognition—which can address questions about the selective pressures and proximate mechanisms driving cognitive change—have the potential to yield important insights regarding the processes through which the human cognitive phenotype evolved. PMID:27274041

  14. Archeological insights into hominin cognitive evolution.

    PubMed

    Wynn, Thomas; Coolidge, Frederick L

    2016-07-01

    How did the human mind evolve? How and when did we come to think in the ways we do? The last thirty years have seen an explosion in research related to the brain and cognition. This research has encompassed a range of biological and social sciences, from epigenetics and cognitive neuroscience to social and developmental psychology. Following naturally on this efflorescence has been a heightened interest in the evolution of the brain and cognition. Evolutionary scholars, including paleoanthropologists, have deployed the standard array of evolutionary methods. Ethological and experimental evidence has added significantly to our understanding of nonhuman brains and cognition, especially those of nonhuman primates. Studies of fossil brains through endocasts and sophisticated imaging techniques have revealed evolutionary changes in gross neural anatomy. Psychologists have also gotten into the game through application of reverse engineering to experimentally based descriptions of cognitive functions. For hominin evolution, there is another rich source of evidence of cognition, the archeological record. Using the methods of Paleolithic archeology and the theories and models of cognitive science, evolutionary cognitive archeology documents developments in the hominin mind that would otherwise be inaccessible. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Language as a multimodal phenomenon: implications for language learning, processing and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Vigliocco, Gabriella; Perniss, Pamela; Vinson, David

    2014-01-01

    Our understanding of the cognitive and neural underpinnings of language has traditionally been firmly based on spoken Indo-European languages and on language studied as speech or text. However, in face-to-face communication, language is multimodal: speech signals are invariably accompanied by visual information on the face and in manual gestures, and sign languages deploy multiple channels (hands, face and body) in utterance construction. Moreover, the narrow focus on spoken Indo-European languages has entrenched the assumption that language is comprised wholly by an arbitrary system of symbols and rules. However, iconicity (i.e. resemblance between aspects of communicative form and meaning) is also present: speakers use iconic gestures when they speak; many non-Indo-European spoken languages exhibit a substantial amount of iconicity in word forms and, finally, iconicity is the norm, rather than the exception in sign languages. This introduction provides the motivation for taking a multimodal approach to the study of language learning, processing and evolution, and discusses the broad implications of shifting our current dominant approaches and assumptions to encompass multimodal expression in both signed and spoken languages. PMID:25092660

  16. Language as a multimodal phenomenon: implications for language learning, processing and evolution.

    PubMed

    Vigliocco, Gabriella; Perniss, Pamela; Vinson, David

    2014-09-19

    Our understanding of the cognitive and neural underpinnings of language has traditionally been firmly based on spoken Indo-European languages and on language studied as speech or text. However, in face-to-face communication, language is multimodal: speech signals are invariably accompanied by visual information on the face and in manual gestures, and sign languages deploy multiple channels (hands, face and body) in utterance construction. Moreover, the narrow focus on spoken Indo-European languages has entrenched the assumption that language is comprised wholly by an arbitrary system of symbols and rules. However, iconicity (i.e. resemblance between aspects of communicative form and meaning) is also present: speakers use iconic gestures when they speak; many non-Indo-European spoken languages exhibit a substantial amount of iconicity in word forms and, finally, iconicity is the norm, rather than the exception in sign languages. This introduction provides the motivation for taking a multimodal approach to the study of language learning, processing and evolution, and discusses the broad implications of shifting our current dominant approaches and assumptions to encompass multimodal expression in both signed and spoken languages.

  17. The Immune Syntax Revisited: Opening New Windows on Language Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Uriagereka, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Recent research has added new dimensions to our understanding of classical evolution, according to which evolutionary novelties result from gene mutations inherited from parents to offspring. Language is surely one such novelty. Together with specific changes in our genome and epigenome, we suggest that two other (related) mechanisms may have contributed to the brain rewiring underlying human cognitive evolution and, specifically, the changes in brain connectivity that prompted the emergence of our species-specific linguistic abilities: the horizontal transfer of genetic material by viral and non-viral vectors and the brain/immune system crosstalk (more generally, the dialogue between the microbiota, the immune system, and the brain). PMID:26793054

  18. The Immune Syntax Revisited: Opening New Windows on Language Evolution.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Uriagereka, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Recent research has added new dimensions to our understanding of classical evolution, according to which evolutionary novelties result from gene mutations inherited from parents to offspring. Language is surely one such novelty. Together with specific changes in our genome and epigenome, we suggest that two other (related) mechanisms may have contributed to the brain rewiring underlying human cognitive evolution and, specifically, the changes in brain connectivity that prompted the emergence of our species-specific linguistic abilities: the horizontal transfer of genetic material by viral and non-viral vectors and the brain/immune system crosstalk (more generally, the dialogue between the microbiota, the immune system, and the brain).

  19. Language architecture and its import for evolution.

    PubMed

    Chomsky, Noam

    2017-02-07

    Inquiry into the evolution of some biological system evidently can proceed only as far as its nature is understood. Lacking such understanding, its manifestations are likely to appear to be chaotic, highly variable, and lacking significant general properties; and, accordingly, study of its evolution cannot be seriously undertaken. These truisms hold of the study of the human faculty of language FL just as for other biological systems. As discussed below, FL appears to be a shared human capacity in essentials, with options of variation of a kind to which we return. After a long lapse, the problem of evolution of language arose in mid-twentieth century when the first efforts were made to construct accounts of FL as a biological object, internal to an individual, with particular internal languages - I-languages in current terminology - as manifestations of FL. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Iterated learning and the evolution of language.

    PubMed

    Kirby, Simon; Griffiths, Tom; Smith, Kenny

    2014-10-01

    Iterated learning describes the process whereby an individual learns their behaviour by exposure to another individual's behaviour, who themselves learnt it in the same way. It can be seen as a key mechanism of cultural evolution. We review various methods for understanding how behaviour is shaped by the iterated learning process: computational agent-based simulations; mathematical modelling; and laboratory experiments in humans and non-human animals. We show how this framework has been used to explain the origins of structure in language, and argue that cultural evolution must be considered alongside biological evolution in explanations of language origins. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Language evolution: syntax before phonology?

    PubMed Central

    Collier, Katie; Bickel, Balthasar; van Schaik, Carel P.; Manser, Marta B.; Townsend, Simon W.

    2014-01-01

    Phonology and syntax represent two layers of sound combination central to language's expressive power. Comparative animal studies represent one approach to understand the origins of these combinatorial layers. Traditionally, phonology, where meaningless sounds form words, has been considered a simpler combination than syntax, and thus should be more common in animals. A linguistically informed review of animal call sequences demonstrates that phonology in animal vocal systems is rare, whereas syntax is more widespread. In the light of this and the absence of phonology in some languages, we hypothesize that syntax, present in all languages, evolved before phonology. PMID:24943364

  2. Language evolution: syntax before phonology?

    PubMed

    Collier, Katie; Bickel, Balthasar; van Schaik, Carel P; Manser, Marta B; Townsend, Simon W

    2014-08-07

    Phonology and syntax represent two layers of sound combination central to language's expressive power. Comparative animal studies represent one approach to understand the origins of these combinatorial layers. Traditionally, phonology, where meaningless sounds form words, has been considered a simpler combination than syntax, and thus should be more common in animals. A linguistically informed review of animal call sequences demonstrates that phonology in animal vocal systems is rare, whereas syntax is more widespread. In the light of this and the absence of phonology in some languages, we hypothesize that syntax, present in all languages, evolved before phonology. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  3. Can mathematics explain the evolution of human language?

    PubMed

    Witzany, Guenther

    2011-09-01

    Investigation into the sequence structure of the genetic code by means of an informatic approach is a real success story. The features of human language are also the object of investigation within the realm of formal language theories. They focus on the common rules of a universal grammar that lies behind all languages and determine generation of syntactic structures. This universal grammar is a depiction of material reality, i.e., the hidden logical order of things and its relations determined by natural laws. Therefore mathematics is viewed not only as an appropriate tool to investigate human language and genetic code structures through computer science-based formal language theory but is itself a depiction of material reality. This confusion between language as a scientific tool to describe observations/experiences within cognitive constructed models and formal language as a direct depiction of material reality occurs not only in current approaches but was the central focus of the philosophy of science debate in the twentieth century, with rather unexpected results. This article recalls these results and their implications for more recent mathematical approaches that also attempt to explain the evolution of human language.

  4. Can mathematics explain the evolution of human language?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Investigation into the sequence structure of the genetic code by means of an informatic approach is a real success story. The features of human language are also the object of investigation within the realm of formal language theories. They focus on the common rules of a universal grammar that lies behind all languages and determine generation of syntactic structures. This universal grammar is a depiction of material reality, i.e., the hidden logical order of things and its relations determined by natural laws. Therefore mathematics is viewed not only as an appropriate tool to investigate human language and genetic code structures through computer science-based formal language theory but is itself a depiction of material reality. This confusion between language as a scientific tool to describe observations/experiences within cognitive constructed models and formal language as a direct depiction of material reality occurs not only in current approaches but was the central focus of the philosophy of science debate in the twentieth century, with rather unexpected results. This article recalls these results and their implications for more recent mathematical approaches that also attempt to explain the evolution of human language. PMID:22046452

  5. Metaphoric competence in cognitive and language development.

    PubMed

    Marschark, M; Nall, L

    1985-01-01

    Consideration of the age-related changes in children's language and cognitive development suggests qualitative changes in their creative language use. Many, if not most, researchers in the area have argued that some metaphoric competence emerges far earlier than would be expected on the basis of explanation or interpretation tasks alone. These same researchers, however, appear largely to have neglected consideration of the cognitive prerequisites for such abilities and differences between what is nonliteral for the adult and nonliteral for the child. If figurative language is defined as involving intentional violation of conceptual boundaries in order to highlight some correspondence, one must be sure that children credited with that competence have (1) the metacognitive and metalinguistic abilities to understand at least some of the implications of such language (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980; Nelson, 1974; Nelson & Nelson, 1978), (2) a conceptual organization that entails the purportedly violated conceptual boundaries (Lange, 1978), and (3) some notion of metaphoric tension as well as ground. Having stacked the definitional cards, we doubt that many investigators would assert that 2-year-old children at nonverbal symbolic play are doing anything that is literally metaphorical in our terms. But neither will we deny that one can observe creative components in the verbal and nonverbal play of the young child that are precursors of later nonliteral language skills (see McCune-Nicolich, 1981, for discussion). We simply do not see these creative abilities as specific to language in any way that justifies calling them metaphoric competence. Rather, the child's abilities to deal flexibly with the world, to "play" with possible alternative organizations of it, and to see similarity in diversity represent the bases of subsequent cognitive as well as language development. Far from being an exceptional aspect of development, apparently nonliteral language should be considered a

  6. Manual praxis in stone tool manufacture: implications for language evolution.

    PubMed

    Ruck, Lana

    2014-12-01

    Alternative functions of the left-hemisphere dominant Broca's region have induced hypotheses regarding the evolutionary parallels between manual praxis and language in humans. Many recent studies on Broca's area reveal several assumptions about the cognitive mechanisms that underlie both functions, including: (1) an accurate, finely controlled body schema, (2) increasing syntactical abilities, particularly for goal-oriented actions, and (3) bilaterality and fronto-parietal connectivity. Although these characteristics are supported by experimental paradigms, many researchers have failed to acknowledge a major line of evidence for the evolutionary development of these traits: stone tools. The neuroscience of stone tool manufacture is a viable proxy for understanding evolutionary aspects of manual praxis and language, and may provide key information for evaluating competing hypotheses on the co-evolution of these cognitive domains in our species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The Evolution of Teachers' Language Awareness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrews, Stephen

    2006-01-01

    The paper focuses on the development of teacher thinking, specifically L2 teachers' subject-matter cognitions, i.e. their Teacher Language Awareness (TLA) (see e.g. Andrews 2001, 2003). The study examines the evolving TLA, as it relates to grammar, of three teachers, each a graduate with more than 10 years' experience of teaching English in Hong…

  8. Linguistics: evolution and language change.

    PubMed

    Bowern, Claire

    2015-01-05

    Linguists have long identified sound changes that occur in parallel. Now novel research shows how Bayesian modeling can capture complex concerted changes, revealing how evolution of sounds proceeds. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Modelling language evolution: Examples and predictions.

    PubMed

    Gong, Tao; Shuai, Lan; Zhang, Menghan

    2014-06-01

    We survey recent computer modelling research of language evolution, focusing on a rule-based model simulating the lexicon-syntax coevolution and an equation-based model quantifying the language competition dynamics. We discuss four predictions of these models: (a) correlation between domain-general abilities (e.g. sequential learning) and language-specific mechanisms (e.g. word order processing); (b) coevolution of language and relevant competences (e.g. joint attention); (c) effects of cultural transmission and social structure on linguistic understandability; and (d) commonalities between linguistic, biological, and physical phenomena. All these contribute significantly to our understanding of the evolutions of language structures, individual learning mechanisms, and relevant biological and socio-cultural factors. We conclude the survey by highlighting three future directions of modelling studies of language evolution: (a) adopting experimental approaches for model evaluation; (b) consolidating empirical foundations of models; and (c) multi-disciplinary collaboration among modelling, linguistics, and other relevant disciplines. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Genes, language, cognition, and culture: towards productive inquiry.

    PubMed

    Fitch, W Tecumseh

    2011-04-01

    The Queen Mary conference on “Integrating Genetic and Cultural Evolutionary Approaches to Language,” and the papers in this special issue, clearly illustrate the excitement and potential of trans-disciplinary approaches to language as an evolved biological capacity (phylogeny) and an evolving cultural entity (glossogeny). Excepting the present author, the presenters/authors are mostly young rising stars in their respective fields, and include scientists with backgrounds in linguistics, animal communication, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and computer science. On display was a clear willingness to engage with different approaches and terminology and a commitment to shared standards of scientific rigor, empirically driven theory, and logical argument. Because the papers assembled here, together with the introduction, speak for themselves, I will focus in this “extro-duction” on some of the terminological and conceptual difficulties which threaten to block this exciting wave of scientific progress in understanding language evolution, in both senses of that term. In particular I will first argue against the regrettably widespread practice of opposing cultural and genetic explanations of human cognition as if they were dichotomous. Second, I will unpack the debate concerning “general-purpose” and “domain-specific” mechanisms, which masquerades as a debate about nativism but is nothing of the sort. I believe that framing discussions of language in these terms has generated more heat than light, and that a modern molecular understanding of genes, development, behavior, and evolution renders many of the assumptions underlying this debate invalid.

  11. Language and Cognition in Normal and Late-Talking Toddlers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thal, Donna J.

    1991-01-01

    This paper analyzes Piagetian theory on the relative development of cognition and language, the local homology model which claims there are specific language-cognition relationships at specific points in time, normal development and local homology, and development in language-impaired children. Implications for clinical decision making are…

  12. Language Learning by Dint of Social Cognitive Advancement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathew, Bincy; Raja, B. William Dharma

    2015-01-01

    Language is of vital importance to human beings. It is a means of communication and it has specific cognitive links. Advanced social cognition is necessary for children to acquire language, and sophisticated mind-reading abilities to assume word meanings and communicate pragmatically. Language can be defined as a bi-directional system that permits…

  13. A Cognitive Approach to the Development of Early Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Susan A.; Feldman, Judith F.; Jankowski, Jeffery J.

    2009-01-01

    A controversial issue in the field of language development is whether language emergence and growth is dependent solely on processes specifically tied to language or could also depend on basic cognitive processes that affect all aspects of cognitive competence (domain-general processes). The present article examines this issue using a large…

  14. Language Learning by Dint of Social Cognitive Advancement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathew, Bincy; Raja, B. William Dharma

    2015-01-01

    Language is of vital importance to human beings. It is a means of communication and it has specific cognitive links. Advanced social cognition is necessary for children to acquire language, and sophisticated mind-reading abilities to assume word meanings and communicate pragmatically. Language can be defined as a bi-directional system that permits…

  15. Evolution of the neural language network.

    PubMed

    Friederici, Angela D

    2017-02-01

    The evolution of language correlates with distinct changes in the primate brain. The present article compares language-related brain regions and their white matter connectivity in the developing and mature human brain with the respective structures in the nonhuman primate brain. We will see that the functional specificity of the posterior portion of Broca's area (Brodmann area [BA 44]) and its dorsal fiber connection to the temporal cortex, shown to support the processing of structural hierarchy in humans, makes a crucial neural difference between the species. This neural circuit may thus be fundamental for the human syntactic capacity as the core of language.

  16. Learning bias, cultural evolution of language, and the biological evolution of the language faculty.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kenny

    2011-04-01

    The biases of individual language learners act to determine the learnability and cultural stability of languages: learners come to the language learning task with biases which make certain linguistic systems easier to acquire than others. These biases are repeatedly applied during the process of language transmission, and consequently should effect the types of languages we see in human populations. Understanding the cultural evolutionary consequences of particular learning biases is therefore central to understanding the link between language learning in individuals and language universals, common structural properties shared by all the world’s languages. This paper reviews a range of models and experimental studies which show that weak biases in individual learners can have strong effects on the structure of socially learned systems such as language, suggesting that strong universal tendencies in language structure do not require us to postulate strong underlying biases or constraints on language learning. Furthermore, understanding the relationship between learner biases and language design has implications for theories of the evolution of those learning biases: models of gene-culture coevolution suggest that, in situations where a cultural dynamic mediates between properties of individual learners and properties of language in this way, biological evolution is unlikely to lead to the emergence of strong constraints on learning.

  17. El Lenguaje en Evolucion (Language in Evolution)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jurado, Arturo

    1974-01-01

    The evolution of the Spanish language is due, in part, to popular culture and radio, television, films and advertising. Many words take on altered meaning when used in casual, intimate or slangy conversation; included is a list of such words with their informal connotations, as used by many Mexicans. (Text is in Spanish.) (CK)

  18. El Lenguaje en Evolucion (Language in Evolution)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jurado, Arturo

    1974-01-01

    The evolution of the Spanish language is due, in part, to popular culture and radio, television, films and advertising. Many words take on altered meaning when used in casual, intimate or slangy conversation; included is a list of such words with their informal connotations, as used by many Mexicans. (Text is in Spanish.) (CK)

  19. Music, cognition, culture, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Cross, I

    2001-06-01

    We seem able to define the biological foundations for our musicality within a clear and unitary framework, yet music itself does not appear so clearly definable. Music is different things and does different things in different cultures; the bundles of elements and functions that are music for any given culture may overlap minimally with those of another culture, even for those cultures where "music" constitutes a discrete and identifiable category of human activity in its own right. The dynamics of culture, of music as cultural praxis, are neither necessarily reducible, nor easily relatable, to the dynamics of our biologies. Yet music appears to be a universal human competence. Recent evolutionary theory, however, affords a means for exploring things biological and cultural within a framework in which they are at least commensurable. The adoption of this perspective shifts the focus of the search for the foundations of music away from the mature and particular expression of music within a specific culture or situation and on to the human capacity for musicality. This paper will survey recent research that examines that capacity and its evolutionary origins in the light of a definition of music that embraces music's multifariousness. It will be suggested that music, like speech, is a product of both our biologies and our social interactions; that music is a necessary and integral dimension of human development; and that music may have played a central role in the evolution of the modern human mind.

  20. Learning about primates' learning, language, and cognition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    1992-01-01

    Results are presented of many years of research on the methods of teaching primates the language and cognitive skills which were long considered to be unteachable to particular species of primates. It was found that chimpanzee subjects could not only learn a number of 'stock sentences' but to use them in variations and several combinations for the purpose of solving various problems. Apes placed in different rooms could be taught to communicate via computer, and collaborate with each other on doing specific tasks. Contrary to expectations, young rhesus monkeys proved to be able to learn as much as the chimpanzee species.

  1. Learning about primates' learning, language, and cognition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    1992-01-01

    Results are presented of many years of research on the methods of teaching primates the language and cognitive skills which were long considered to be unteachable to particular species of primates. It was found that chimpanzee subjects could not only learn a number of 'stock sentences' but to use them in variations and several combinations for the purpose of solving various problems. Apes placed in different rooms could be taught to communicate via computer, and collaborate with each other on doing specific tasks. Contrary to expectations, young rhesus monkeys proved to be able to learn as much as the chimpanzee species.

  2. Cognitive ornithology: the evolution of avian intelligence.

    PubMed

    Emery, Nathan J

    2006-01-29

    Comparative psychologists interested in the evolution of intelligence have focused their attention on social primates, whereas birds tend to be used as models of associative learning. However, corvids and parrots, which have forebrains relatively the same size as apes, live in complex social groups and have a long developmental period before becoming independent, have demonstrated ape-like intelligence. Although, ornithologists have documented thousands of hours observing birds in their natural habitat, they have focused their attention on avian behaviour and ecology, rather than intelligence. This review discusses recent studies of avian cognition contrasting two different approaches; the anthropocentric approach and the adaptive specialization approach. It is argued that the most productive method is to combine the two approaches. This is discussed with respects to recent investigations of two supposedly unique aspects of human cognition; episodic memory and theory of mind. In reviewing the evidence for avian intelligence, corvids and parrots appear to be cognitively superior to other birds and in many cases even apes. This suggests that complex cognition has evolved in species with very different brains through a process of convergent evolution rather than shared ancestry, although the notion that birds and mammals may share common neural connectivity patterns is discussed.

  3. Cognitive ornithology: the evolution of avian intelligence

    PubMed Central

    Emery, Nathan J

    2005-01-01

    Comparative psychologists interested in the evolution of intelligence have focused their attention on social primates, whereas birds tend to be used as models of associative learning. However, corvids and parrots, which have forebrains relatively the same size as apes, live in complex social groups and have a long developmental period before becoming independent, have demonstrated ape-like intelligence. Although, ornithologists have documented thousands of hours observing birds in their natural habitat, they have focused their attention on avian behaviour and ecology, rather than intelligence. This review discusses recent studies of avian cognition contrasting two different approaches; the anthropocentric approach and the adaptive specialization approach. It is argued that the most productive method is to combine the two approaches. This is discussed with respects to recent investigations of two supposedly unique aspects of human cognition; episodic memory and theory of mind. In reviewing the evidence for avian intelligence, corvids and parrots appear to be cognitively superior to other birds and in many cases even apes. This suggests that complex cognition has evolved in species with very different brains through a process of convergent evolution rather than shared ancestry, although the notion that birds and mammals may share common neural connectivity patterns is discussed. PMID:16553307

  4. Evolution in Mind: Evolutionary Dynamics, Cognitive Processes, and Bayesian Inference.

    PubMed

    Suchow, Jordan W; Bourgin, David D; Griffiths, Thomas L

    2017-07-01

    Evolutionary theory describes the dynamics of population change in settings affected by reproduction, selection, mutation, and drift. In the context of human cognition, evolutionary theory is most often invoked to explain the origins of capacities such as language, metacognition, and spatial reasoning, framing them as functional adaptations to an ancestral environment. However, evolutionary theory is useful for understanding the mind in a second way: as a mathematical framework for describing evolving populations of thoughts, ideas, and memories within a single mind. In fact, deep correspondences exist between the mathematics of evolution and of learning, with perhaps the deepest being an equivalence between certain evolutionary dynamics and Bayesian inference. This equivalence permits reinterpretation of evolutionary processes as algorithms for Bayesian inference and has relevance for understanding diverse cognitive capacities, including memory and creativity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. The evolution of language and thought.

    PubMed

    Lieberman, Philip

    2016-06-20

    Language primarily evolved as a vocal medium that transmits the attributes of human culture and the necessities of daily communication. Human language has a long, complex evolutionary history. Language also serves as an instrument of thought since it has become evident that in the course of this process neural circuits that initially evolved to regulate motor control, motor responses to external events, and ultimately talking were recycled to serve tasks such as working memory, cognitive flexibility linguistic tasks such as comprehending distinctions in meaning conveyed by syntax. This precludes the human brain possessing an organ devoted exclusively to language, such as the Faculty of Language proposed by Chomsky (1972, 2012). In essence like Fodor's (1983) modular model, a restatement of archaic phrenological theories (Spurzheim, 1815). The subcortical basal ganglia can be traced back to early anurans. Although our knowledge of the neural circuits of the human brain is at a very early stage and incomplete, the findings of independent studies over the past 40 years, discussed here, have identified circuits linking the basal ganglia with various areas of prefrontal cortex, posterior cortical regions and other subcortical structures. These circuits are active in linguistic tasks such as lexical access, comprehending distinctions in meaning conferred by syntax and the range of higher cognitive tasks involving executive control and play a critical role in conferring cognitive flexibility. The cingulate cortex which appeared in Therapsids, transitional mammal-like reptiles who lived in age of the dinosaurs, most likely enhanced mother-infant interaction, contributing to success in the Darwinian (1859) "Struggle for Existence" - the survival of progeny. They continue to fill that role in present-day mammals as well as being involved in controlling laryngeal phonation during speech and directing attention (Newman & MacLean, 1983; Cummings, 1993". The cerebellum and

  6. A cognitive approach to the development of early language.

    PubMed

    Rose, Susan A; Feldman, Judith F; Jankowski, Jeffery J

    2009-01-01

    A controversial issue in the field of language development is whether language emergence and growth is dependent solely on processes specifically tied to language or could also depend on basic cognitive processes that affect all aspects of cognitive competence (domain-general processes). The present article examines this issue using a large battery of infant information-processing measures of memory, representational competence, processing speed, and attention, many of which have been shown to predict general cognition in a cohort of full-terms and preterms. Results showed that various aspects of infant memory and representational competence (a) related to language at both 12 and 36 months, (b) predicted similarly for the two groups, and (c) predicted 36-month language, independently of birth status, 12-month language, and the 12-month Bayley Mental Development Index. Additionally, the results established predictive validity for the MacArthur 12-month language measure. These findings support a domain-general view of language.

  7. Non-Linguistic Cognitive Treatment for Primary Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ebert, Kerry Danahy; Kohnert, Kathryn

    2009-01-01

    Children with primary or "specific" language impairment (PLI) demonstrate subtle deficits in non-linguistic cognitive processing skills that may play a causal or contributing role in PLI. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility that short-term treatment of non-linguistic cognitive processing skills improves language abilities…

  8. The language capacity: architecture and evolution.

    PubMed

    Chomsky, Noam

    2017-02-01

    There is substantial evidence that the human language capacity (LC) is a species-specific biological property, essentially unique to humans, invariant among human groups, and dissociated from other cognitive systems. Each language, an instantiation of LC, consists of a generative procedure that yields a discrete infinity of hierarchically structured expressions with semantic interpretations, hence a kind of "language of thought" (LOT), along with an operation of externalization (EXT) to some sensory-motor system, typically sound. There is mounting evidence that generation of LOT observes language-independent principles of computational efficiency and is based on the simplest computational operations, and that EXT is an ancillary process not entering into the core semantic properties of LOT and is the primary locus of the apparent complexity, diversity, and mutability of language. These conclusions are not surprising, since the internal system is acquired virtually without evidence in fundamental respects, and EXT relates it to sensory-motor systems that are unrelated to it. Even such properties as the linear order of words appear to be reflexes of the sensory motor system, not available to generation of LOT. The limited evidence from the evolutionary record lends support to these conclusions, suggesting that LC emerged with Homo sapiens or not long after, and has not evolved since human groups dispersed.

  9. Two languages in mind: Bilingualism as a tool to investigate language, cognition, and the brain

    PubMed Central

    Kroll, Judith F.; Bobb, Susan C.; Hoshino, Noriko

    2014-01-01

    A series of discoveries in the last two decades has changed the way we think about bilingualism and its implications for language and cognition. One is that both languages are always active. The parallel activation of the two languages is thought to give rise to competition that imposes demands on the bilingual to control the language not in use to achieve fluency in the target language. The second is that there are consequences of bilingualism that affect the native as well as the second language. The native language changes in response to second language use. The third is that the consequences of bilingualism are not limited to language but appear to reflect a reorganization of brain networks that hold implications for the ways in which bilinguals negotiate cognitive competition more generally. The focus of recent research on bilingualism has been to understand the relation between these discoveries and the implications they hold for language, cognition, and the brain across the lifespan. PMID:25309055

  10. Two languages in mind: Bilingualism as a tool to investigate language, cognition, and the brain.

    PubMed

    Kroll, Judith F; Bobb, Susan C; Hoshino, Noriko

    2014-06-01

    A series of discoveries in the last two decades has changed the way we think about bilingualism and its implications for language and cognition. One is that both languages are always active. The parallel activation of the two languages is thought to give rise to competition that imposes demands on the bilingual to control the language not in use to achieve fluency in the target language. The second is that there are consequences of bilingualism that affect the native as well as the second language. The native language changes in response to second language use. The third is that the consequences of bilingualism are not limited to language but appear to reflect a reorganization of brain networks that hold implications for the ways in which bilinguals negotiate cognitive competition more generally. The focus of recent research on bilingualism has been to understand the relation between these discoveries and the implications they hold for language, cognition, and the brain across the lifespan.

  11. Language at Three Timescales: The Role of Real-Time Processes in Language Development and Evolution.

    PubMed

    McMurray, Bob

    2016-04-01

    Evolutionary developmental systems (evo-devo) theory stresses that selection pressures operate on entire developmental systems rather than just genes. This study extends this approach to language evolution, arguing that selection pressure may operate on two quasi-independent timescales. First, children clearly must acquire language successfully (as acknowledged in traditional evo-devo accounts) and evolution must equip them with the tools to do so. Second, while this is developing, they must also communicate with others in the moment using partially developed knowledge. These pressures may require different solutions, and their combination may underlie the evolution of complex mechanisms for language development and processing. I present two case studies to illustrate how the demands of both real-time communication and language acquisition may be subtly different (and interact). The first case study examines infant-directed speech (IDS). A recent view is that IDS underwent cultural to statistical learning mechanisms that infants use to acquire the speech categories of their language. However, recent data suggest is it may not have evolved to enhance development, but rather to serve a more real-time communicative function. The second case study examines the argument for seemingly specialized mechanisms for learning word meanings (e.g., fast-mapping). Both behavioral and computational work suggest that learning may be much slower and served by general-purpose mechanisms like associative learning. Fast-mapping, then, may be a real-time process meant to serve immediate communication, not learning, by augmenting incomplete vocabulary knowledge with constraints from the current context. Together, these studies suggest that evolutionary accounts consider selection pressure arising from both real-time communicative demands and from the need for accurate language development. Copyright © 2016 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  12. Nonlinguistic Cognitive Treatment for Bilingual Children with Primary Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ebert, Kerry Danahy; Rentmeester-Disher, Jill; Kohnert, Kathryn

    2012-01-01

    Substantial evidence points to the presence of subtle weaknesses in the nonlinguistic cognitive processing skills of children with primary (or specific) language impairment (PLI). It is possible that these weaknesses contribute to the language learning difficulties that characterize PLI, and that treating them can improve language skills. To test…

  13. A Cognitive Perspective on Language Learners' Listening Comprehension Problems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goh, Christine C. M.

    2000-01-01

    Offers a cognitive perspective on the comprehension problems of second language listeners by identifying real-time listening difficulties faced by English-as-Second-Language learners and examining these difficulties within the three-phase model of language comprehension proposed by Anderson (1995). Shows ten problems that occurred during the…

  14. The Mexican American Child: Language, Cognition, and Social Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia, Eugene E., Ed.

    The nine articles are divided into three general topics: language, cognition, and social development. Eduardo Hernandez-Chavez discusses strategies in early second language acquisition and their implications for bilingual instruction. Eugene E. Garcia, Lento Maez, and Gustavo Gonzales examine the incidence of language switching in Spanish/English…

  15. Nonlinguistic Cognitive Treatment for Bilingual Children with Primary Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ebert, Kerry Danahy; Rentmeester-Disher, Jill; Kohnert, Kathryn

    2012-01-01

    Substantial evidence points to the presence of subtle weaknesses in the nonlinguistic cognitive processing skills of children with primary (or specific) language impairment (PLI). It is possible that these weaknesses contribute to the language learning difficulties that characterize PLI, and that treating them can improve language skills. To test…

  16. Storytelling, behavior planning, and language evolution in context

    PubMed Central

    McBride, Glen

    2014-01-01

    An attempt is made to specify the structure of the hominin bands that began steps to language. Storytelling could evolve without need for language yet be strongly subject to natural selection and could provide a major feedback process in evolving language. A storytelling model is examined, including its effects on the evolution of consciousness and the possible timing of language evolution. Behavior planning is presented as a model of language evolution from storytelling. The behavior programming mechanism in both directions provide a model of creating and understanding behavior and language. Culture began with societies, then family evolution, family life in troops, but storytelling created a culture of experiences, a final step in the long process of achieving experienced adults by natural selection. Most language evolution occurred in conversations where evolving non-verbal feedback ensured mutual agreements on understanding. Natural language evolved in conversations with feedback providing understanding of changes. PMID:25360123

  17. The Evolution of the Language Faculty: Clarifications and Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitch, W. Tecumseh; Hauser, Marc D.; Chomsky, Noam

    2005-01-01

    In this response to Pinker and Jackendoff's critique, we extend our previous framework for discussion of language evolution, clarifying certain distinctions and elaborating on a number of points. In the first half of the paper, we reiterate that profitable research into the biology and evolution of language requires fractionation of ''language''…

  18. The Evolution of the Language Faculty: Clarifications and Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitch, W. Tecumseh; Hauser, Marc D.; Chomsky, Noam

    2005-01-01

    In this response to Pinker and Jackendoff's critique, we extend our previous framework for discussion of language evolution, clarifying certain distinctions and elaborating on a number of points. In the first half of the paper, we reiterate that profitable research into the biology and evolution of language requires fractionation of ''language''…

  19. Human brain evolution: harnessing the genomics (r)evolution to link genes, cognition, and behavior.

    PubMed

    Konopka, Genevieve; Geschwind, Daniel H

    2010-10-21

    The evolution of the human brain has resulted in numerous specialized features including higher cognitive processes such as language. Knowledge of whole-genome sequence and structural variation via high-throughput sequencing technology provides an unprecedented opportunity to view human evolution at high resolution. However, phenotype discovery is a critical component of these endeavors and the use of nontraditional model organisms will also be critical for piecing together a complete picture. Ultimately, the union of developmental studies of the brain with studies of unique phenotypes in a myriad of species will result in a more thorough model of the groundwork the human brain was built upon. Furthermore, these integrative approaches should provide important insights into human diseases. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Probabilistic language models in cognitive neuroscience: Promises and pitfalls.

    PubMed

    Armeni, Kristijan; Willems, Roel M; Frank, Stefan L

    2017-09-05

    Cognitive neuroscientists of language comprehension study how neural computations relate to cognitive computations during comprehension. On the cognitive part of the equation, it is important that the computations and processing complexity are explicitly defined. Probabilistic language models can be used to give a computationally explicit account of language complexity during comprehension. Whereas such models have so far predominantly been evaluated against behavioral data, only recently have the models been used to explain neurobiological signals. Measures obtained from these models emphasize the probabilistic, information-processing view of language understanding and provide a set of tools that can be used for testing neural hypotheses about language comprehension. Here, we provide a cursory review of the theoretical foundations and example neuroimaging studies employing probabilistic language models. We highlight the advantages and potential pitfalls of this approach and indicate avenues for future research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. The cognitive niche: Coevolution of intelligence, sociality, and language

    PubMed Central

    Pinker, Steven

    2010-01-01

    Although Darwin insisted that human intelligence could be fully explained by the theory of evolution, the codiscoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace, claimed that abstract intelligence was of no use to ancestral humans and could only be explained by intelligent design. Wallace's apparent paradox can be dissolved with two hypotheses about human cognition. One is that intelligence is an adaptation to a knowledge-using, socially interdependent lifestyle, the “cognitive niche.” This embraces the ability to overcome the evolutionary fixed defenses of plants and animals by applications of reasoning, including weapons, traps, coordinated driving of game, and detoxification of plants. Such reasoning exploits intuitive theories about different aspects of the world, such as objects, forces, paths, places, states, substances, and other people's beliefs and desires. The theory explains many zoologically unusual traits in Homo sapiens, including our complex toolkit, wide range of habitats and diets, extended childhoods and long lives, hypersociality, complex mating, division into cultures, and language (which multiplies the benefit of knowledge because know-how is useful not only for its practical benefits but as a trade good with others, enhancing the evolution of cooperation). The second hypothesis is that humans possess an ability of metaphorical abstraction, which allows them to coopt faculties that originally evolved for physical problem-solving and social coordination, apply them to abstract subject matter, and combine them productively. These abilities can help explain the emergence of abstract cognition without supernatural or exotic evolutionary forces and are in principle testable by analyses of statistical signs of selection in the human genome. PMID:20445094

  2. The Oscillopathic Nature of Language Deficits in Autism: From Genes to Language Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Murphy, Elliot

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are pervasive neurodevelopmental disorders involving a number of deficits to linguistic cognition. The gap between genetics and the pathophysiology of ASD remains open, in particular regarding its distinctive linguistic profile. The goal of this article is to attempt to bridge this gap, focusing on how the autistic brain processes language, particularly through the perspective of brain rhythms. Due to the phenomenon of pleiotropy, which may take some decades to overcome, we believe that studies of brain rhythms, which are not faced with problems of this scale, may constitute a more tractable route to interpreting language deficits in ASD and eventually other neurocognitive disorders. Building on recent attempts to link neural oscillations to certain computational primitives of language, we show that interpreting language deficits in ASD as oscillopathic traits is a potentially fruitful way to construct successful endophenotypes of this condition. Additionally, we will show that candidate genes for ASD are overrepresented among the genes that played a role in the evolution of language. These genes include (and are related to) genes involved in brain rhythmicity. We hope that the type of steps taken here will additionally lead to a better understanding of the comorbidity, heterogeneity, and variability of ASD, and may help achieve a better treatment of the affected populations. PMID:27047363

  3. Where Is Cognition? Emotion and Cognition in Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schumann, John H.

    1994-01-01

    Argues that the brain is the seat of cognition, that cognitive processes are neutral processes, and that, in the brain, affect and cognition are distinguishable but inseparable. This perspective allows a reconceptualization of the affective filter in terms of the brain's stimulus appraisal system, which interacts with cognition to promote or…

  4. Cultural evolution: implications for understanding the human language faculty and its evolution.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kenny; Kirby, Simon

    2008-11-12

    Human language is unique among the communication systems of the natural world: it is socially learned and, as a consequence of its recursively compositional structure, offers open-ended communicative potential. The structure of this communication system can be explained as a consequence of the evolution of the human biological capacity for language or the cultural evolution of language itself. We argue, supported by a formal model, that an explanatory account that involves some role for cultural evolution has profound implications for our understanding of the biological evolution of the language faculty: under a number of reasonable scenarios, cultural evolution can shield the language faculty from selection, such that strongly constraining language-specific learning biases are unlikely to evolve. We therefore argue that language is best seen as a consequence of cultural evolution in populations with a weak and/or domain-general language faculty.

  5. Nonlinguistic cognitive treatment for bilingual children with primary language impairment

    PubMed Central

    EBERT, KERRY DANAHY; RENTMEESTER-DISHER, JILL; KOHNERT, KATHRYN

    2014-01-01

    Substantial evidence points to the presence of subtle weaknesses in the nonlinguistic cognitive processing skills of children with primary (or specific) language impairment (PLI). It is possible that these weaknesses contribute to the language learning difficulties that characterize PLI, and that treating them can improve language skills. To test this premise, we treated two nonlinguistic cognitive processing skills, processing speed and sustained selective attention, in two Spanish–English bilingual children with PLI. The study followed a single-subject multiple baseline design, with both repeated measures and standardized pre- and post-testing as outcome measures. Results from the repeated measures tasks showed that both participants made gains in nonlinguistic cognitive processing skills as well as in Spanish and English. These results both replicate and extend prior work showing that non-linguistic cognitive processing treatment can positively affect language skills in children with PLI. PMID:22540358

  6. Grounding language in action and perception: From cognitive agents to humanoid robots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cangelosi, Angelo

    2010-06-01

    In this review we concentrate on a grounded approach to the modeling of cognition through the methodologies of cognitive agents and developmental robotics. This work will focus on the modeling of the evolutionary and developmental acquisition of linguistic capabilities based on the principles of symbol grounding. We review cognitive agent and developmental robotics models of the grounding of language to demonstrate their consistency with the empirical and theoretical evidence on language grounding and embodiment, and to reveal the benefits of such an approach in the design of linguistic capabilities in cognitive robotic agents. In particular, three different models will be discussed, where the complexity of the agent's sensorimotor and cognitive system gradually increases: from a multi-agent simulation of language evolution, to a simulated robotic agent model for symbol grounding transfer, to a model of language comprehension in the humanoid robot iCub. The review also discusses the benefits of the use of humanoid robotic platform, and specifically of the open source iCub platform, for the study of embodied cognition.

  7. Grounding language in action and perception: from cognitive agents to humanoid robots.

    PubMed

    Cangelosi, Angelo

    2010-06-01

    In this review we concentrate on a grounded approach to the modeling of cognition through the methodologies of cognitive agents and developmental robotics. This work will focus on the modeling of the evolutionary and developmental acquisition of linguistic capabilities based on the principles of symbol grounding. We review cognitive agent and developmental robotics models of the grounding of language to demonstrate their consistency with the empirical and theoretical evidence on language grounding and embodiment, and to reveal the benefits of such an approach in the design of linguistic capabilities in cognitive robotic agents. In particular, three different models will be discussed, where the complexity of the agent's sensorimotor and cognitive system gradually increases: from a multi-agent simulation of language evolution, to a simulated robotic agent model for symbol grounding transfer, to a model of language comprehension in the humanoid robot iCub. The review also discusses the benefits of the use of humanoid robotic platform, and specifically of the open source iCub platform, for the study of embodied cognition.

  8. Music and language perception: expectations, structural integration, and cognitive sequencing.

    PubMed

    Tillmann, Barbara

    2012-10-01

    Music can be described as sequences of events that are structured in pitch and time. Studying music processing provides insight into how complex event sequences are learned, perceived, and represented by the brain. Given the temporal nature of sound, expectations, structural integration, and cognitive sequencing are central in music perception (i.e., which sounds are most likely to come next and at what moment should they occur?). This paper focuses on similarities in music and language cognition research, showing that music cognition research provides insight into the understanding of not only music processing but also language processing and the processing of other structured stimuli. The hypothesis of shared resources between music and language processing and of domain-general dynamic attention has motivated the development of research to test music as a means to stimulate sensory, cognitive, and motor processes. Copyright © 2012 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  9. Cognitive Approach to Assessing Pragmatic Language Comprehension in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryder, Nuala; Leinonen, Eeva; Schulz, Joerg

    2008-01-01

    Background: Pragmatic language impairment in children with specific language impairment has proved difficult to assess, and the nature of their abilities to comprehend pragmatic meaning has not been fully investigated. Aims: To develop both a cognitive approach to pragmatic language assessment based on Relevance Theory and an assessment tool for…

  10. Slip of the tongue: Implications for evolution and language development.

    PubMed

    Forrester, Gillian S; Rodriguez, Alina

    2015-08-01

    A prevailing theory regarding the evolution of language implicates a gestural stage prior to the emergence of speech. In support of a transition of human language from a gestural to a vocal system, articulation of the hands and the tongue are underpinned by overlapping left hemisphere dominant neural regions. Behavioral studies demonstrate that human adults perform sympathetic mouth actions in imitative synchrony with manual actions. Additionally, right-handedness for precision manual actions in children has been correlated with the typical development of language, while a lack of hand bias has been associated with psychopathology. It therefore stands to reason that sympathetic mouth actions during fine precision motor action of the hands may be lateralized. We employed a fine-grained behavioral coding paradigm to provide the first investigation of tongue protrusions in typically developing 4-year old children. Tongue protrusions were investigated across a range of cognitive tasks that required varying degrees of manual action: precision motor action, gross motor action and no motor actions. The rate of tongue protrusions was influenced by the motor requirements of the task and tongue protrusions were significantly right-biased for only precision manual motor action (p<.001). From an evolutionary perspective, tongue protrusions can drive new investigations regarding how an early human communication system transitioned from hand to mouth. From a developmental perspective, the present study may serve to reveal patterns of tongue protrusions during the motor development of typically developing children. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Biological adaptations for functional features of language in the face of cultural evolution.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Morten H; Reali, Florencia; Chater, Nick

    2011-04-01

    Although there may be no true language universals, it is nonetheless possible to discern several family resemblance patterns across the languages of the world. Recent work on the cultural evolution of language indicates the source of these patterns is unlikely to be an innate universal grammar evolved through biological adaptations for arbitrary linguistic features. Instead, it has been suggested that the patterns of resemblance emerge because language has been shaped by the brain, with individual languages representing different but partially overlapping solutions to the same set of nonlinguistic constraints. Here, we use computational simulations to investigate whether biological adaptation for functional features of language, deriving from cognitive and communicative constraints, may nonetheless be possible alongside rapid cultural evolution. Specifically, we focus on the Baldwin effect as an evolutionary mechanism by which previously learned linguistic features might become innate through natural selection across many generations of language users. The results indicate that cultural evolution of language does not necessarily prevent functional features of language from becoming genetically fixed, thus potentially providing a particularly informative source of constraints on cross-linguistic resemblance patterns.

  12. Language as grist to the mill of cognition.

    PubMed

    Tillas, Alexandros

    2015-08-01

    There is a growing consensus that natural language plays a significant role in our cognitive lives. However, this role of language is not adequately characterised. In this paper, I investigate the relationship between natural language and thinking and argue that thinking operates largely according to associationistic rules. Furthermore, I show that language is neither restricted to interfacing between a 'Language of Thought' and the conscious level, nor is it constitutively involved in thinking. Unlike available alternatives, the suggested view predicts and accommodates a large battery of empirical evidence. Furthermore, it avoids problems that associationistic views traditionally faced, e.g. problems of propositional thinking and compositionality of thought.

  13. Memory and Language Improvements Following Cognitive Control Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hussey, Erika K.; Harbison, J. Isaiah; Teubner-Rhodes, Susan E.; Mishler, Alan; Velnoskey, Kayla; Novick, Jared M.

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive control refers to adjusting thoughts and actions when confronted with conflict during information processing. We tested whether this ability is causally linked to performance on certain language and memory tasks by using cognitive control training to systematically modulate people's ability to resolve information-conflict across domains.…

  14. Memory and Language Improvements Following Cognitive Control Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hussey, Erika K.; Harbison, J. Isaiah; Teubner-Rhodes, Susan E.; Mishler, Alan; Velnoskey, Kayla; Novick, Jared M.

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive control refers to adjusting thoughts and actions when confronted with conflict during information processing. We tested whether this ability is causally linked to performance on certain language and memory tasks by using cognitive control training to systematically modulate people's ability to resolve information-conflict across domains.…

  15. Affective, Cognitive and Social Factors in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tucker, G. Richard; And Others

    1976-01-01

    This paper examines the role of selected affective, cognitive and social factors in second language acquisition, in an attempt to define a group of factors associated with success in second language learning within the formal educational system. Also examined is the effect of different teaching programs on an optimal group of factors. (CLK)

  16. Human brain evolution: harnessing the genomics (r)evolution to link genes, cognition, and behavior

    PubMed Central

    Konopka, Genevieve; Geschwind, Daniel H.

    2010-01-01

    The evolution of the human brain has resulted in numerous specialized features including higher cognitive processes, such as language. The combination of our newfound communication expertise together with the process of transgenerational evolution at the epigenetic level has led to an exponential increase in human knowledge and abilities. In balance with these beneficent attainments though, the human brain has also acquired vulnerabilities to neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, which reflect genetic and environmental factors. To understand the mechanisms of this disease susceptibility, a deeper appreciation of the developmental processes and their relationship to underlying features of brain evolution will be necessary. Knowledge of whole genome sequence and structural variation via high throughput sequencing technology provides an unprecedented opportunity to view human evolution at high resolution. However, phenotype discovery is a critical component of these endeavors and the use of non-traditional model organisms will also be critical for piecing together a complete picture. Ultimately, the union of developmental studies of the brain with studies of unique phenotypes in a myriad of species will result in a more thorough model of the groundwork the human brain built upon. Furthermore, these integrative approaches should provide important insights into human diseases. PMID:20955931

  17. Cerebellum, Language, and Cognition in Autism and Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hodge, Steven M.; Makris, Nikos; Kennedy, David N.; Caviness, Verne S., Jr.; Howard, James; McGrath, Lauren; Steele, Shelly; Frazier, Jean A.; Tager-Flusberg, Helen; Harris, Gordon J.

    2010-01-01

    We performed cerebellum segmentation and parcellation on magnetic resonance images from right-handed boys, aged 6-13 years, including 22 boys with autism [16 with language impairment (ALI)], 9 boys with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), and 11 normal controls. Language-impaired groups had reversed asymmetry relative to unimpaired groups in…

  18. Cerebellum, Language, and Cognition in Autism and Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hodge, Steven M.; Makris, Nikos; Kennedy, David N.; Caviness, Verne S., Jr.; Howard, James; McGrath, Lauren; Steele, Shelly; Frazier, Jean A.; Tager-Flusberg, Helen; Harris, Gordon J.

    2010-01-01

    We performed cerebellum segmentation and parcellation on magnetic resonance images from right-handed boys, aged 6-13 years, including 22 boys with autism [16 with language impairment (ALI)], 9 boys with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), and 11 normal controls. Language-impaired groups had reversed asymmetry relative to unimpaired groups in…

  19. Synaptic scaffold evolution generated components of vertebrate cognitive complexity

    PubMed Central

    Nithianantharajah, J.; Komiyama, N.H.; McKechanie, A.; Johnstone, M.; Blackwood, D. H.; St Clair, D.; Emes, R.D.; van de Lagemaat, L. N.; Saksida, L.M.; Bussey, T.J.; Grant, S.G.N.

    2014-01-01

    The origins and evolution of higher cognitive functions including complex forms of learning, attention and executive functions are unknown. A potential mechanism driving the evolution of vertebrate cognition early in the vertebrate lineage (550 My ago) was genome duplication and subsequent diversification of postsynaptic genes. Here we report the first genetic analysis of a vertebrate gene family in cognitive functions measured using computerized touchscreens. Comparison of mice carrying mutations in all four Dlg paralogs show simple associative learning required Dlg4, while Dlg2 and Dlg3 diversified to play opposing roles in complex cognitive processes. Exploiting the translational utility of touchscreens in humans and mice, testing Dlg2 mutations in both species showed Dlg2’s role in complex learning, cognitive flexibility and attention has been highly conserved over 100 My. Dlg family mutations underlie psychiatric disorders suggesting genome evolution expanded the complexity of vertebrate cognition at the cost of susceptibility to mental illness. PMID:23201973

  20. Rate of language evolution is affected by population size

    PubMed Central

    Bromham, Lindell; Hua, Xia; Fitzpatrick, Thomas G.; Greenhill, Simon J.

    2015-01-01

    The effect of population size on patterns and rates of language evolution is controversial. Do languages with larger speaker populations change faster due to a greater capacity for innovation, or do smaller populations change faster due to more efficient diffusion of innovations? Do smaller populations suffer greater loss of language elements through founder effects or drift, or do languages with more speakers lose features due to a process of simplification? Revealing the influence of population size on the tempo and mode of language evolution not only will clarify underlying mechanisms of language change but also has practical implications for the way that language data are used to reconstruct the history of human cultures. Here, we provide, to our knowledge, the first empirical, statistically robust test of the influence of population size on rates of language evolution, controlling for the evolutionary history of the populations and formally comparing the fit of different models of language evolution. We compare rates of gain and loss of cognate words for basic vocabulary in Polynesian languages, an ideal test case with a well-defined history. We demonstrate that larger populations have higher rates of gain of new words whereas smaller populations have higher rates of word loss. These results show that demographic factors can influence rates of language evolution and that rates of gain and loss are affected differently. These findings are strikingly consistent with general predictions of evolutionary models. PMID:25646448

  1. Rate of language evolution is affected by population size.

    PubMed

    Bromham, Lindell; Hua, Xia; Fitzpatrick, Thomas G; Greenhill, Simon J

    2015-02-17

    The effect of population size on patterns and rates of language evolution is controversial. Do languages with larger speaker populations change faster due to a greater capacity for innovation, or do smaller populations change faster due to more efficient diffusion of innovations? Do smaller populations suffer greater loss of language elements through founder effects or drift, or do languages with more speakers lose features due to a process of simplification? Revealing the influence of population size on the tempo and mode of language evolution not only will clarify underlying mechanisms of language change but also has practical implications for the way that language data are used to reconstruct the history of human cultures. Here, we provide, to our knowledge, the first empirical, statistically robust test of the influence of population size on rates of language evolution, controlling for the evolutionary history of the populations and formally comparing the fit of different models of language evolution. We compare rates of gain and loss of cognate words for basic vocabulary in Polynesian languages, an ideal test case with a well-defined history. We demonstrate that larger populations have higher rates of gain of new words whereas smaller populations have higher rates of word loss. These results show that demographic factors can influence rates of language evolution and that rates of gain and loss are affected differently. These findings are strikingly consistent with general predictions of evolutionary models.

  2. Reciprocal influences between maternal language and children's language and cognitive development in low-income families.

    PubMed

    Song, Lulu; Spier, Elizabeth T; Tamis-Lemonda, Catherine S

    2014-03-01

    We examined reciprocal associations between early maternal language use and children's language and cognitive development in seventy ethnically diverse, low-income families. Mother-child dyads were videotaped when children were aged 2;0 and 3;0. Video transcripts were analyzed for quantity and lexical diversity of maternal and child language. Child cognitive development was assessed at both ages and child receptive vocabulary was assessed at age 3;0. Maternal language related to children's lexical diversity at each age, and maternal language at age 2;0, was associated with children's receptive vocabulary and cognitive development at age 3;0. Furthermore, children's cognitive development at age 2;0 was associated with maternal language at age 3;0 controlling for maternal language at age 2;0, suggesting bi-directionality in mother-child associations. The quantity and diversity of the language children hear at home has developmental implications for children from low-income households. In addition, children's early cognitive skills further feed into their subsequent language experiences.

  3. Brain. Conscious and Unconscious Mechanisms of Cognition, Emotions, and Language

    PubMed Central

    Perlovsky, Leonid; Ilin, Roman

    2012-01-01

    Conscious and unconscious brain mechanisms, including cognition, emotions and language are considered in this review. The fundamental mechanisms of cognition include interactions between bottom-up and top-down signals. The modeling of these interactions since the 1960s is briefly reviewed, analyzing the ubiquitous difficulty: incomputable combinatorial complexity (CC). Fundamental reasons for CC are related to the Gödel’s difficulties of logic, a most fundamental mathematical result of the 20th century. Many scientists still “believed” in logic because, as the review discusses, logic is related to consciousness; non-logical processes in the brain are unconscious. CC difficulty is overcome in the brain by processes “from vague-unconscious to crisp-conscious” (representations, plans, models, concepts). These processes are modeled by dynamic logic, evolving from vague and unconscious representations toward crisp and conscious thoughts. We discuss experimental proofs and relate dynamic logic to simulators of the perceptual symbol system. “From vague to crisp” explains interactions between cognition and language. Language is mostly conscious, whereas cognition is only rarely so; this clarifies much about the mind that might seem mysterious. All of the above involve emotions of a special kind, aesthetic emotions related to knowledge and to cognitive dissonances. Cognition-language-emotional mechanisms operate throughout the hierarchy of the mind and create all higher mental abilities. The review discusses cognitive functions of the beautiful, sublime, music. PMID:24961270

  4. Understanding the Consequences of Bilingualism for Language Processing and Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Kroll, Judith F.; Bialystok, Ellen

    2013-01-01

    Contemporary research on bilingualism has been framed by two major discoveries. In the realm of language processing, studies of comprehension and production show that bilinguals activate information about both languages when using one language alone. Parallel activation of the two languages has been demonstrated for highly proficient bilinguals as well as second language learners and appears to be present even when distinct properties of the languages themselves might be sufficient to bias attention towards the language in use. In the realm of cognitive processing, studies of executive function have demonstrated a bilingual advantage, with bilinguals outperforming their monolingual counterparts on tasks that require ignoring irrelevant information, task switching, and resolving conflict. Our claim is that these outcomes are related and have the overall effect of changing the way that both cognitive and linguistic processing are carried out for bilinguals. In this article we consider each of these domains of bilingual performance and consider the kinds of evidence needed to support this view. We argue that the tendency to consider bilingualism as a unitary phenomenon explained in terms of simple component processes has created a set of apparent controversies that masks the richness of the central finding in this work: the adult mind and brain are open to experience in ways that create profound consequences for both language and cognition. PMID:24223260

  5. Language and cognitive outcomes in internationally adopted children.

    PubMed

    Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Weitzman, Carol; Schuh, Jillian; de Marchena, Ashley; Casey, B J

    2011-05-01

    This study focuses on the association between language skills and core cognitive processes relative to the duration of institutionalization in children adopted from orphanages abroad. Participants in the adoptive group (n = 46) had arrived in the United States between the ages of 2 and 84 months (mean = 24 months), and had been living in the United States for 1-9 years. Drawing on both experimental and standardized assessments, language skills of the international adoptees differed as a function of length of time spent in an institution and from those of 24 nonadopted controls. Top-down cognitive assessments including measures of explicit memory and cognitive control differed between adopted and nonadopted children, yet differences between groups in bottom-up implicit learning processes were unremarkable. Based on the present findings, we propose a speculative model linking language and cognitive changes to underlying neural circuitry alterations that reflect the impact of chronic stress, due to adoptees' experience of noncontingent, nonindividualized caregiving. Thus, the present study provides support for a relationship between domain-general cognitive processes and language acquisition, and describes a potential mechanism by which language skills are affected by institutionalization.

  6. Plasticity of Human Spatial Cognition: Spatial Language and Cognition Covary across Cultures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haun, Daniel B. M.; Rapold, Christian J.; Janzen, Gabriele; Levinson, Stephen C.

    2011-01-01

    The present paper explores cross-cultural variation in spatial cognition by comparing spatial reconstruction tasks by Dutch and Namibian elementary school children. These two communities differ in the way they predominantly express spatial relations in language. Four experiments investigate cognitive strategy preferences across different levels of…

  7. Plasticity of Human Spatial Cognition: Spatial Language and Cognition Covary across Cultures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haun, Daniel B. M.; Rapold, Christian J.; Janzen, Gabriele; Levinson, Stephen C.

    2011-01-01

    The present paper explores cross-cultural variation in spatial cognition by comparing spatial reconstruction tasks by Dutch and Namibian elementary school children. These two communities differ in the way they predominantly express spatial relations in language. Four experiments investigate cognitive strategy preferences across different levels of…

  8. The Evolution and Future of Cognitive Research in Music.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Jack A.

    1993-01-01

    Discusses the evolution and current status of cognitive research in music. Identifies the field's five research branches: (1) sensation; (2) perception; (3) concept formation and memory; (4) affect or emotions; and (5) psychomotor activity. Recommends five changes for the future of cognitive musicology. (CFR)

  9. Cognitive Empathy and Emotional Empathy in Human Behavior and Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Adam

    2006-01-01

    This article presents 7 simple models of the relationship between cognitive empathy (mental perspective taking) and emotional empathy (the vicarious sharing of emotion). I consider behavioral outcomes of the models, arguing that, during human evolution, natural selection may have acted on variation in the relationship between cognitive empathy and…

  10. Cognitive Empathy and Emotional Empathy in Human Behavior and Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Adam

    2006-01-01

    This article presents 7 simple models of the relationship between cognitive empathy (mental perspective taking) and emotional empathy (the vicarious sharing of emotion). I consider behavioral outcomes of the models, arguing that, during human evolution, natural selection may have acted on variation in the relationship between cognitive empathy and…

  11. Number as a Cognitive Technology: Evidence from Piraha Language and Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frank, Michael C.; Everett, Daniel L.; Fedorenko, Evelina; Gibson, Edward

    2008-01-01

    Does speaking a language without number words change the way speakers of that language perceive exact quantities? The Piraha are an Amazonian tribe who have been previously studied for their limited numerical system [Gordon, P. (2004). Numerical cognition without words: Evidence from Amazonia. "Science 306", 496-499]. We show that the Piraha have…

  12. Early human communication helps in understanding language evolution.

    PubMed

    Lenti Boero, Daniela

    2014-12-01

    Building a theory on extant species, as Ackermann et al. do, is a useful contribution to the field of language evolution. Here, I add another living model that might be of interest: human language ontogeny in the first year of life. A better knowledge of this phase might help in understanding two more topics among the "several building blocks of a comprehensive theory of the evolution of spoken language" indicated in their conclusion by Ackermann et al., that is, the foundation of the co-evolution of linguistic motor skills with the auditory skills underlying speech perception, and the possible phylogenetic interactions of protospeech production with referential capabilities.

  13. Theorizing and Studying the Language-Teaching Mind: Mapping Research on Language Teacher Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burns, Anne; Freeman, Donald; Edwards, Emily

    2015-01-01

    The overarching project of the conceptual and empirical contributions in this special issue is to redraw boundaries for language teacher cognition research. Our aim in this final article is to complement the foregoing collection of articles by conceptualizing ontologically and methodologically past and current trajectories in language teacher…

  14. Theorizing and Studying the Language-Teaching Mind: Mapping Research on Language Teacher Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burns, Anne; Freeman, Donald; Edwards, Emily

    2015-01-01

    The overarching project of the conceptual and empirical contributions in this special issue is to redraw boundaries for language teacher cognition research. Our aim in this final article is to complement the foregoing collection of articles by conceptualizing ontologically and methodologically past and current trajectories in language teacher…

  15. Language Mediated Concept Activation in Bilingual Memory Facilitates Cognitive Flexibility

    PubMed Central

    Kharkhurin, Anatoliy V.

    2017-01-01

    This is the first attempt of empirical investigation of language mediated concept activation (LMCA) in bilingual memory as a cognitive mechanism facilitating divergent thinking. Russian–English bilingual and Russian monolingual college students were tested on a battery of tests including among others Abbreviated Torrance Tests for Adults assessing divergent thinking traits and translingual priming (TLP) test assessing the LMCA. The latter was designed as a lexical decision priming test, in which a prime and a target were not related in Russian (language of testing), but were related through their translation equivalents in English (spoken only by bilinguals). Bilinguals outperformed their monolingual counterparts on divergent thinking trait of cognitive flexibility, and bilinguals’ performance on this trait could be explained by their TLP effect. Age of second language acquisition and proficiency in this language were found to relate to the TLP effect, and therefore were proposed to influence the directionality and strength of connections in bilingual memory. PMID:28701981

  16. Language Mediated Concept Activation in Bilingual Memory Facilitates Cognitive Flexibility.

    PubMed

    Kharkhurin, Anatoliy V

    2017-01-01

    This is the first attempt of empirical investigation of language mediated concept activation (LMCA) in bilingual memory as a cognitive mechanism facilitating divergent thinking. Russian-English bilingual and Russian monolingual college students were tested on a battery of tests including among others Abbreviated Torrance Tests for Adults assessing divergent thinking traits and translingual priming (TLP) test assessing the LMCA. The latter was designed as a lexical decision priming test, in which a prime and a target were not related in Russian (language of testing), but were related through their translation equivalents in English (spoken only by bilinguals). Bilinguals outperformed their monolingual counterparts on divergent thinking trait of cognitive flexibility, and bilinguals' performance on this trait could be explained by their TLP effect. Age of second language acquisition and proficiency in this language were found to relate to the TLP effect, and therefore were proposed to influence the directionality and strength of connections in bilingual memory.

  17. Developing embodied cognition: insights from children's concepts and language processing.

    PubMed

    Wellsby, Michele; Pexman, Penny M

    2014-01-01

    Over the past decade, theories of embodied cognition have become increasingly influential with research demonstrating that sensorimotor experiences are involved in cognitive processing; however, this embodied research has primarily focused on adult cognition. The notion that sensorimotor experience is important for acquiring conceptual knowledge is not a novel concept for developmental researchers, and yet theories of embodied cognition often do not fully integrate developmental findings. We propose that in order for an embodied cognition perspective to be refined and advanced as a lifelong theory of cognition, it is important to consider what can be learned from research with children. In this paper, we focus on development of concepts and language processing, and examine the importance of children's embodied experiences for these aspects of cognition in particular. Following this review, we outline what we see as important developmental issues that need to be addressed in order to determine the extent to which language and conceptual knowledge are embodied and to refine theories of embodied cognition.

  18. Left inferior parietal lobe engagement in social cognition and language.

    PubMed

    Bzdok, Danilo; Hartwigsen, Gesa; Reid, Andrew; Laird, Angela R; Fox, Peter T; Eickhoff, Simon B

    2016-09-01

    Social cognition and language are two core features of the human species. Despite distributed recruitment of brain regions in each mental capacity, the left parietal lobe (LPL) represents a zone of topographical convergence. The present study quantitatively summarizes hundreds of neuroimaging studies on social cognition and language. Using connectivity-based parcellation on a meta-analytically defined volume of interest (VOI), regional coactivation patterns within this VOI allowed identifying distinct subregions. Across parcellation solutions, two clusters emerged consistently in rostro-ventral and caudo-ventral aspects of the parietal VOI. Both clusters were functionally significantly associated with social-cognitive and language processing. In particular, the rostro-ventral cluster was associated with lower-level processing facets, while the caudo-ventral cluster was associated with higher-level processing facets in both mental capacities. Contrarily, in the (less stable) dorsal parietal VOI, all clusters reflected computation of general-purpose processes, such as working memory and matching tasks, that are frequently co-recruited by social or language processes. Our results hence favour a rostro-caudal distinction of lower- versus higher-level processes underlying social cognition and language in the left inferior parietal lobe. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Left inferior parietal lobe engagement in social cognition and language

    PubMed Central

    Bzdok, Danilo; Hartwigsen, Gesa; Reid, Andrew; Laird, Angela R.; Fox, Peter T.; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    2017-01-01

    Social cognition and language are two core features of the human species. Despite distributed recruitment of brain regions in each mental capacity, the left parietal lobe (LPL) represents a zone of topographical convergence. The present study quantitatively summarizes hundreds of neuroimaging studies on social cognition and language. Using connectivity-based parcellation on a meta-analytically defined volume of interest (VOI), regional coactivation patterns within this VOI allowed identifying distinct subregions. Across parcellation solutions, two clusters emerged consistently in rostro-ventral and caudo-ventral aspects of the parietal VOI. Both clusters were functionally significantly associated with social-cognitive and language processing. In particular, the rostro-ventral cluster was associated with lower-level processing facets, while the caudo-ventral cluster was associated with higher-level processing facets in both mental capacities. Contrarily, in the (less stable) dorsal parietal VOI, all clusters reflected computation of general-purpose processes, such as working memory and matching tasks, that are frequently co-recruited by social or language processes. Our results hence favour a rostro-caudal distinction of lower-versus higher-level processes underlying social cognition and language in the left inferior parietal lobe. PMID:27241201

  20. Imaging and Genetics of Language and Cognition in Pediatric Epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Addis, Laura; Lin, Jack J.; Pal, Deb K.; Hermann, Bruce; Caplan, Rochelle

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents translational aspects of imaging and genetic studies of language and cognition in children with epilepsy of average intelligence. It also discusses current unanswered translational questions in each of these research areas. A brief review of multimodal imaging and language study findings shows that abnormal structure and function, as well as plasticity and reorganization in language-related cortical regions are found both in children with epilepsy with normal language skills and in those with linguistic deficits. The review on cognition highlights that multiple domains of impaired cognition and abnormalities in brain structure and/or connectivity are evident early on in childhood epilepsy and might be specific for epilepsy syndrome. The description of state of the art genetic analyses that can be used to explain the convergence of language impairment and Rolandic epilepsy includes a discussion of the methodological difficulties involved in these analyses. Two junior researchers describe how their current and planned studies address some of the unanswered translational questions regarding cognition and imaging and the genetic analysis of speech sound disorder, reading, and centrotemporal spikes in Rolandic epilepsy. PMID:23116771

  1. Language and Cognition Interaction Neural Mechanisms

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S...was called the minimalist program . It aimed at simplifying the rule structure of the mind mechanism of language. Language was considered to be in...Acquisition, N. Hornstein and D. Lightfoot, Eds., Longman, London, UK, 1981. [4] N. Chomsky, The Minimalist Program , MIT Press, Cambridge, UK, 1995. [5] W

  2. Evolution of Language as One of the Major Evolutionary Transitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szathmáry, Eörs

    In this chapter I briefly summarize views on adaptation and language, some relevant neurobiological and genetic facts, the presence or absence of recursion in animals, the possible role of genetic assimilation in language evolution, the prerequisites of language and the nature of the human adaptive suite, and the relative merits of proposed evolutionary scenarios for the origin of natural language. I highlight the special difficulty of this last major transition and a possible integrative modelling approach to the problem. Finally, I give a summary showing that the transition from early hominine societies with protolanguage to modern society with language indeed qualifies as a major transition.

  3. How to Do Things with Junk: Exaptation in Language Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lass, Roger

    1990-01-01

    Uses illustrations from the history of Germanica to explain the concept of exaptation when dealing with language evolution, i.e., the reuse of language material that has been coded by morphology but has since lost its grammatical distinction. (46 references) (GLR)

  4. Unraveling the Tangles of Language Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petroni, F.; Serva, M.; Volchenkov, D.

    2012-07-01

    The relationships between languages molded by extremely complex social, cultural and political factors are assessed by an automated method, in which the distance between languages is estimated by the average normalized Levenshtein distance between words from the list of 200 meanings maximally resistant to change. A sequential process of language classification described by random walks on the matrix of lexical distances allows to represent complex relationships between languages geometrically, in terms of distances and angles. We have tested the method on a sample of 50 Indo-European and 50 Austronesian languages. The geometric representations of language taxonomy allows for making accurate interfaces on the most significant events of human history by tracing changes in language families through time. The Anatolian and Kurgan hypothesis of the Indo-European origin and the "express train" model of the Polynesian origin are thoroughly discussed.

  5. Topics in Cognitive Development: Language and Operational Thought. Volume 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Presseisen, Barbara Z.; And Others

    This is the second volume in a series that records the official Symposium Proceedings of the Jean Piaget Society and examines the theoretical, empirical, and applied aspects of Jean Piaget's seminal epistemology. The 12 papers are divided into four areas: language development, formal reasoning, social cognition, and applied research. The topics of…

  6. Cognitive and Neural Prerequisites for Time in Language: Any Answers?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gullberg, Marianne; Indefrey, Peter

    2008-01-01

    In the position article to this volume, Klein outlines a set of questions that are relevant for furthering the linguist's understanding of what the cognitive and neural prerequisites for time in language might be. He also declares a certain skepticism regarding the likelihood that new methods from other disciplines will provide answers to those…

  7. MATERIAL LANGUAGE STYLES AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR CHILDREN'S COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    OLIM, ELLIS G.; AND OTHERS

    PART OF A LARGER STUDY OF THE COGNITIVE ENVIRONMENTS OF PRESCHOOL CHILDREN, THIS EXPERIMENT EXAMINED THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MOTHERS' LANGUAGE STYLES AND THE CONCEPT ATTAINMENT OF THEIR PRESCHOOL CHILDREN. SPEECH SAMPLES WERE OBTAINED FROM 160 URBAN NEGRO MOTHERS OF FOUR SOCIOECONOMIC GROUPS (MIDDLE-CLASS, UPPER-LOWER, LOWER-LOWER, AND…

  8. Exploring Flipped Classroom Effects on Second Language Learners' Cognitive Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Jeong-eun; Park, Hyunjin; Jang, Mijung; Nam, Hosung

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the cognitive effects of the flipped classroom approach in a content-based instructional context by comparing second language learners' discourse in flipped vs. traditional classrooms in terms of (1) participation rate, (2) content of comments, (3) reasoning skills, and (4) interactional patterns. Learners in two intact…

  9. The Inseparability of Cognition and Emotion in Second Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swain, Merrill

    2013-01-01

    The scholarly literature about the process of second language (L2) learning has focused to a considerable extent on cognitive processes. Left aside are questions about how emotions fit into an understanding of L2 learning. One goal of this plenary is to demonstrate that we have limited our understanding of L2 learning by failing to take into…

  10. The Inseparability of Cognition and Emotion in Second Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swain, Merrill

    2013-01-01

    The scholarly literature about the process of second language (L2) learning has focused to a considerable extent on cognitive processes. Left aside are questions about how emotions fit into an understanding of L2 learning. One goal of this plenary is to demonstrate that we have limited our understanding of L2 learning by failing to take into…

  11. Understanding Reading Comprehension: Cognition, Language, and the Structure of Prose.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flood, James, Ed.

    Intended to illuminate current understanding of how the reader's cognition and language and the text's structure affect the processing of prose, this volume contains articles written by educators, linguists, psychologists, and artificial intelligence experts on issues of comprehension research. The first part of the book examines reading…

  12. Cognitive Diagnosis Approaches to Language Assessment: An Overview

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Yong-Won; Sawaki, Yasuyo

    2009-01-01

    A variety of cognitive diagnosis approaches (CDAs) have been used by researchers to extract fine-grained information about the linguistic knowledge states and skill mastery levels of test takers based on their performance on language tests. Although some of these approaches have been in use in the psychometric community for quite some time, many…

  13. Topics in Cognitive Development: Language and Operational Thought. Volume 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Presseisen, Barbara Z.; And Others

    This is the second volume in a series that records the official Symposium Proceedings of the Jean Piaget Society and examines the theoretical, empirical, and applied aspects of Jean Piaget's seminal epistemology. The 12 papers are divided into four areas: language development, formal reasoning, social cognition, and applied research. The topics of…

  14. Cognitive and Neural Prerequisites for Time in Language: Any Answers?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gullberg, Marianne; Indefrey, Peter

    2008-01-01

    In the position article to this volume, Klein outlines a set of questions that are relevant for furthering the linguist's understanding of what the cognitive and neural prerequisites for time in language might be. He also declares a certain skepticism regarding the likelihood that new methods from other disciplines will provide answers to those…

  15. The Relationship Between Language Acquisition and Cognitive Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Rodney Louis

    Theories concerning the relationship between language acquisition and cognitive development are examined, and implications for education are discussed. There is disagreement about the sources and processes involved in achieving linguistic performance, and in particular, determining linguistic competence. Among the many theories and modifications…

  16. Cognitive Diagnosis Approaches to Language Assessment: An Overview

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Yong-Won; Sawaki, Yasuyo

    2009-01-01

    A variety of cognitive diagnosis approaches (CDAs) have been used by researchers to extract fine-grained information about the linguistic knowledge states and skill mastery levels of test takers based on their performance on language tests. Although some of these approaches have been in use in the psychometric community for quite some time, many…

  17. Cognitive Pruning and Second Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, H. Douglas

    Ausubel distinguishes two kinds of human learning: (1) rote learning, relevant only to a small fraction of human learning, is the mechanistic formation of discrete, isolated traces in cognitive structure, usually through a process of conditioning; (2) meaningful learning, characteristic of most human learning, is a process of "subsuming" material…

  18. Bound Cognition and Referential Uses of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wulfemeyer, Julie Marie

    2011-01-01

    This work is an attempt to give a unified theory in response to two questions. The first question arises in the philosophy of mind: what is the mechanism by which we think of objects in the world? The second is a question in the philosophy of language: what is the mechanism by which we speak of them? These are questions that some have treated…

  19. Cognitive Effects of Language on Human Navigation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shusterman, Anna; Ah Lee, Sang; Spelke, Elizabeth S.

    2011-01-01

    Language has been linked to spatial representation and behavior in humans, but the nature of this effect is debated. Here, we test whether simple verbal expressions improve 4-year-old children's performance in a disoriented search task in a small rectangular room with a single red landmark wall. Disoriented children's landmark-guided search for a…

  20. Bound Cognition and Referential Uses of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wulfemeyer, Julie Marie

    2011-01-01

    This work is an attempt to give a unified theory in response to two questions. The first question arises in the philosophy of mind: what is the mechanism by which we think of objects in the world? The second is a question in the philosophy of language: what is the mechanism by which we speak of them? These are questions that some have treated…

  1. Cognitive Theory in Teaching Foreign Languages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Briscoe, Laurel A.

    Educational accountability, as linked to changing socioeconomic attitudes and conditions, is noted to have contributed to the decline of the audiolingual method of language instruction. Following a discussion of the pedagogical implications and inadequacies of audiolingual theory, the author analyzes the nature of this teaching methodology, first…

  2. Cognition and the evolution of music: pitfalls and prospects.

    PubMed

    Honing, Henkjan; Ploeger, Annemie

    2012-10-01

    What was the role of music in the evolutionary history of human beings? We address this question from the point of view that musicality can be defined as a cognitive trait. Although it has been argued that we will never know how cognitive traits evolved (Lewontin, 1998), we argue that we may know the evolution of music by investigating the fundamental cognitive mechanisms of musicality, for example, relative pitch, tonal encoding of pitch, and beat induction. In addition, we show that a nomological network of evidence (Schmitt & Pilcher, 2004) can be built around the hypothesis that musicality is a cognitive adaptation. Within this network, different modes of evidence are gathered to support a specific evolutionary hypothesis. We show that the combination of psychological, medical, physiological, genetic, phylogenetic, hunter-gatherer, and cross-cultural evidence indicates that musicality is a cognitive adaptation. Copyright © 2012 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  3. Redrawing the Boundaries on Theory, Research, and Practice Concerning Language Teachers' Philosophies and Language Teacher Cognition: Toward a Critical Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crookes, Graham V.

    2015-01-01

    Two areas of investigation and professional practice--language teachers' philosophies and language teacher cognition--can be considered as related, perhaps overlapping, insofar as they are both the result of thought. The concept of a philosophy of teaching may hold together sets of language teacher cognitions, or guide specific investigations of…

  4. Redrawing the Boundaries on Theory, Research, and Practice Concerning Language Teachers' Philosophies and Language Teacher Cognition: Toward a Critical Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crookes, Graham V.

    2015-01-01

    Two areas of investigation and professional practice--language teachers' philosophies and language teacher cognition--can be considered as related, perhaps overlapping, insofar as they are both the result of thought. The concept of a philosophy of teaching may hold together sets of language teacher cognitions, or guide specific investigations of…

  5. Non-literal language deficits in mild cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Sandra; Silva, Dina; Maroco, João; de Mendonça, Alexandre; Guerreiro, Manuela

    2014-12-01

    Verbal language deteriorates in Alzheimer's disease, contributing to dramatic disturbances in the ability to communicate. The presence of language disturbances may be detected at earlier phases of the neurodegenerative process, like mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In daily verbal interactions, people mostly use literal language, but sometimes they employ non-literal language, which requires listeners to interpret messages beyond the plain meaning of the words and can be quite demanding. In the present study, we tested the hypotheses that patients with MCI may have deficits in non-literal language, and these deficits are more pronounced than deficits in literal language. Participants were recruited in a private memory clinic and senior universities. General cognitive evaluation included a comprehensive neuropsychological battery, the Mini-Mental State Examination, and the instrumental activities of daily living scale. Literal language was assessed with the semantic decision test, Token Test, and literal text comprehension test, and non-literal language with the proverbs comprehension, idiomatic expressions and non-literal text comprehension tests. Fifty-two participants with MCI and 31 controls were recruited. Patients with MCI had lower scores in all complex language tests, both literal (Token Test, semantic decision and literal text) and non-literal (proverbs, idiomatic expressions, and non-literal text), than the controls; the difference in literal text score was marginally significant. As much as 69% of MCI participants had deficits (performance below 1.5 SD of the mean) on at least one of the complex language tasks. Deficits were more frequent on the proverbs comprehension and semantic decision tests, and the deficits on these tests did not significantly differ from that on the Token Test. Patients with MCI are hindered in understanding complex language, both literal and non-literal. In daily living, these complex language deficits could compromise effective

  6. The myth of language universals: language diversity and its importance for cognitive science.

    PubMed

    Evans, Nicholas; Levinson, Stephen C

    2009-10-01

    Talk of linguistic universals has given cognitive scientists the impression that languages are all built to a common pattern. In fact, there are vanishingly few universals of language in the direct sense that all languages exhibit them. Instead, diversity can be found at almost every level of linguistic organization. This fundamentally changes the object of enquiry from a cognitive science perspective. This target article summarizes decades of cross-linguistic work by typologists and descriptive linguists, showing just how few and unprofound the universal characteristics of language are, once we honestly confront the diversity offered to us by the world's 6,000 to 8,000 languages. After surveying the various uses of "universal," we illustrate the ways languages vary radically in sound, meaning, and syntactic organization, and then we examine in more detail the core grammatical machinery of recursion, constituency, and grammatical relations. Although there are significant recurrent patterns in organization, these are better explained as stable engineering solutions satisfying multiple design constraints, reflecting both cultural-historical factors and the constraints of human cognition. Linguistic diversity then becomes the crucial datum for cognitive science: we are the only species with a communication system that is fundamentally variable at all levels. Recognizing the true extent of structural diversity in human language opens up exciting new research directions for cognitive scientists, offering thousands of different natural experiments given by different languages, with new opportunities for dialogue with biological paradigms concerned with change and diversity, and confronting us with the extraordinary plasticity of the highest human skills.

  7. Embodied Language Comprehension Requires an Enactivist Paradigm of Cognition

    PubMed Central

    van Elk, Michiel; Slors, Marc; Bekkering, Harold

    2010-01-01

    Two recurrent concerns in discussions on an embodied view of cognition are the “necessity question” (i.e., is activation in modality-specific brain areas necessary for language comprehension?) and the “simulation constraint” (i.e., how do we understand language for which we lack the relevant experiences?). In the present paper we argue that the criticisms encountered by the embodied approach hinge on a cognitivist interpretation of embodiment. We argue that the data relating sensorimotor activation to language comprehension can best be interpreted as supporting a non-representationalist, enactivist model of language comprehension, according to which language comprehension can be described as procedural knowledge – knowledge how, not knowledge that – that enables us to interact with others in a shared physical world. The enactivist view implies that the activation of modality-specific brain areas during language processing reflects the employment of sensorimotor skills and that language comprehension is a context-bound phenomenon. Importantly, an enactivist view provides an embodied approach of language, while avoiding the problems encountered by a cognitivist interpretation of embodiment. PMID:21833288

  8. Embodied language comprehension requires an enactivist paradigm of cognition.

    PubMed

    van Elk, Michiel; Slors, Marc; Bekkering, Harold

    2010-01-01

    Two recurrent concerns in discussions on an embodied view of cognition are the "necessity question" (i.e., is activation in modality-specific brain areas necessary for language comprehension?) and the "simulation constraint" (i.e., how do we understand language for which we lack the relevant experiences?). In the present paper we argue that the criticisms encountered by the embodied approach hinge on a cognitivist interpretation of embodiment. We argue that the data relating sensorimotor activation to language comprehension can best be interpreted as supporting a non-representationalist, enactivist model of language comprehension, according to which language comprehension can be described as procedural knowledge - knowledge how, not knowledge that - that enables us to interact with others in a shared physical world. The enactivist view implies that the activation of modality-specific brain areas during language processing reflects the employment of sensorimotor skills and that language comprehension is a context-bound phenomenon. Importantly, an enactivist view provides an embodied approach of language, while avoiding the problems encountered by a cognitivist interpretation of embodiment.

  9. Plasticity of human spatial cognition: spatial language and cognition covary across cultures.

    PubMed

    Haun, Daniel B M; Rapold, Christian J; Janzen, Gabriele; Levinson, Stephen C

    2011-04-01

    The present paper explores cross-cultural variation in spatial cognition by comparing spatial reconstruction tasks by Dutch and Namibian elementary school children. These two communities differ in the way they predominantly express spatial relations in language. Four experiments investigate cognitive strategy preferences across different levels of task-complexity and instruction. Data show a correlation between dominant linguistic spatial frames of reference and performance patterns in non-linguistic spatial memory tasks. This correlation is shown to be stable across an increase of complexity in the spatial array. When instructed to use their respective non-habitual cognitive strategy, participants were not easily able to switch between strategies and their attempts to do so impaired their performance. These results indicate a difference not only in preference but also in competence and suggest that spatial language and non-linguistic preferences and competences in spatial cognition are systematically aligned across human populations.

  10. Synaptic scaffold evolution generated components of vertebrate cognitive complexity.

    PubMed

    Nithianantharajah, Jess; Komiyama, Noboru H; McKechanie, Andrew; Johnstone, Mandy; Blackwood, Douglas H; St Clair, David; Emes, Richard D; van de Lagemaat, Louie N; Saksida, Lisa M; Bussey, Timothy J; Grant, Seth G N

    2013-01-01

    The origins and evolution of higher cognitive functions, including complex forms of learning, attention and executive functions, are unknown. A potential mechanism driving the evolution of vertebrate cognition early in the vertebrate lineage (550 million years ago) was genome duplication and subsequent diversification of postsynaptic genes. Here we report, to our knowledge, the first genetic analysis of a vertebrate gene family in cognitive functions measured using computerized touchscreens. Comparison of mice carrying mutations in each of the four Dlg paralogs showed that simple associative learning required Dlg4, whereas Dlg2 and Dlg3 diversified to have opposing functions in complex cognitive processes. Exploiting the translational utility of touchscreens in humans and mice, testing Dlg2 mutations in both species showed that Dlg2's role in complex learning, cognitive flexibility and attention has been highly conserved over 100 million years. Dlg-family mutations underlie psychiatric disorders, suggesting that genome evolution expanded the complexity of vertebrate cognition at the cost of susceptibility to mental illness.

  11. The aging brain: the cognitive reserve hypothesis and hominid evolution.

    PubMed

    Allen, John S; Bruss, Joel; Damasio, Hanna

    2005-01-01

    Compared to other primates, humans live a long time and have large brains. Recent theories of the evolution of human life history stages (grandmother hypothesis, intergenerational transfer of information) lend credence to the notion that selection for increased life span and menopause has occurred in hominid evolution, despite the reduction in the force of natural selection operating on older, especially post-reproductive, individuals. Theories that posit the importance (in an inclusive fitness sense) of the survival of older individuals require them to maintain a reasonably high level of cognitive function (e.g., memory, communication). Patterns of brain aging and factors associated with healthy brain aging should be relevant to this issue. Recent neuroimaging research suggests that, in healthy aging, human brain volume (gray and white matter) is well-maintained until at least 60 years of age; cognitive function also shows only nonsignificant declines at this age. The maintenance of brain volume and cognitive performance is consistent with the idea of a significant post- or late-reproductive life history stage. A clinical model, "the cognitive reserve hypothesis," proposes that both increased brain volume and enhanced cognitive ability may contribute to healthy brain aging, reducing the likelihood of developing dementia. Selection for increased brain size and increased cognitive ability in hominid evolution may therefore have been important in selection for increased lifespan in the context of intergenerational social support networks.

  12. Language Reflects "Core" Cognition: A New Theory About the Origin of Cross-Linguistic Regularities.

    PubMed

    Strickland, Brent

    2017-01-01

    The underlying structures that are common to the world's languages bear an intriguing connection with early emerging forms of "core knowledge" (Spelke & Kinzler, 2007), which are frequently studied by infant researchers. In particular, grammatical systems often incorporate distinctions (e.g., the mass/count distinction) that reflect those made in core knowledge (e.g., the non-verbal distinction between an object and a substance). Here, I argue that this connection occurs because non-verbal core knowledge systematically biases processes of language evolution. This account potentially explains a wide range of cross-linguistic grammatical phenomena that currently lack an adequate explanation. Second, I suggest that developmental researchers and cognitive scientists interested in (non-verbal) knowledge representation can exploit this connection to language by using observations about cross-linguistic grammatical tendencies to inspire hypotheses about core knowledge.

  13. Neural Cognition and Affective Computing on Cyber Language

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shuang; Zhou, Xuan; Xue, Ke; Wan, Xiqiong; Yang, Zhenyi; Xu, Duo; Ivanović, Mirjana

    2015-01-01

    Characterized by its customary symbol system and simple and vivid expression patterns, cyber language acts as not only a tool for convenient communication but also a carrier of abundant emotions and causes high attention in public opinion analysis, internet marketing, service feedback monitoring, and social emergency management. Based on our multidisciplinary research, this paper presents a classification of the emotional symbols in cyber language, analyzes the cognitive characteristics of different symbols, and puts forward a mechanism model to show the dominant neural activities in that process. Through the comparative study of Chinese, English, and Spanish, which are used by the largest population in the world, this paper discusses the expressive patterns of emotions in international cyber languages and proposes an intelligent method for affective computing on cyber language in a unified PAD (Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance) emotional space. PMID:26491431

  14. Neural Cognition and Affective Computing on Cyber Language.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shuang; Zhou, Xuan; Xue, Ke; Wan, Xiqiong; Yang, Zhenyi; Xu, Duo; Ivanović, Mirjana; Yu, Xueer

    2015-01-01

    Characterized by its customary symbol system and simple and vivid expression patterns, cyber language acts as not only a tool for convenient communication but also a carrier of abundant emotions and causes high attention in public opinion analysis, internet marketing, service feedback monitoring, and social emergency management. Based on our multidisciplinary research, this paper presents a classification of the emotional symbols in cyber language, analyzes the cognitive characteristics of different symbols, and puts forward a mechanism model to show the dominant neural activities in that process. Through the comparative study of Chinese, English, and Spanish, which are used by the largest population in the world, this paper discusses the expressive patterns of emotions in international cyber languages and proposes an intelligent method for affective computing on cyber language in a unified PAD (Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance) emotional space.

  15. Mild cognitive impairment: a concept in evolution.

    PubMed

    Petersen, R C; Caracciolo, B; Brayne, C; Gauthier, S; Jelic, V; Fratiglioni, L

    2014-03-01

    The construct of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has evolved over the past 10 years since the publication of the new MCI definition at the Key Symposium in 2003, but the core criteria have remained unchanged. The construct has been extensively used worldwide, both in clinical and in research settings, to define the grey area between intact cognitive functioning and clinical dementia. A rich set of data regarding occurrence, risk factors and progression of MCI has been generated. Discrepancies between studies can be mostly explained by differences in the operationalization of the criteria, differences in the setting where the criteria have been applied, selection of subjects and length of follow-up in longitudinal studies. Major controversial issues that remain to be further explored are algorithmic versus clinical classification, reliability of clinical judgment, temporal changes in cognitive performances and predictivity of putative biomarkers. Some suggestions to further develop the MCI construct include the tailoring of the clinical criteria to specific populations and to specific contexts. The addition of biomarkers to the clinical phenotypes is promising but requires deeper investigation. Translation of findings from the specialty clinic to the population setting, although challenging, will enhance uniformity of outcomes. More longitudinal population-based studies on cognitive ageing and MCI need to be performed to clarify all these issues. © 2014 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

  16. Stone toolmaking and the evolution of human culture and cognition

    PubMed Central

    Stout, Dietrich

    2011-01-01

    Although many species display behavioural traditions, human culture is unique in the complexity of its technological, symbolic and social contents. Is this extraordinary complexity a product of cognitive evolution, cultural evolution or some interaction of the two? Answering this question will require a much better understanding of patterns of increasing cultural diversity, complexity and rates of change in human evolution. Palaeolithic stone tools provide a relatively abundant and continuous record of such change, but a systematic method for describing the complexity and diversity of these early technologies has yet to be developed. Here, an initial attempt at such a system is presented. Results suggest that rates of Palaeolithic culture change may have been underestimated and that there is a direct relationship between increasing technological complexity and diversity. Cognitive evolution and the greater latitude for cultural variation afforded by increasingly complex technologies may play complementary roles in explaining this pattern. PMID:21357227

  17. Learning and the evolution of language: the role of cultural variation and learning costs in the Baldwin effect.

    PubMed

    Munroe, Steve; Cangelosi, Angelo

    2002-01-01

    The Baldwin effect has been explicitly used by Pinker and Bloom as an explanation of the origins of language and the evolution of a language acquisition device. This article presents new simulations of an artificial life model for the evolution of compositional languages. It specifically addresses the role of cultural variation and of learning costs in the Baldwin effect for the evolution of language. Results show that when a high cost is associated with language learning, agents gradually assimilate in their genome some explicit features (e.g., lexical properties) of the specific language they are exposed to. When the structure of the language is allowed to vary through cultural transmission, Baldwinian processes cause, instead, the assimilation of a predisposition to learn, rather than any structural properties associated with a specific language. The analysis of the mechanisms underlying such a predisposition in terms of categorical perception supports Deacon's hypothesis regarding the Baldwinian inheritance of general underlying cognitive capabilities that serve language acquisition. This is in opposition to the thesis that argues for assimilation of structural properties needed for the specification of a full-blown language acquisition device.

  18. Communication and cognition: the social beyond language, interaction and culture.

    PubMed

    Mascareño, Aldo

    2008-06-01

    Cognition theories describe the social with terms like language, interaction or culture, whose theoretical status has also been discussed in modern sociology. These concepts are not well-positioned to understand the emergence and autonomy of social orders. Sociological theory of self-referential systems can be useful to reconstruct the bottom-up process which contributes to the emergence of the social as communication as well as to describe the way in which society exerts downward causation upon cognitive phenomena. The core of this theory is the systemic category of meaning as a shared horizon for psychic and social systems.

  19. Computational cognitive modeling for the diagnosis of Specific Language Impairment.

    PubMed

    Oliva, Jesus; Serrano, J Ignacio; del Castillo, M Dolores; Iglesias, Angel

    2013-01-01

    Specific Language Impairment (SLI), as many other cognitive deficits, is difficult to diagnose given its heterogeneous profile and its overlap with other impairments. Existing techniques are based on different criteria using behavioral variables on different tasks. In this paper we propose a methodology for the diagnosis of SLI that uses computational cognitive modeling in order to capture the internal mechanisms of the normal and impaired brain. We show that machine learning techniques that use the information of these models perform better than those that only use behavioral variables.

  20. The Implications of the Working Memory Model for the Evolution of Modern Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Wynn, Thomas; Coolidge, Frederick L.

    2011-01-01

    What distinguishes the cognition of biologically modern humans from that of more archaic populations such as Neandertals? The norm in paleoanthropology has been to emphasize the role of language and symbolism. But the modern mind is more than just an archaic mind enhanced by symbol use. It also possesses an important problem solving and planning component. In cognitive neuroscience these advanced planning abilities have been extensively investigated through a formal model known as working memory. The working memory model is now well-enough established to provide a powerful lens through which paleoanthropologists can view the fossil and archaeological records. The challenge is methodological. The following essay reviews the controversial hypothesis that a recent enhancement of working memory capacity was the final piece in the evolution of modern cognition. PMID:21716664

  1. Experimental evolution of slowed cognitive aging in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Zwoinska, Martyna K; Maklakov, Alexei A; Kawecki, Tadeusz J; Hollis, Brian

    2017-03-01

    Reproductive output and cognitive performance decline in parallel during aging, but it is unknown whether this reflects a shared genetic architecture or merely the declining force of natural selection acting independently on both traits. We used experimental evolution in Drosophila melanogaster to test for the presence of genetic variation for slowed cognitive aging, and assess its independence from that responsible for other traits' decline with age. Replicate experimental populations experienced either joint selection on learning and reproduction at old age (Old + Learning), selection on late-life reproduction alone (Old), or a standard two-week culture regime (Young). Within 20 generations, the Old + Learning populations evolved a slower decline in learning with age than both the Old and Young populations, revealing genetic variation for cognitive aging. We found little evidence for a genetic correlation between cognitive and demographic aging: although the Old + Learning populations tended to show higher late-life fecundity than Old populations, they did not live longer. Likewise, selection for late reproduction alone did not result in improved late-life learning. Our results demonstrate that Drosophila harbor genetic variation for cognitive aging that is largely independent from genetic variation for demographic aging and suggest that these two aspects of aging may not necessarily follow the same trajectories. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. Intelligence, Cognition, and Language of Green Plants

    PubMed Central

    Trewavas, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    A summary definition of some 70 descriptions of intelligence provides a definition for all other organisms including plants that stresses fitness. Barbara McClintock, a plant biologist, posed the notion of the ‘thoughtful cell’ in her Nobel prize address. The systems structure necessary for a thoughtful cell is revealed by comparison of the interactome and connectome. The plant root cap, a group of some 200 cells that act holistically in responding to numerous signals, likely possesses a similar systems structure agreeing with Darwin’s description of acting like the brain of a lower organism. Intelligent behavior requires assessment of different choices and taking the beneficial one. Decisions are constantly required to optimize the plant phenotype to a dynamic environment and the cambium is the assessing tissue diverting more or removing resources from different shoot and root branches through manipulation of vascular elements. Environmental awareness likely indicates consciousness. Spontaneity in plant behavior, ability to count to five and error correction indicate intention. Volatile organic compounds are used as signals in plant interactions and being complex in composition may be the equivalent of language accounting for self and alien recognition by individual plants. Game theory describes competitive interactions. Interactive and intelligent outcomes emerge from application of various games between plants themselves and interactions with microbes. Behavior profiting from experience, another simple definition of intelligence, requires both learning and memory and is indicated in the priming of herbivory, disease and abiotic stresses. PMID:27199823

  3. Intelligence, Cognition, and Language of Green Plants.

    PubMed

    Trewavas, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    A summary definition of some 70 descriptions of intelligence provides a definition for all other organisms including plants that stresses fitness. Barbara McClintock, a plant biologist, posed the notion of the 'thoughtful cell' in her Nobel prize address. The systems structure necessary for a thoughtful cell is revealed by comparison of the interactome and connectome. The plant root cap, a group of some 200 cells that act holistically in responding to numerous signals, likely possesses a similar systems structure agreeing with Darwin's description of acting like the brain of a lower organism. Intelligent behavior requires assessment of different choices and taking the beneficial one. Decisions are constantly required to optimize the plant phenotype to a dynamic environment and the cambium is the assessing tissue diverting more or removing resources from different shoot and root branches through manipulation of vascular elements. Environmental awareness likely indicates consciousness. Spontaneity in plant behavior, ability to count to five and error correction indicate intention. Volatile organic compounds are used as signals in plant interactions and being complex in composition may be the equivalent of language accounting for self and alien recognition by individual plants. Game theory describes competitive interactions. Interactive and intelligent outcomes emerge from application of various games between plants themselves and interactions with microbes. Behavior profiting from experience, another simple definition of intelligence, requires both learning and memory and is indicated in the priming of herbivory, disease and abiotic stresses.

  4. Tapir: the Evolution of an Agent Control Language

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-01-01

    Tapir : the Evolution of an Agent Control Language Gary W. King University of Massachusetts 140 Governor’s Lane Amherst, MA 01003 gwking@cs.umass.edu...Governor’s Lane Amherst, MA 01003 westy@cs.umass.edu ABSTRACT Tapir is a general purpose, semi-declarative agent control language that extends and...enhances the Hierarchical Agent Control (HAC) architecture [1]. Tapir incorporates the lessons learned from de- veloping HAC and makes it easier and

  5. Spatial language facilitates spatial cognition: Evidence from children who lack language input

    PubMed Central

    Gentner, Dedre; Özyürek, Asli; Gürcanli, Özge; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Does spatial language influence how people think about space? To address this question, we observed children who did not know a conventional language, and tested their performance on nonlinguistic spatial tasks. We studied deaf children living in Istanbul whose hearing losses prevented them from acquiring speech and whose hearing parents had not exposed them to sign. Lacking a conventional language, the children used gestures, called homesigns, to communicate. In Study 1, we asked whether homesigners used gesture to convey spatial relations, and found that they did not. In Study 2, we tested a new group of homesigners on a spatial mapping task, and found that they performed significantly worse than hearing Turkish children who were matched to the deaf children on another cognitive task. The absence of spatial language thus went hand-in-hand with poor performance on the nonlinguistic spatial task, pointing to the importance of spatial language in thinking about space. PMID:23542409

  6. Spatial language facilitates spatial cognition: evidence from children who lack language input.

    PubMed

    Gentner, Dedre; Ozyürek, Asli; Gürcanli, Ozge; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2013-06-01

    Does spatial language influence how people think about space? To address this question, we observed children who did not know a conventional language, and tested their performance on nonlinguistic spatial tasks. We studied deaf children living in Istanbul whose hearing losses prevented them from acquiring speech and whose hearing parents had not exposed them to sign. Lacking a conventional language, the children used gestures, called homesigns, to communicate. In Study 1, we asked whether homesigners used gesture to convey spatial relations, and found that they did not. In Study 2, we tested a new group of homesigners on a Spatial Mapping Task, and found that they performed significantly worse than hearing Turkish children who were matched to the deaf children on another cognitive task. The absence of spatial language thus went hand-in-hand with poor performance on the nonlinguistic spatial task, pointing to the importance of spatial language in thinking about space.

  7. Watch the language! Language and linguistic-cognitive abilities in children with nocturnal epileptiform activity.

    PubMed

    Systad, Silje; Bjørnvold, Marit; Markhus, Rune; Lyster, Solveig-Alma H

    2017-01-01

    We studied the language and linguistic-cognitive abilities of a group of children with nocturnal epileptiform activity (NEA; N=33) who were hospitalized at a tertiary epilepsy hospital. The children were compared with two groups: one age- and gender-matched group (N=33) and one group matched on language ability (vocabulary) and gender (N=66). We also examined how NEA-related variables affected language abilities. Overall, the children with NEA showed delayed language abilities and a trend for specific difficulties with phonology and naming speed. We did not find firm evidence that the amount of NEA, the use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), and the lateralization and localization of NEA had an effect on language. However, we found that children with right-lateralized epileptiform activity seemed to have specific difficulties with naming speed. Additionally, our results indicated that NEA located in the centrotemporal areas particularly affected phonology and orthographic skills. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Beyond Cognition to Commitment: English Language Teaching in South Korean Primary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moodie, Ian; Feryok, Anne

    2015-01-01

    In order to understand teacher cognition--the thoughts, beliefs, and knowledge of language teachers--it is helpful to understand why people commit to language teaching in the first place. However, few studies of language teachers have directly examined the nature and development of commitment in language teachers, across their language learning,…

  9. Beyond Cognition to Commitment: English Language Teaching in South Korean Primary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moodie, Ian; Feryok, Anne

    2015-01-01

    In order to understand teacher cognition--the thoughts, beliefs, and knowledge of language teachers--it is helpful to understand why people commit to language teaching in the first place. However, few studies of language teachers have directly examined the nature and development of commitment in language teachers, across their language learning,…

  10. Number as a cognitive technology: evidence from Pirahã language and cognition.

    PubMed

    Frank, Michael C; Everett, Daniel L; Fedorenko, Evelina; Gibson, Edward

    2008-09-01

    Does speaking a language without number words change the way speakers of that language perceive exact quantities? The Pirahã are an Amazonian tribe who have been previously studied for their limited numerical system [Gordon, P. (2004). Numerical cognition without words: Evidence from Amazonia. Science 306, 496-499]. We show that the Pirahã have no linguistic method whatsoever for expressing exact quantity, not even "one." Despite this lack, when retested on the matching tasks used by Gordon, Pirahã speakers were able to perform exact matches with large numbers of objects perfectly but, as previously reported, they were inaccurate on matching tasks involving memory. These results suggest that language for exact number is a cultural invention rather than a linguistic universal, and that number words do not change our underlying representations of number but instead are a cognitive technology for keeping track of the cardinality of large sets across time, space, and changes in modality.

  11. Action and language integration: from humans to cognitive robots.

    PubMed

    Borghi, Anna M; Cangelosi, Angelo

    2014-07-01

    The topic is characterized by a highly interdisciplinary approach to the issue of action and language integration. Such an approach, combining computational models and cognitive robotics experiments with neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and linguistic approaches, can be a powerful means that can help researchers disentangle ambiguous issues, provide better and clearer definitions, and formulate clearer predictions on the links between action and language. In the introduction we briefly describe the papers and discuss the challenges they pose to future research. We identify four important phenomena the papers address and discuss in light of empirical and computational evidence: (a) the role played not only by sensorimotor and emotional information but also of natural language in conceptual representation; (b) the contextual dependency and high flexibility of the interaction between action, concepts, and language; (c) the involvement of the mirror neuron system in action and language processing; (d) the way in which the integration between action and language can be addressed by developmental robotics and Human-Robot Interaction.

  12. Cognitive aging and hearing acuity: modeling spoken language comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Wingfield, Arthur; Amichetti, Nicole M.; Lash, Amanda

    2015-01-01

    The comprehension of spoken language has been characterized by a number of “local” theories that have focused on specific aspects of the task: models of word recognition, models of selective attention, accounts of thematic role assignment at the sentence level, and so forth. The ease of language understanding (ELU) model (Rönnberg et al., 2013) stands as one of the few attempts to offer a fully encompassing framework for language understanding. In this paper we discuss interactions between perceptual, linguistic, and cognitive factors in spoken language understanding. Central to our presentation is an examination of aspects of the ELU model that apply especially to spoken language comprehension in adult aging, where speed of processing, working memory capacity, and hearing acuity are often compromised. We discuss, in relation to the ELU model, conceptions of working memory and its capacity limitations, the use of linguistic context to aid in speech recognition and the importance of inhibitory control, and language comprehension at the sentence level. Throughout this paper we offer a constructive look at the ELU model; where it is strong and where there are gaps to be filled. PMID:26124724

  13. Cognitive aging and hearing acuity: modeling spoken language comprehension.

    PubMed

    Wingfield, Arthur; Amichetti, Nicole M; Lash, Amanda

    2015-01-01

    The comprehension of spoken language has been characterized by a number of "local" theories that have focused on specific aspects of the task: models of word recognition, models of selective attention, accounts of thematic role assignment at the sentence level, and so forth. The ease of language understanding (ELU) model (Rönnberg et al., 2013) stands as one of the few attempts to offer a fully encompassing framework for language understanding. In this paper we discuss interactions between perceptual, linguistic, and cognitive factors in spoken language understanding. Central to our presentation is an examination of aspects of the ELU model that apply especially to spoken language comprehension in adult aging, where speed of processing, working memory capacity, and hearing acuity are often compromised. We discuss, in relation to the ELU model, conceptions of working memory and its capacity limitations, the use of linguistic context to aid in speech recognition and the importance of inhibitory control, and language comprehension at the sentence level. Throughout this paper we offer a constructive look at the ELU model; where it is strong and where there are gaps to be filled.

  14. Cognitive Phenotypes and the Evolution of Animal Decisions.

    PubMed

    Mendelson, Tamra C; Fitzpatrick, Courtney L; Hauber, Mark E; Pence, Charles H; Rodríguez, Rafael L; Safran, Rebecca J; Stern, Caitlin A; Stevens, Jeffrey R

    2016-11-01

    Despite the clear fitness consequences of animal decisions, the science of animal decision making in evolutionary biology is underdeveloped compared with decision science in human psychology. Specifically, the field lacks a conceptual framework that defines and describes the relevant components of a decision, leading to imprecise language and concepts. The 'judgment and decision-making' (JDM) framework in human psychology is a powerful tool for framing and understanding human decisions, and we apply it here to components of animal decisions, which we refer to as 'cognitive phenotypes'. We distinguish multiple cognitive phenotypes in the context of a JDM framework and highlight empirical approaches to characterize them as evolvable traits.

  15. Niche construction, social cognition, and language: hypothesizing the human as the production of place.

    PubMed

    Davies, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    New data is emerging from evolutionary anthropology and the neuroscience of social cognition on our species-specific hyper-cooperation (HC). This paper attempts an integration of third-person archaeological and second-person, neuroscientific perspectives on the structure of HC, through a post-Ricoeurian development in hermeneutical phenomenology. We argue for the relatively late evolution of advanced linguistic consciousness (ALC) (Hiscock in Biological Theory 9:27-41, 2014), as a reflexive system based on the 'in-between' or 'cognitive system' as reported by Vogeley et al. (in: Interdisziplinäre anthropologie, Heidelberg, Springer, 2014) of face-to-face social cognition, as well as tool use. The possibility of a positive or negative tension between the more recent ALC and the more ancient, pre-thematic, self-organizing 'in-between' frames an 'internal' niche construction. This indexes the internal structure of HC as 'convergence', where complex, engaged, social reasoning in ALC mirrors the cognitive structure of the pre-thematic 'in-between', extending the bio-energy of our social cognition, through reflexive amplification, in the production of 'social place' as 'humanized space'. If individual word/phrase acquisition, in contextual actuality, is the distinctive feature of human language (Hurford in European Reviews 12:551-565, 2004), then human language is a hyperbolic, species-wide training in particularized co-location, developing consciousness of a shared world. The humanization of space and production of HC, through co-location, requires the 'disarming' of language as a medium of control, and a foregrounding of the materiality of the sign. The production of 'hyper-place' as solidarity beyond the face-to-face, typical of world religions, becomes possible where internal niche construction as convergence with the 'in-between' (world in us) combines with religious cosmologies reflecting an external 'cosmic' niche construction (world outside us).

  16. Evolution of the Ainu language in space and time.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sean; Hasegawa, Toshikazu

    2013-01-01

    Languages evolve over space and time. Illuminating the evolutionary history of language is important because it provides a unique opportunity to shed light on the population history of the speakers. Spatial and temporal aspects of language evolution are particularly crucial for understanding demographic history, as they allow us to identify when and where the languages originated, as well as how they spread across the globe. Here we apply Bayesian phylogeographic methods to reconstruct spatiotemporal evolution of the Ainu language: an endangered language spoken by an indigenous group that once thrived in northern Japan. The conventional dual-structure model has long argued that modern Ainu are direct descendants of a single, Pleistocene human lineage from Southeast Asia, namely the Jomon people. In contrast, recent evidence from archaeological, anthropological and genetic evidence suggest that the Ainu are an outcome of significant genetic and cultural contributions from Siberian hunter-gatherers, the Okhotsk, who migrated into northern Hokkaido around 900-1600 years ago. Estimating from 19 Ainu language varieties preserved five decades ago, our analysis shows that they are descendants of a common ancestor who spread from northern Hokkaido around 1300 years ago. In addition to several lines of emerging evidence, our phylogeographic analysis strongly supports the hypothesis that recent expansion of the Okhotsk to northern Hokkaido had a profound impact on the origins of the Ainu people and their culture, and hence calls for a refinement to the dual-structure model.

  17. Neuroanatomical correlates of handedness for tool use in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): implication for theories on the evolution of language.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, William D; Russell, Jamie L; Cantalupo, Claudio

    2007-11-01

    It has been hypothesized that cognitive mechanisms underlying lateralized complex motor actions associated with tool use in chimpanzees may have set the stage for the evolution of left-hemisphere specialization for language and speech in humans. Here we report evidence that asymmetries in the homologues to Broca's and Wernicke's areas are associated with handedness for tool use in chimpanzees. These results suggest that the neural substrates of tool use may have served as a preadaptation for the evolution of language and speech in modern humans.

  18. The integration hypothesis of human language evolution and the nature of contemporary languages.

    PubMed

    Miyagawa, Shigeru; Ojima, Shiro; Berwick, Robert C; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2014-01-01

    How human language arose is a mystery in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Miyagawa et al. (2013) put forward a proposal, which we will call the Integration Hypothesis of human language evolution, that holds that human language is composed of two components, E for expressive, and L for lexical. Each component has an antecedent in nature: E as found, for example, in birdsong, and L in, for example, the alarm calls of monkeys. E and L integrated uniquely in humans to give rise to language. A challenge to the Integration Hypothesis is that while these non-human systems are finite-state in nature, human language is known to require characterization by a non-finite state grammar. Our claim is that E and L, taken separately, are in fact finite-state; when a grammatical process crosses the boundary between E and L, it gives rise to the non-finite state character of human language. We provide empirical evidence for the Integration Hypothesis by showing that certain processes found in contemporary languages that have been characterized as non-finite state in nature can in fact be shown to be finite-state. We also speculate on how human language actually arose in evolution through the lens of the Integration Hypothesis.

  19. The integration hypothesis of human language evolution and the nature of contemporary languages

    PubMed Central

    Miyagawa, Shigeru; Ojima, Shiro; Berwick, Robert C.; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2014-01-01

    How human language arose is a mystery in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Miyagawa et al. (2013) put forward a proposal, which we will call the Integration Hypothesis of human language evolution, that holds that human language is composed of two components, E for expressive, and L for lexical. Each component has an antecedent in nature: E as found, for example, in birdsong, and L in, for example, the alarm calls of monkeys. E and L integrated uniquely in humans to give rise to language. A challenge to the Integration Hypothesis is that while these non-human systems are finite-state in nature, human language is known to require characterization by a non-finite state grammar. Our claim is that E and L, taken separately, are in fact finite-state; when a grammatical process crosses the boundary between E and L, it gives rise to the non-finite state character of human language. We provide empirical evidence for the Integration Hypothesis by showing that certain processes found in contemporary languages that have been characterized as non-finite state in nature can in fact be shown to be finite-state. We also speculate on how human language actually arose in evolution through the lens of the Integration Hypothesis. PMID:24936195

  20. Simultaneous learning of two languages from birth positively impacts intrinsic functional connectivity and cognitive control.

    PubMed

    Kousaie, Shanna; Chai, Xiaoqian J; Sander, Kaija M; Klein, Denise

    2017-10-01

    This study explores the effect of individual differences in the age of acquisition of a second language using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) to examine functional connectivity and its relation with cognitive control within bilinguals. We compared simultaneous bilinguals, who learned two languages from birth, to sequential bilinguals, who learned a second language following mastery of their first language. Results show an effect of language experience on the strength of anticorrelation between the default mode network and the task-positive attention network and on cognitive control, with simultaneous bilinguals demonstrating stronger anticorrelations between the two networks, as well as superior cognitive control compared to sequential bilinguals. These findings demonstrate that the timing of language learning may have an impact on cognitive control, with the simultaneous learning of two languages being associated with more optimal brain connectivity for cognitive control compared to sequential language learning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Social cognition and language in children with specific language impairment (SLI).

    PubMed

    Marton, Klara; Abramoff, Brocha; Rosenzweig, Shari

    2005-01-01

    This investigation examined the relationship between social pragmatics, social self-esteem, and language in children with specific language impairment (SLI) and in their age-matched peers (7-10 years). The children with SLI indicated significantly poorer social cognitive knowledge than their typically developing peers. They showed low social, but not academic self-esteem. They often used inappropriate negotiation and conflict resolution strategies. Their errors reflect some qualitative differences from those of the typically developing children (e.g., children with SLI use more nonverbal strategies, demonstrate passive/withdrawn behavior, etc.). Our data show that these children's social pragmatic deficit is not causally related to their language impairment; the two problems are co-occurring. Further, the parents and teachers of the children with SLI indicated different views regarding these children's social relations. Although the parents expressed major concerns about their children's social competence, the teachers did not notice this problem. The reader will be able to summarize, critically analyze, and interpret the findings from existing research on social cognition and its relationship with language abilities in children with specific language impairment. Further, the reader will gain an understanding of the importance of applying intervention procedures that facilitate the use of language in different social situations, and the necessity of increasing parent-teacher communication in schools.

  2. Detecting Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Deaf People: The British Sign Language Cognitive Screening Test.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, Joanna; Denmark, Tanya; Marshall, Jane; Mummery, Cath; Woll, Bencie

    2015-11-01

    To provide accurate diagnostic screening of deaf people who use signed communication, cognitive tests must be devised in signed languages with normative deaf samples. This article describes the development of the first screening test for the detection of cognitive impairment and dementia in deaf signers. The British Sign Language Cognitive Screening Test uses standardized video administration to screen cognition using signed, rather than spoken or written, instructions and a large norm-referenced sample of 226 deaf older people. Percentiles are provided for clinical comparison. The tests showed good reliability, content validity, and correlation with age, intellectual ability, and education. Clinical discrimination was shown between the normative sample and 14 deaf patients with dementia. This innovative testing approach transforms the ability to detect dementia in deaf people, avoids the difficulties of using an interpreter, and enables culturally and linguistically sensitive assessment of deaf signers, with international potential for adaptation into other signed languages. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Evolution, language and analogy in functional genomics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benner, S. A.; Gaucher, E. A.

    2001-01-01

    Almost a century ago, Wittgenstein pointed out that theory in science is intricately connected to language. This connection is not a frequent topic in the genomics literature. But a case can be made that functional genomics is today hindered by the paradoxes that Wittgenstein identified. If this is true, until these paradoxes are recognized and addressed, functional genomics will continue to be limited in its ability to extrapolate information from genomic sequences.

  4. Evolution, language and analogy in functional genomics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benner, S. A.; Gaucher, E. A.

    2001-01-01

    Almost a century ago, Wittgenstein pointed out that theory in science is intricately connected to language. This connection is not a frequent topic in the genomics literature. But a case can be made that functional genomics is today hindered by the paradoxes that Wittgenstein identified. If this is true, until these paradoxes are recognized and addressed, functional genomics will continue to be limited in its ability to extrapolate information from genomic sequences.

  5. Evolution, language and analogy in functional genomics.

    PubMed

    Benner, S A; Gaucher, E A

    2001-07-01

    Almost a century ago, Wittgenstein pointed out that theory in science is intricately connected to language. This connection is not a frequent topic in the genomics literature. But a case can be made that functional genomics is today hindered by the paradoxes that Wittgenstein identified. If this is true, until these paradoxes are recognized and addressed, functional genomics will continue to be limited in its ability to extrapolate information from genomic sequences.

  6. On the Evolution of Human Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lieberman, Philip

    Human linguistic ability depends, in part, on the gradual evolution of man's supralaryngeal vocal tract. The anatomic basis of human speech production is the result of a long evolutionary process in which the Darwinian process of natural selection acted to retain mutations. For auditory perception, the listener operates in terms of the acoustic…

  7. Cognitive techniques and language: A return to behavioral origins.

    PubMed

    Froján Parga, María X; Núñez de Prado Gordillo, Miguel; de Pascual Verdú, Ricardo

    2017-08-01

    the main purpose of this study is to offer an alternative explanatory account of the functioning of cognitive techniques that is based on the principles of associative learning and highlights their verbal nature. The traditional accounts are questioned and analyzed in the light of the situation of psychology in the 1970s. conceptual analysis is employed to revise the concepts of language, cognition and behavior. Several operant- and Pavlovian-based approaches to these phenomena are presented, while particular emphasis is given to Mowrer’s (1954) approach and Ryle (1949) and Wittgenstein’s (1953) philosophical contributions to the field. several logical problems are found in regard to the theoretical foundations of cognitive techniques. A combination of both operant and Pavlovian paradigms based on the above-mentioned approaches is offered as an alternative explanatory account of cognitive techniques. This new approach could overcome the conceptual fragilities of the cognitive standpoint and its dependence upon constructs of dubious logical and scientific validity.

  8. Language measures of the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery.

    PubMed

    Gershon, Richard C; Cook, Karon F; Mungas, Dan; Manly, Jennifer J; Slotkin, Jerry; Beaumont, Jennifer L; Weintraub, Sandra

    2014-07-01

    Language facilitates communication and efficient encoding of thought and experience. Because of its essential role in early childhood development, in educational achievement and in subsequent life adaptation, language was included as one of the subdomains in the NIH Toolbox for the Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function Cognition Battery (NIHTB-CB). There are many different components of language functioning, including syntactic processing (i.e., morphology and grammar) and lexical semantics. For purposes of the NIHTB-CB, two tests of language--a picture vocabulary test and a reading recognition test--were selected by consensus based on literature reviews, iterative expert input, and a desire to assess in English and Spanish. NIHTB-CB's picture vocabulary and reading recognition tests are administered using computer adaptive testing and scored using item response theory. Data are presented from the validation of the English versions in a sample of adults ages 20-85 years (Spanish results will be presented in a future publication). Both tests demonstrated high test-retest reliability and good construct validity compared to corresponding gold-standard measures. Scores on the NIH Toolbox measures were consistent with age-related expectations, namely, growth in language during early development, with relative stabilization into late adulthood.

  9. An error limit for the evolution of language.

    PubMed

    Nowak, M A; Krakauer, D C; Dress, A

    1999-10-22

    On the evolutionary trajectory that led to human language there must have been a transition from a fairly limited to an essentially unlimited communication system. The structure of modern human languages reveals at least two steps that are required for such a transition: in all languages (i) a small number of phonemes are used to generate a large number of words; and (ii) a large number of words are used to a produce an unlimited number of sentences. The first (and simpler) step is the topic of the current paper. We study the evolution of communication in the presence of errors and show that this limits the number of objects (or concepts) that can be described by a simple communication system. The evolutionary optimum is achieved by using only a small number of signals to describe a few valuable concepts. Adding more signals does not increase the fitness of a language. This represents an error limit for the evolution of communication. We show that this error limit can be overcome by combining signals (phonemes) into words. The transition from an analogue to a digital system was a necessary step toward the evolution of human language.

  10. An error limit for the evolution of language.

    PubMed Central

    Nowak, M A; Krakauer, D C; Dress, A

    1999-01-01

    On the evolutionary trajectory that led to human language there must have been a transition from a fairly limited to an essentially unlimited communication system. The structure of modern human languages reveals at least two steps that are required for such a transition: in all languages (i) a small number of phonemes are used to generate a large number of words; and (ii) a large number of words are used to a produce an unlimited number of sentences. The first (and simpler) step is the topic of the current paper. We study the evolution of communication in the presence of errors and show that this limits the number of objects (or concepts) that can be described by a simple communication system. The evolutionary optimum is achieved by using only a small number of signals to describe a few valuable concepts. Adding more signals does not increase the fitness of a language. This represents an error limit for the evolution of communication. We show that this error limit can be overcome by combining signals (phonemes) into words. The transition from an analogue to a digital system was a necessary step toward the evolution of human language. PMID:10902547

  11. The role of mirror neurons in language acquisition and evolution.

    PubMed

    Behme, Christina

    2014-04-01

    I argue that Cook et al.'s attack of the genetic hypothesis of mirror neurons misses its target because the authors miss the point that genetics may specify how neurons may learn, not what they learn. Paying more attention to recent work linking mirror neurons to language acquisition and evolution would strengthen Cook et al.'s arguments against a rigid genetic hypothesis.

  12. Teacher Change: A Case Study of the Evolution of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wada, Tazuru

    2016-01-01

    This study is a qualitative inquiry of eight mid-career second language (L2) teachers' identity evolution. These teachers have or had full-time or tenured teaching experience in secondary schools in Japan. Since they were mid- and later career teachers, they have explored their development, what they are now, and why they keep growing.They have…

  13. Teacher Change: A Case Study of the Evolution of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wada, Tazuru

    2016-01-01

    This study is a qualitative inquiry of eight mid-career second language (L2) teachers' identity evolution. These teachers have or had full-time or tenured teaching experience in secondary schools in Japan. Since they were mid- and later career teachers, they have explored their development, what they are now, and why they keep growing.They have…

  14. Networks of lexical borrowing and lateral gene transfer in language and genome evolution.

    PubMed

    List, Johann-Mattis; Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; Geisler, Hans; Martin, William

    2014-02-01

    Like biological species, languages change over time. As noted by Darwin, there are many parallels between language evolution and biological evolution. Insights into these parallels have also undergone change in the past 150 years. Just like genes, words change over time, and language evolution can be likened to genome evolution accordingly, but what kind of evolution? There are fundamental differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic evolution. In the former, natural variation entails the gradual accumulation of minor mutations in alleles. In the latter, lateral gene transfer is an integral mechanism of natural variation. The study of language evolution using biological methods has attracted much interest of late, most approaches focusing on language tree construction. These approaches may underestimate the important role that borrowing plays in language evolution. Network approaches that were originally designed to study lateral gene transfer may provide more realistic insights into the complexities of language evolution. © 2014 The Authors. BioEssays Published by WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Networks of lexical borrowing and lateral gene transfer in language and genome evolution

    PubMed Central

    List, Johann-Mattis; Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; Geisler, Hans; Martin, William

    2014-01-01

    Like biological species, languages change over time. As noted by Darwin, there are many parallels between language evolution and biological evolution. Insights into these parallels have also undergone change in the past 150 years. Just like genes, words change over time, and language evolution can be likened to genome evolution accordingly, but what kind of evolution? There are fundamental differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic evolution. In the former, natural variation entails the gradual accumulation of minor mutations in alleles. In the latter, lateral gene transfer is an integral mechanism of natural variation. The study of language evolution using biological methods has attracted much interest of late, most approaches focusing on language tree construction. These approaches may underestimate the important role that borrowing plays in language evolution. Network approaches that were originally designed to study lateral gene transfer may provide more realistic insights into the complexities of language evolution. PMID:24375688

  16. Delegation to automaticity: the driving force for cognitive evolution?

    PubMed Central

    Shine, J. M.; Shine, R.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to delegate control over repetitive tasks from higher to lower neural centers may be a fundamental innovation in human cognition. Plausibly, the massive neurocomputational challenges associated with the mastery of balance during the evolution of bipedality in proto-humans provided a strong selective advantage to individuals with brains capable of efficiently transferring tasks in this way. Thus, the shift from quadrupedal to bipedal locomotion may have driven the rapid evolution of distinctive features of human neuronal functioning. We review recent studies of functional neuroanatomy that bear upon this hypothesis, and identify ways to test our ideas. PMID:24808820

  17. Cognitive biases and addiction: an evolution in theory and method.

    PubMed

    McCusker, C G

    2001-01-01

    An evolution in theoretical models and methodological paradigms for investigating cognitive biases in the addictions is discussed. Anomalies in traditional cognitive perspectives, and problems with the self-report methods which underpin them, are highlighted. An emergent body of cognitive research, contextualized within the principles and paradigms of cognitive neuropsychology rather than social learning theory, is presented which, it is argued, addresses these anomalies and problems. Evidence is presented that biases in the processing of addiction-related stimuli, and in the network of propositions which motivate addictive behaviours, occur at automatic, implicit and pre-conscious levels of awareness. It is suggested that methods which assess such implicit cognitive biases (e.g. Stroop, memory, priming and reaction-time paradigms) yield findings which have better predictive utility for ongoing behaviour than those biases determined by self-report methods of introspection. The potential utility of these findings for understanding "loss of control" phenomena, and the desynchrony between reported beliefs and intentions and ongoing addictive behaviours, is discussed. Applications to the practice of cognitive therapy are considered.

  18. A Bird’s Eye View of Human Language Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Berwick, Robert C.; Beckers, Gabriël J. L.; Okanoya, Kazuo; Bolhuis, Johan J.

    2012-01-01

    Comparative studies of linguistic faculties in animals pose an evolutionary paradox: language involves certain perceptual and motor abilities, but it is not clear that this serves as more than an input–output channel for the externalization of language proper. Strikingly, the capability for auditory–vocal learning is not shared with our closest relatives, the apes, but is present in such remotely related groups as songbirds and marine mammals. There is increasing evidence for behavioral, neural, and genetic similarities between speech acquisition and birdsong learning. At the same time, researchers have applied formal linguistic analysis to the vocalizations of both primates and songbirds. What have all these studies taught us about the evolution of language? Is the comparative study of an apparently species-specific trait like language feasible? We argue that comparative analysis remains an important method for the evolutionary reconstruction and causal analysis of the mechanisms underlying language. On the one hand, common descent has been important in the evolution of the brain, such that avian and mammalian brains may be largely homologous, particularly in the case of brain regions involved in auditory perception, vocalization, and auditory memory. On the other hand, there has been convergent evolution of the capacity for auditory–vocal learning, and possibly for structuring of external vocalizations, such that apes lack the abilities that are shared between songbirds and humans. However, significant limitations to this comparative analysis remain. While all birdsong may be classified in terms of a particularly simple kind of concatenation system, the regular languages, there is no compelling evidence to date that birdsong matches the characteristic syntactic complexity of human language, arising from the composition of smaller forms like words and phrases into larger ones. PMID:22518103

  19. Reciprocal Influences between Maternal Language and Children's Language and Cognitive Development in Low-Income Families

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Song, Lulu; Spier, Elizabeth T.; Tamis-Lemonda, Catherine S.

    2014-01-01

    We examined reciprocal associations between early maternal language use and children's language and cognitive development in seventy ethnically diverse, low-income families. Mother-child dyads were videotaped when children were aged 2;0 and 3;0. Video transcripts were analyzed for quantity and lexical diversity of maternal and child language.…

  20. Reciprocal Influences between Maternal Language and Children's Language and Cognitive Development in Low-Income Families

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Song, Lulu; Spier, Elizabeth T.; Tamis-Lemonda, Catherine S.

    2014-01-01

    We examined reciprocal associations between early maternal language use and children's language and cognitive development in seventy ethnically diverse, low-income families. Mother-child dyads were videotaped when children were aged 2;0 and 3;0. Video transcripts were analyzed for quantity and lexical diversity of maternal and child language.…

  1. When Language Experience Fails to Explain Word Reading Development: Early Cognitive and Linguistic Profiles of Young Foreign Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hu, Chieh-Fang; Schuele, C. Melanie

    2015-01-01

    Although language experience is a key factor in successful foreign language (FL) learning, many FL learners fail to achieve performance levels that were predicted on the basis of their FL experience. This retrospective study investigated early cognitive and linguistic correlates of learning English as a foreign language (FL) in a group of…

  2. Is behavioural flexibility evidence of cognitive complexity? How evolution can inform comparative cognition.

    PubMed

    Mikhalevich, Irina; Powell, Russell; Logan, Corina

    2017-06-06

    Behavioural flexibility is often treated as the gold standard of evidence for more sophisticated or complex forms of animal cognition, such as planning, metacognition and mindreading. However, the evidential link between behavioural flexibility and complex cognition has not been explicitly or systematically defended. Such a defence is particularly pressing because observed flexible behaviours can frequently be explained by putatively simpler cognitive mechanisms. This leaves complex cognition hypotheses open to 'deflationary' challenges that are accorded greater evidential weight precisely because they offer putatively simpler explanations of equal explanatory power. This paper challenges the blanket preference for simpler explanations, and shows that once this preference is dispensed with, and the full spectrum of evidence-including evolutionary, ecological and phylogenetic data-is accorded its proper weight, an argument in support of the prevailing assumption that behavioural flexibility can serve as evidence for complex cognitive mechanisms may begin to take shape. An adaptive model of cognitive-behavioural evolution is proposed, according to which the existence of convergent trait-environment clusters in phylogenetically disparate lineages may serve as evidence for the same trait-environment clusters in other lineages. This, in turn, could permit inferences of cognitive complexity in cases of experimental underdetermination, thereby placing the common view that behavioural flexibility can serve as evidence for complex cognition on firmer grounds.

  3. Is behavioural flexibility evidence of cognitive complexity? How evolution can inform comparative cognition

    PubMed Central

    Mikhalevich, Irina

    2017-01-01

    Behavioural flexibility is often treated as the gold standard of evidence for more sophisticated or complex forms of animal cognition, such as planning, metacognition and mindreading. However, the evidential link between behavioural flexibility and complex cognition has not been explicitly or systematically defended. Such a defence is particularly pressing because observed flexible behaviours can frequently be explained by putatively simpler cognitive mechanisms. This leaves complex cognition hypotheses open to ‘deflationary’ challenges that are accorded greater evidential weight precisely because they offer putatively simpler explanations of equal explanatory power. This paper challenges the blanket preference for simpler explanations, and shows that once this preference is dispensed with, and the full spectrum of evidence—including evolutionary, ecological and phylogenetic data—is accorded its proper weight, an argument in support of the prevailing assumption that behavioural flexibility can serve as evidence for complex cognitive mechanisms may begin to take shape. An adaptive model of cognitive-behavioural evolution is proposed, according to which the existence of convergent trait–environment clusters in phylogenetically disparate lineages may serve as evidence for the same trait–environment clusters in other lineages. This, in turn, could permit inferences of cognitive complexity in cases of experimental underdetermination, thereby placing the common view that behavioural flexibility can serve as evidence for complex cognition on firmer grounds. PMID:28479981

  4. Innateness and culture in the evolution of language

    PubMed Central

    Kirby, Simon; Dowman, Mike; Griffiths, Thomas L.

    2007-01-01

    Human language arises from biological evolution, individual learning, and cultural transmission, but the interaction of these three processes has not been widely studied. We set out a formal framework for analyzing cultural transmission, which allows us to investigate how innate learning biases are related to universal properties of language. We show that cultural transmission can magnify weak biases into strong linguistic universals, undermining one of the arguments for strong innate constraints on language learning. As a consequence, the strength of innate biases can be shielded from natural selection, allowing these genes to drift. Furthermore, even when there is no natural selection, cultural transmission can produce apparent adaptations. Cultural transmission thus provides an alternative to traditional nativist and adaptationist explanations for the properties of human languages. PMID:17360393

  5. Molecular networks and the evolution of human cognitive specializations.

    PubMed

    Fontenot, Miles; Konopka, Genevieve

    2014-12-01

    Inroads into elucidating the origins of human cognitive specializations have taken many forms, including genetic, genomic, anatomical, and behavioral assays that typically compare humans to non-human primates. While the integration of all of these approaches is essential for ultimately understanding human cognition, here, we review the usefulness of coexpression network analysis for specifically addressing this question. An increasing number of studies have incorporated coexpression networks into brain expression studies comparing species, disease versus control tissue, brain regions, or developmental time periods. A clearer picture has emerged of the key genes driving brain evolution, as well as the developmental and regional contributions of gene expression patterns important for normal brain development and those misregulated in cognitive diseases. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Decreasing Cognitive Load for Learners: Strategy of Web-Based Foreign Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Jianfeng

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive load is one of the important factors that influence the effectiveness and efficiency of web-based foreign language learning. Cognitive load theory assumes that human's cognitive capacity in working memory is limited and if it overloads, learning will be hampered, so that high level of cognitive load can affect the performance of learning…

  7. Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality

    PubMed Central

    Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel; Peretz, Isabelle; Trehub, Sandra E.

    2015-01-01

    Musicality can be defined as a natural, spontaneously developing trait based on and constrained by biology and cognition. Music, by contrast, can be defined as a social and cultural construct based on that very musicality. One critical challenge is to delineate the constituent elements of musicality. What biological and cognitive mechanisms are essential for perceiving, appreciating and making music? Progress in understanding the evolution of music cognition depends upon adequate characterization of the constituent mechanisms of musicality and the extent to which they are present in non-human species. We argue for the importance of identifying these mechanisms and delineating their functions and developmental course, as well as suggesting effective means of studying them in human and non-human animals. It is virtually impossible to underpin the evolutionary role of musicality as a whole, but a multicomponent perspective on musicality that emphasizes its constituent capacities, development and neural cognitive specificity is an excellent starting point for a research programme aimed at illuminating the origins and evolution of musical behaviour as an autonomous trait. PMID:25646511

  8. Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality.

    PubMed

    Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel; Peretz, Isabelle; Trehub, Sandra E

    2015-03-19

    Musicality can be defined as a natural, spontaneously developing trait based on and constrained by biology and cognition. Music, by contrast, can be defined as a social and cultural construct based on that very musicality. One critical challenge is to delineate the constituent elements of musicality. What biological and cognitive mechanisms are essential for perceiving, appreciating and making music? Progress in understanding the evolution of music cognition depends upon adequate characterization of the constituent mechanisms of musicality and the extent to which they are present in non-human species. We argue for the importance of identifying these mechanisms and delineating their functions and developmental course, as well as suggesting effective means of studying them in human and non-human animals. It is virtually impossible to underpin the evolutionary role of musicality as a whole, but a multicomponent perspective on musicality that emphasizes its constituent capacities, development and neural cognitive specificity is an excellent starting point for a research programme aimed at illuminating the origins and evolution of musical behaviour as an autonomous trait. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  9. Neuropsychological and cognitive effects of Chinese language instruction.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, S L; Tori, C D

    1993-12-01

    Since little is known concerning the cortical and cognitive effects resulting from the study of a tonal, logographic language which is read from top to bottom and in a right-to-left direction, neuropsychological and intellectual measures on 51 bilingual and 41 monolingual Chinese-American children aged 9 to 12 years were compared. Multivariate statistical analyses yielded significant group differences. As predicted, the over-all mean IQ of bilinguals was higher than that of monolinguals. Other than coding skills, expected superior performance of bilinguals on right-hemisphere or bilaterally sensitive measures was not found; rather, the left-dominant sequential abilities of bilinguals surpassed those of their monolingual peers. English fluency of the two groups was equivalent and monolingual youngsters obtained higher scores on two of five academic achievements tests than bilinguals. The effects of Chinese language instruction among Chinese-American children are discussed in relation to the distinguished educational accomplishments of Asian Americans.

  10. Lipreading Ability and Its Cognitive Correlates in Typically Developing Children and Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heikkilä, Jenni; Lonka, Eila; Ahola, Sanna; Meronen, Auli; Tiippana, Kaisa

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Lipreading and its cognitive correlates were studied in school-age children with typical language development and delayed language development due to specific language impairment (SLI). Method: Forty-two children with typical language development and 20 children with SLI were tested by using a word-level lipreading test and an extensive…

  11. The Cognitive Agents Specification Language and Verification Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, S.; Lespérance, Y.; Levesque, H. J.

    The Cognitive Agents Specification Language (CASL) is a framework for specifying multiagent systems. It has a mix of declarative and procedural components to facilitate the specification and verification of complex multiagent systems. In this chapter, we describe CASL and a verification environment (CASLve) for it based on the PVS verification system. We give an example of a multiagent meeting scheduler application specified with CASL. To illustrate the verification system, we discuss a proof we carried out in it, namely, that all bounded-loop CASL specifications terminate.

  12. The Nature of the Language Faculty and Its Implications for Evolution of Language (Reply to Fitch, Hauser, and Chomsky)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackendoff, Ray; Pinker, Steven

    2005-01-01

    In a continuation of the conversation with Fitch, Chomsky, and Hauser on the evolution of language, we examine their defense of the claim that the uniquely human, language-specific part of the language faculty (the ''narrow language faculty'') consists only of recursion, and that this part cannot be considered an adaptation to communication. We…

  13. The Nature of the Language Faculty and Its Implications for Evolution of Language (Reply to Fitch, Hauser, and Chomsky)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackendoff, Ray; Pinker, Steven

    2005-01-01

    In a continuation of the conversation with Fitch, Chomsky, and Hauser on the evolution of language, we examine their defense of the claim that the uniquely human, language-specific part of the language faculty (the ''narrow language faculty'') consists only of recursion, and that this part cannot be considered an adaptation to communication. We…

  14. Language Measures of the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery

    PubMed Central

    Gershon, Richard C.; Cook, Karon F.; Mungas, Dan; Manly, Jennifer J.; Slotkin, Jerry; Beaumont, Jennifer L.; Weintraub, Sandra

    2015-01-01

    Language facilitates communication and efficient encoding of thought and experience. Because of its essential role in early childhood development, in educational achievement and in subsequent life adaptation, language was included as one of the subdomains in the NIH Toolbox for the Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function Cognition Battery (NIHTB-CB). There are many different components of language functioning, including syntactic processing (i.e., morphology and grammar) and lexical semantics. For purposes of the NIHTB-CB, two tests of language—a picture vocabulary test and a reading recognition test—were selected by consensus based on literature reviews, iterative expert input, and a desire to assess in English and Spanish. NIHTB-CB’s picture vocabulary and reading recognition tests are administered using computer adaptive testing and scored using item response theory. Data are presented from the validation of the English versions in a sample of adults ages 20–85 years (Spanish results will be presented in a future publication). Both tests demonstrated high test–retest reliability and good construct validity compared to corresponding gold-standard measures. Scores on the NIH Toolbox measures were consistent with age-related expectations, namely, growth in language during early development, with relative stabilization into late adulthood. PMID:24960128

  15. Redrawing the Boundaries of Language Teacher Cognition: Language Teacher Educators' Emotion, Cognition, and Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Golombek, Paula R.

    2015-01-01

    This article, grounded in a Vygotskian sociocultural perspective, details the self-inquiry of a language teacher educator who examined her "emotional dissonance" regarding her mediation of the reflection journals of a teacher learner teaching an ESL class during an internship. Data from the teacher learner's reflection journals and the…

  16. Benign multiple sclerosis: physical and cognitive impairment follow distinct evolutions.

    PubMed

    Gajofatto, A; Turatti, M; Bianchi, M R; Forlivesi, S; Gobbin, F; Azzarà, A; Monaco, S; Benedetti, M D

    2016-03-01

    Benign multiple sclerosis (BMS) definitions rely on physical disability level but do not account sufficiently for cognitive impairment which, however, is not rare. To study the evolution of physical disability and cognitive performance of a group of patients with BMS followed at an University Hospital Multiple Sclerosis Center. A consecutive sample of 24 BMS cases (diagnosis according to 2005 McDonald's criteria, relapsing-remitting course, disease duration ≥ 10 years, and expanded disability status scale [EDSS] score ≤ 2.0) and 13 sex- and age-matched non-BMS patients differing from BMS cases for having EDSS score 2.5-5.5 were included. Main outcome measures were as follows: (i) baseline and 5-year follow-up cognitive impairment defined as failure of at least two tests of the administered neuropsychological battery; (ii) EDSS score worsening defined as confirmed increase ≥ 1 point (or 0.5 point if baseline EDSS score = 5.5). At inclusion, BMS subjects were 41 ± 8 years old and had median EDSS score 1.5 (range 0-2), while non-BMS patients were 46 ± 8 years old and had median EDSS score 3.0 (2.5-5.5). At baseline 16% of patients in both groups were cognitively impaired. After 5 years, EDSS score worsened in 8% of BMS and 46% of non-BMS patients (P = 0.008), while the proportion of cognitively impaired subjects increased to 25% in both groups. Patients with BMS had better physical disability outcome at 5 years compared to non-BMS cases. However, cognitive impairment frequency and decline over time appeared similar. Neuropsychological assessment is essential in patients with BMS given the distinct pathways followed by disease progression in cognitive and physical domains. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Two languages, two minds: flexible cognitive processing driven by language of operation.

    PubMed

    Athanasopoulos, Panos; Bylund, Emanuel; Montero-Melis, Guillermo; Damjanovic, Ljubica; Schartner, Alina; Kibbe, Alexandra; Riches, Nick; Thierry, Guillaume

    2015-04-01

    People make sense of objects and events around them by classifying them into identifiable categories. The extent to which language affects this process has been the focus of a long-standing debate: Do different languages cause their speakers to behave differently? Here, we show that fluent German-English bilinguals categorize motion events according to the grammatical constraints of the language in which they operate. First, as predicted from cross-linguistic differences in motion encoding, bilingual participants functioning in a German testing context prefer to match events on the basis of motion completion to a greater extent than do bilingual participants in an English context. Second, when bilingual participants experience verbal interference in English, their categorization behavior is congruent with that predicted for German; when bilingual participants experience verbal interference in German, their categorization becomes congruent with that predicted for English. These findings show that language effects on cognition are context-bound and transient, revealing unprecedented levels of malleability in human cognition.

  18. Co-evolution of human consciousness and language (revisited).

    PubMed

    Arbib, Michael A

    2014-06-01

    This article discusses the view that human consciousness may share aspects of "animal awareness" with other species, but has its unique form because humans possess language. Two ingredients of a theory of the evolution of human consciousness are offered: the view that a précis of intended activity is necessarily formed in the brain of a human that communicates in a human way; and the notion that such a précis underwrites the uniquely human aspect of consciousness.

  19. The clinical spectrum of developmental language impairment in school-aged children: language, cognitive, and motor findings.

    PubMed

    Webster, Richard I; Erdos, Caroline; Evans, Karen; Majnemer, Annette; Kehayia, Eva; Thordardottir, Elin; Evans, Alan; Shevell, Michael I

    2006-11-01

    Our goal was to evaluate detailed school-age language, nonverbal cognitive, and motor development in children with developmental language impairment compared with age-matched controls. Children with developmental language impairment or normal language development (controls) aged 7 to 13 years were recruited. Children underwent language assessment (Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-4, Peabody Picture Vocabulary-3, Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation-2), nonverbal cognitive assessment (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV), and motor assessment (Movement Assessment Battery for Children). Exclusion criteria were nonverbal IQ below the 5th percentile or an acquired language, hearing, autistic spectrum, or neurologic disorder. Eleven children with developmental language impairment (7:4 boys/girls; mean age: 10.1 +/- 0.8 years) and 12 controls (5:7 boys/girls; mean age: 9.5 +/- 1.8 years) were recruited. Children with developmental language impairment showed lower mean scores on language (Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-4--developmental language impairment: 79.7 +/- 16.5; controls: 109.2 +/- 9.6; Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation-2--developmental language impairment: 94.1 +/- 10.6; controls: 104.0 +/- 2.8; Peabody Picture Vocabulary-3--developmental language impairment: 90.5 +/- 13.8; controls: 100.1 +/- 11.6), cognitive (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV--developmental language impairment: 99.5 +/- 15.5; controls: 113.5 +/- 11.9), and motor measures (Movement Assessment Battery for Children percentile--developmental language impairment: 12.7 +/- 16.7; controls: 66.1 +/- 30.6) and greater discrepancies between cognitive and language scores (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV/Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-4--developmental language impairment: 17.8 +/- 17.8; controls: 1.2 +/- 12.7). Motor impairment was more common in children with developmental language impairment (70%) than controls (8%). Developmental

  20. Language and life history: a new perspective on the development and evolution of human language.

    PubMed

    Locke, John L; Bogin, Barry

    2006-06-01

    It has long been claimed that Homo sapiens is the only species that has language, but only recently has it been recognized that humans also have an unusual pattern of growth and development. Social mammals have two stages of pre-adult development: infancy and juvenility. Humans have two additional prolonged and pronounced life history stages: childhood, an interval of four years extending between infancy and the juvenile period that follows, and adolescence, a stage of about eight years that stretches from juvenility to adulthood. We begin by reviewing the primary biological and linguistic changes occurring in each of the four pre-adult ontogenetic stages in human life history. Then we attempt to trace the evolution of childhood and juvenility in our hominin ancestors. We propose that several different forms of selection applied in infancy and childhood; and that, in adolescence, elaborated vocal behaviors played a role in courtship and intrasexual competition, enhancing fitness and ultimately integrating performative and pragmatic skills with linguistic knowledge in a broad faculty of language. A theoretical consequence of our proposal is that fossil evidence of the uniquely human stages may be used, with other findings, to date the emergence of language. If important aspects of language cannot appear until sexual maturity, as we propose, then a second consequence is that the development of language requires the whole of modern human ontogeny. Our life history model thus offers new ways of investigating, and thinking about, the evolution, development, and ultimately the nature of human language.

  1. Cognition and Literacy in English Language Learners at Risk for Reading Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee; Orosco, Michael J.; Lussier, Cathy M.

    2012-01-01

    This study explores the cognitive basis of reading disabilities (RDs) in Spanish-speaking children who are learning English as a second language. Children (N = 393) designated as English language learners (ELLs) or bilingual with and without RDs in Grades 1, 2, and 3 were administered a battery of cognitive (short-term memory, working memory,…

  2. Cognitive Diagnosis and Q-Matrices in Language Assessment: The Authors Respond

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Yong-Won; Sawaki, Yasuyo

    2010-01-01

    This article presents the authors' response on the two commentators' (Fred Davidson and Charles Alderson) reviews of the 2009 Special Issue of "Language Assessment Quarterly" on "Cognitive Diagnosis and Q-matrices in Language Assessment." The Special Issue represents several years of research work on cognitive diagnosis approaches (CDA) carried…

  3. Social Cognition and Externalizing Psychopathology: An Investigation of the Mediating Role of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zadeh, Zohreh Yaghoub; Im-Bolter, Nancie; Cohen, Nancy J.

    2007-01-01

    The present study integrates findings from three lines of research on the association of social cognition and externalizing psychopathology, language and externalizing psychopathology, and social cognition and language functioning using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). To date these associations have been examined in pairs. A sample of 354…

  4. Relative Contribution of Perception/Cognition and Language on Spatial Categorization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choi, Soonja; Hattrup, Kate

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the relative contribution of perception/cognition and language-specific semantics in nonverbal categorization of spatial relations. English and Korean speakers completed a video-based similarity judgment task involving containment, support, tight fit, and loose fit. Both perception/cognition and language served as resources…

  5. Cognition and Literacy in English Language Learners at Risk for Reading Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee; Orosco, Michael J.; Lussier, Cathy M.

    2012-01-01

    This study explores the cognitive basis of reading disabilities (RDs) in Spanish-speaking children who are learning English as a second language. Children (N = 393) designated as English language learners (ELLs) or bilingual with and without RDs in Grades 1, 2, and 3 were administered a battery of cognitive (short-term memory, working memory,…

  6. Cognitive Diagnosis and Q-Matrices in Language Assessment: The Authors Respond

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Yong-Won; Sawaki, Yasuyo

    2010-01-01

    This article presents the authors' response on the two commentators' (Fred Davidson and Charles Alderson) reviews of the 2009 Special Issue of "Language Assessment Quarterly" on "Cognitive Diagnosis and Q-matrices in Language Assessment." The Special Issue represents several years of research work on cognitive diagnosis approaches (CDA) carried…

  7. The roles of cognitive and language abilities in predicting decoding and reading comprehension: comparisons of dyslexia and specific language impairment.

    PubMed

    Lauterbach, Alexandra A; Park, Yujeong; Lombardino, Linda J

    2016-11-15

    This study aimed to (a) explore the roles of cognitive and language variables in predicting reading abilities of two groups of individuals with reading disabilities (i.e., dyslexia and specific language impairment) and (b) examine which variable(s) is the most predictive in differentiating two groups. Inclusion/exclusion criteria applied to categorize the two groups yielded a total of 63 participants (n = 44 for the dyslexia; n = 19 for the specific language impairment). A stepwise multiple regression approach was conducted to examine which cognitive and/or language variables made the largest contribution to reading abilities (i.e., Phonetic Decoding Efficiency, Word Attack, Sight Word Efficiency, and Passage Comprehension). Results revealed that there were significant differences in which measures of cognitive and language ability predicted individuals with dyslexia and speech and language impairments reading ability, showing that the cognitive and language variables underlying their difficulty with reading abilities were not the same across the two groups. A discriminant function analysis showed that a measure of Verbal Comprehension, Phonological Awareness, and Phonetic Decoding Efficiency can be used to differentiate the two groups. These findings support the tenet that dyslexia and specific language impairment are two subgroups of reading disabilities and that thorough diagnostic evaluations are needed to differentiate between these two subgroups. Distinctions of this nature are central to determining the type and intensity of language-based interventions.

  8. The evolution of the language faculty: clarifications and implications.

    PubMed

    Fitch, W Tecumseh; Hauser, Marc D; Chomsky, Noam

    2005-09-01

    In this response to Pinker and Jackendoff's critique, we extend our previous framework for discussion of language evolution, clarifying certain distinctions and elaborating on a number of points. In the first half of the paper, we reiterate that profitable research into the biology and evolution of language requires fractionation of "language" into component mechanisms and interfaces, a non-trivial endeavor whose results are unlikely to map onto traditional disciplinary boundaries. Our terminological distinction between FLN and FLB is intended to help clarify misunderstandings and aid interdisciplinary rapprochement. By blurring this distinction, Pinker and Jackendoff mischaracterize our hypothesis 3 which concerns only FLN, not "language" as a whole. Many of their arguments and examples are thus irrelevant to this hypothesis. Their critique of the minimalist program is for the most part equally irrelevant, because very few of the arguments in our original paper were tied to this program; in an online appendix we detail the deep inaccuracies in their characterization of this program. Concerning evolution, we believe that Pinker and Jackendoff's emphasis on the past adaptive history of the language faculty is misplaced. Such questions are unlikely to be resolved empirically due to a lack of relevant data, and invite speculation rather than research. Preoccupation with the issue has retarded progress in the field by diverting research away from empirical questions, many of which can be addressed with comparative data. Moreover, offering an adaptive hypothesis as an alternative to our hypothesis concerning mechanisms is a logical error, as questions of function are independent of those concerning mechanism. The second half of our paper consists of a detailed response to the specific data discussed by Pinker and Jackendoff. Although many of their examples are irrelevant to our original paper and arguments, we find several areas of substantive disagreement that could be

  9. Parallel Evolution of Genes and Languages in the Caucasus Region

    PubMed Central

    Balanovsky, Oleg; Dibirova, Khadizhat; Dybo, Anna; Mudrak, Oleg; Frolova, Svetlana; Pocheshkhova, Elvira; Haber, Marc; Platt, Daniel; Schurr, Theodore; Haak, Wolfgang; Kuznetsova, Marina; Radzhabov, Magomed; Balaganskaya, Olga; Romanov, Alexey; Zakharova, Tatiana; Soria Hernanz, David F.; Zalloua, Pierre; Koshel, Sergey; Ruhlen, Merritt; Renfrew, Colin; Wells, R. Spencer; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Balanovska, Elena

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed 40 SNP and 19 STR Y-chromosomal markers in a large sample of 1,525 indigenous individuals from 14 populations in the Caucasus and 254 additional individuals representing potential source populations. We also employed a lexicostatistical approach to reconstruct the history of the languages of the North Caucasian family spoken by the Caucasus populations. We found a different major haplogroup to be prevalent in each of four sets of populations that occupy distinct geographic regions and belong to different linguistic branches. The haplogroup frequencies correlated with geography and, even more strongly, with language. Within haplogroups, a number of haplotype clusters were shown to be specific to individual populations and languages. The data suggested a direct origin of Caucasus male lineages from the Near East, followed by high levels of isolation, differentiation and genetic drift in situ. Comparison of genetic and linguistic reconstructions covering the last few millennia showed striking correspondences between the topology and dates of the respective gene and language trees, and with documented historical events. Overall, in the Caucasus region, unmatched levels of gene-language co-evolution occurred within geographically isolated populations, probably due to its mountainous terrain. PMID:21571925

  10. Signaled Stopping and Cognitive, Language Principles Applied to Public Relations Writing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramsey, Shirley A.

    To investigate the hypothesis that cognitive rules govern writing behavior, Carter's signaled stopping technique was used to study language and cognitive effects in public relations messages. Principles from Grunig, et al (1985) Axiomatic Theory of Cognition and Writing, which proposed premises, axioms and definitions about writing, were applied…

  11. Signaled Stopping and Cognitive, Language Principles Applied to Public Relations Writing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramsey, Shirley A.

    To investigate the hypothesis that cognitive rules govern writing behavior, Carter's signaled stopping technique was used to study language and cognitive effects in public relations messages. Principles from Grunig, et al (1985) Axiomatic Theory of Cognition and Writing, which proposed premises, axioms and definitions about writing, were applied…

  12. Language at three timescales: The role of real-time processes in language development and evolution

    PubMed Central

    McMurray, Bob

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental systems (Evo-Devo) theory stresses that selection pressures operate on entire developmental systems rather than just genes. This paper extends this approach to language evolution arguing that selection pressure may operate on two quasi-independent timescales. First, children clearly must acquire language successfully (as acknowledged in traditional Evo-Devo accounts) and evolution must equip them with the tools to do so. Second, while this is developing they must also communicate with others in the moment using partially developed knowledge. These pressures may require different solutions and their combination may underlie the evolution of complex mechanisms for language development and processing. I present two case studies to illustrate how the demands of both real-time communication and language acquisition may be subtly different (and interact). The first case study examines infant directed speech (IDS). A recent view is that IDS underwent cultural to statistical learning mechanisms that infants use to acquire the speech categories of their language. However, recent data suggest is it may not have evolved to enhance development, but rather to serve a more real-time communicative function. The second case study examines the argument for seemingly specialized mechanisms for learning word meanings (e.g., fast-mapping). Both behavioral and computational work suggest that learning may be much slower, and served by general purpose mechanisms like associative learning. Fast-mapping, then, may be a real-time process meant to serve immediate communication, not learning, by augmenting incomplete vocabulary knowledge with constraints from the current context. Together, these studies suggest that evolutionary accounts consider selection pressure arising from both real-time communicative demands and from the need for accurate language development. PMID:26991438

  13. Toward a Cognitive Approach to Second-Language Acquisition. Language and the Teacher: A Series in Applied Linguistics, Volume 17.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lugton, Robert C., Ed.; Heinle, Charles H., Ed.

    This collection of articles concerns various aspects of a cognitive approach to second language learning. The discussion of such an approach involves current ideas in linguistics, psychology, and sociology. The 13 chapters represent the work of 14 authors and include the following titles: "Toward a Cognitive Approach,""Teaching English to Speakers…

  14. Evidence for Shared Cognitive Processing of Pitch in Music and Language

    PubMed Central

    Perrachione, Tyler K.; Fedorenko, Evelina G.; Vinke, Louis; Gibson, Edward; Dilley, Laura C.

    2013-01-01

    Language and music epitomize the complex representational and computational capacities of the human mind. Strikingly similar in their structural and expressive features, a longstanding question is whether the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms underlying these abilities are shared or distinct – either from each other or from other mental processes. One prominent feature shared between language and music is signal encoding using pitch, conveying pragmatics and semantics in language and melody in music. We investigated how pitch processing is shared between language and music by measuring consistency in individual differences in pitch perception across language, music, and three control conditions intended to assess basic sensory and domain-general cognitive processes. Individuals’ pitch perception abilities in language and music were most strongly related, even after accounting for performance in all control conditions. These results provide behavioral evidence, based on patterns of individual differences, that is consistent with the hypothesis that cognitive mechanisms for pitch processing may be shared between language and music. PMID:23977386

  15. Evidence for shared cognitive processing of pitch in music and language.

    PubMed

    Perrachione, Tyler K; Fedorenko, Evelina G; Vinke, Louis; Gibson, Edward; Dilley, Laura C

    2013-01-01

    Language and music epitomize the complex representational and computational capacities of the human mind. Strikingly similar in their structural and expressive features, a longstanding question is whether the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms underlying these abilities are shared or distinct--either from each other or from other mental processes. One prominent feature shared between language and music is signal encoding using pitch, conveying pragmatics and semantics in language and melody in music. We investigated how pitch processing is shared between language and music by measuring consistency in individual differences in pitch perception across language, music, and three control conditions intended to assess basic sensory and domain-general cognitive processes. Individuals' pitch perception abilities in language and music were most strongly related, even after accounting for performance in all control conditions. These results provide behavioral evidence, based on patterns of individual differences, that is consistent with the hypothesis that cognitive mechanisms for pitch processing may be shared between language and music.

  16. Postinstitutionalized children's development: growth, cognitive, and language outcomes.

    PubMed

    Loman, Michelle M; Wiik, Kristen L; Frenn, Kristin A; Pollak, Seth D; Gunnar, Megan R

    2009-10-01

    Children adopted internationally from institutions are a growing population presenting to professional care providers. Although postinstitutionalized (PI) children are adopted from multiple world regions, current knowledge is predominantly based on those adopted from Romania and Eastern European countries. This study examines and compares developmental outcomes of PI children adopted from multiple world regions. Five to 11 years after adoption, 8- through 11-year-old PI children (N = 91), children internationally adopted early from foster care (N = 109), and nonadopted children (N = 69) completed screening measures assessing vision, hearing, growth, and cognitive and language abilities. Parents completed questionnaires on service utilization, school performance, preadoptive history, and postadoption environment. Forty-four percent of PI children's growth was stunted (height <10th percentile) at adoption. At assessment, although physically smaller, nearly all PI children had average growth parameters. Relative to nonadopted children and children adopted early from foster care, PI children performed more poorly on cognitive and language screens with increased time in institution related to lower performance. Notably, group means on these measures were within the average range. PI children were more likely to be falling behind academically and to use intervention services. Family environment did not differ between PI and nonadopted children. There were few differences for PI children by world region of adoption once accounting for duration of institutionalization. Despite currently living in similar environments, PI children have specific needs that differ from early-adopted and nonadopted children. Consideration of multiple factors, including length of institutionalization, is essential when providing care for these children.

  17. Cognitive and Linguistic Predictors of Basic Arithmetic Skills: Evidence from First-Language and Second-Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kleemans, Tijs; Segers, Eliane; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2014-01-01

    The present study investigated the role of both cognitive and linguistic predictors in basic arithmetic skills (i.e., addition and subtraction) in 69 first-language (L1) learners and 60 second-language (L2) learners from the second grade of primary schools in the Netherlands. All children were tested on non-verbal intelligence, working memory,…

  18. Cognitive and Linguistic Predictors of Basic Arithmetic Skills: Evidence from First-Language and Second-Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kleemans, Tijs; Segers, Eliane; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2014-01-01

    The present study investigated the role of both cognitive and linguistic predictors in basic arithmetic skills (i.e., addition and subtraction) in 69 first-language (L1) learners and 60 second-language (L2) learners from the second grade of primary schools in the Netherlands. All children were tested on non-verbal intelligence, working memory,…

  19. Language, Cognitive Flexibility, and Explicit False Belief Understanding: Longitudinal Analysis in Typical Development and Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrant, Brad M.; Maybery, Murray T.; Fletcher, Janet

    2012-01-01

    The hypothesis that language plays a role in theory-of-mind (ToM) development is supported by a number of lines of evidence (e.g., H. Lohmann & M. Tomasello, 2003). The current study sought to further investigate the relations between maternal language input, memory for false sentential complements, cognitive flexibility, and the development of…

  20. Language, Cognitive Flexibility, and Explicit False Belief Understanding: Longitudinal Analysis in Typical Development and Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrant, Brad M.; Maybery, Murray T.; Fletcher, Janet

    2012-01-01

    The hypothesis that language plays a role in theory-of-mind (ToM) development is supported by a number of lines of evidence (e.g., H. Lohmann & M. Tomasello, 2003). The current study sought to further investigate the relations between maternal language input, memory for false sentential complements, cognitive flexibility, and the development of…

  1. Three-Dimensional Constraints on Human Cognition as Expressed in Human Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adam, Christopher C.

    2015-01-01

    Those advocating the existence of a distinct language instinct generally claim that human language is not reliant on general human cognition. However, limitations on recursive patterns in human language are universally attested, from the micro-level elements of phonology, throughout the mid-level elements of morphology and syntax, and up to the…

  2. Applications of Cognitive Load Theory to Multimedia-Based Foreign Language Learning: An Overview

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, I-Jung; Chang, Chi-Cheng; Lee, Yen-Chang

    2009-01-01

    This article reviews the multimedia instructional design literature based on cognitive load theory (CLT) in the context of foreign language learning. Multimedia are of particular importance in language learning materials because they incorporate text, image, and sound, thus offering an integrated learning experience of the four language skills…

  3. Codeswitching in the Language Classroom: A Study of Four EFL Teachers' Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samar, Reza Ghafar; Moradkhani, Shahab

    2014-01-01

    Although many language teachers resort to their first language (L1) at various junctures during their practice, not many studies have tried to understand the reasons for this from teachers' personal perspectives. This study aimed at investigating English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers' cognitive processes during their classroom…

  4. Ego-Centricism and Cognitive Functioning in Iranian Young Adults' Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ebrahimi, Pouria

    2008-01-01

    This introspective paper proves Iranian young adults' ego-centricism and its cognitive functioning an encumbrance in English language learning. Thru a brief look at the initiation of language acquisition in children and the generalizibility to language teaching and learning programs, it is realized that the ego of every learner is the main axis of…

  5. Languaging as Agent and Constituent of Cognitive Change in an Older Adult: An Example

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swain, Merrill; Lapkin, Sharon

    2011-01-01

    Vygotsky's writings have established the critical importance of language in the development of higher mental functions, including memory and attention. One of the processes involved in this development is languaging, the activity of mediating cognitively complex ideas using language (Swain, 2006). The present study of an older adult with mild…

  6. Three-Dimensional Constraints on Human Cognition as Expressed in Human Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adam, Christopher C.

    2015-01-01

    Those advocating the existence of a distinct language instinct generally claim that human language is not reliant on general human cognition. However, limitations on recursive patterns in human language are universally attested, from the micro-level elements of phonology, throughout the mid-level elements of morphology and syntax, and up to the…

  7. Language Teacher Cognition in Applied Linguistics Research: Revisiting the Territory, Redrawing the Boundaries, Reclaiming the Relevance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kubanyiova, Magdalena; Feryok, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Understanding language teachers' "mental lives" (Walberg, 1972), and how these shape and are shaped by the activity of language teaching in diverse sociocultural contexts, has been at the forefront of the sub discipline of applied linguistics that has become known as "language teacher cognition." Although the collective…

  8. Language Teacher Cognition in Applied Linguistics Research: Revisiting the Territory, Redrawing the Boundaries, Reclaiming the Relevance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kubanyiova, Magdalena; Feryok, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Understanding language teachers' "mental lives" (Walberg, 1972), and how these shape and are shaped by the activity of language teaching in diverse sociocultural contexts, has been at the forefront of the sub discipline of applied linguistics that has become known as "language teacher cognition." Although the collective…

  9. Determining the Association between Language and Cognitive Tests in Poststroke Aphasia.

    PubMed

    Wall, Kylie J; Cumming, Toby B; Copland, David A

    2017-01-01

    Individuals with aphasia are often excluded from studies exploring poststroke cognition because so many of the standard cognitive assessments rely on language ability. Our primary objective was to examine the association between performance on cognitive tests and performance on comprehension and naming tests in poststroke aphasia. Second, we aimed to determine the association between language performance and a real-life measure of cognition (Kettle Test). Third, we explored the feasibility of administering cognitive tests in aphasia. Thirty-six participants with poststroke aphasia and 32 controls were assessed on a battery of pen-and-paper cognitive tests recommended in stroke. Auditory comprehension was measured using the Comprehensive Aphasia Test and naming was measured using the Boston Naming Test. Twenty-two community dwelling participants with aphasia and controls were also asked to complete the Kettle Test. Multiple linear regressions were used to explore the relationship between language performance and performance on the cognitive tests. Feasibility was determined by quantifying missing data. The cognitive tests with the highest variance accounted for by auditory comprehension and naming were animal fluency (R(2) = 0.67, R(2) = 0.78) and the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (recognition discrimination index) (R(2) = 0.65, R(2) = 0.78). All cognitive tests were significantly associated with auditory comprehension and naming, except for the Star Cancellation Test and the Kettle Test. Thirty-three percent of participants with aphasia were unable to complete all the cognitive tests. Language and non-linguistic cognitive processes are often interrelated. Most pen-and-paper cognitive tests were significantly associated with both auditory comprehension and naming, even in tests that do not require a verbal response. Language performance was not significantly associated with a real-life cognitive performance measure. Task instructions, stimuli, and responses

  10. Motor system evolution and the emergence of high cognitive functions.

    PubMed

    Mendoza, Germán; Merchant, Hugo

    2014-11-01

    In human and nonhuman primates, the cortical motor system comprises a collection of brain areas primarily related to motor control. Existing evidence suggests that no other mammalian group has the number, extension, and complexity of motor-related areas observed in the frontal lobe of primates. Such diversity is probably related to the wide behavioral flexibility that primates display. Indeed, recent comparative anatomical, psychophysical, and neurophysiological studies suggest that the evolution of the motor cortical areas closely correlates with the emergence of high cognitive abilities. Advances in understanding the cortical motor system have shown that these areas are also related to functions previously linked to higher-order associative areas. In addition, experimental observations have shown that the classical distinction between perceptual and motor functions is not strictly followed across cortical areas. In this paper, we review evidence suggesting that evolution of the motor system had a role in the shaping of different cognitive functions in primates. We argue that the increase in the complexity of the motor system has contributed to the emergence of new abilities observed in human and nonhuman primates, including the recognition and imitation of the actions of others, speech perception and production, and the execution and appreciation of the rhythmic structure of music. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Tool-use-associated sound in the evolution of language.

    PubMed

    Larsson, Matz

    2015-09-01

    Proponents of the motor theory of language evolution have primarily focused on the visual domain and communication through observation of movements. In the present paper, it is hypothesized that the production and perception of sound, particularly of incidental sound of locomotion (ISOL) and tool-use sound (TUS), also contributed. Human bipedalism resulted in rhythmic and more predictable ISOL. It has been proposed that this stimulated the evolution of musical abilities, auditory working memory, and abilities to produce complex vocalizations and to mimic natural sounds. Since the human brain proficiently extracts information about objects and events from the sounds they produce, TUS, and mimicry of TUS, might have achieved an iconic function. The prevalence of sound symbolism in many extant languages supports this idea. Self-produced TUS activates multimodal brain processing (motor neurons, hearing, proprioception, touch, vision), and TUS stimulates primate audiovisual mirror neurons, which is likely to stimulate the development of association chains. Tool use and auditory gestures involve motor processing of the forelimbs, which is associated with the evolution of vertebrate vocal communication. The production, perception, and mimicry of TUS may have resulted in a limited number of vocalizations or protowords that were associated with tool use. A new way to communicate about tools, especially when out of sight, would have had selective advantage. A gradual change in acoustic properties and/or meaning could have resulted in arbitrariness and an expanded repertoire of words. Humans have been increasingly exposed to TUS over millions of years, coinciding with the period during which spoken language evolved. ISOL and tool-use-related sound are worth further exploration.

  12. Genetic and Environmental Links Between Natural Language Use and Cognitive Ability in Toddlers.

    PubMed

    Canfield, Caitlin F; Edelson, Lisa R; Saudino, Kimberly J

    2017-03-01

    Although the phenotypic correlation between language and nonverbal cognitive ability is well-documented, studies examining the etiology of the covariance between these abilities are scant, particularly in very young children. The goal of this study was to address this gap in the literature by examining the genetic and environmental links between language use, assessed through conversational language samples, and nonverbal cognition in a sample of 3-year-old twins (N = 281 pairs). Significant genetic and nonshared environmental influences were found for nonverbal cognitive ability and language measures, including mean length of utterance and number of different words, as well as significant genetic covariance between cognitive ability and both language measures. © 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  13. Foreign language training as cognitive therapy for age-related cognitive decline: a hypothesis for future research.

    PubMed

    Antoniou, Mark; Gunasekera, Geshri M; Wong, Patrick C M

    2013-12-01

    Over the next fifty years, the number of older adults is set to reach record levels. Protecting older adults from the age-related effects of cognitive decline is one of the greatest challenges of the next few decades as it places increasing pressure on families, health systems, and economies on a global scale. The disease-state of age-related cognitive decline-Alzheimer's disease and other dementias-hijacks our consciousness and intellectual autonomy. However, there is evidence that cognitively stimulating activities protect against the adverse effects of cognitive decline. Similarly, bilingualism is also considered to be a safeguard. We propose that foreign language learning programs aimed at older populations are an optimal solution for building cognitive reserve because language learning engages an extensive brain network that is known to overlap with the regions negatively affected by the aging process. It is recommended that future research should test this potentially fruitful hypothesis.

  14. Foreign language training as cognitive therapy for age-related cognitive decline: A hypothesis for future research

    PubMed Central

    Antoniou, Mark; Gunasekera, Geshri; Wong, Patrick C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Over the next fifty years, the number of older adults is set to reach record levels. Protecting older adults from the age-related effects of cognitive decline is one of the greatest challenges of the next few decades as it places increasing pressure on families, health systems, and economies on a global scale. The disease-state of age-related cognitive decline—Alzheimer's disease and other dementias—hijacks our consciousness and intellectual autonomy. However, there is evidence that cognitively stimulating activities protect against the adverse effects of cognitive decline. Similarly, bilingualism is also considered to be a safeguard. We propose that foreign language learning programs aimed at older populations are an optimal solution for building cognitive reserve because language learning engages an extensive brain network that is known to overlap with the regions negatively affected by the aging process. It is recommended that future research should test this potentially fruitful hypothesis. PMID:24051310

  15. Colloquium paper: the cognitive niche: coevolution of intelligence, sociality, and language.

    PubMed

    Pinker, Steven

    2010-05-11

    Although Darwin insisted that human intelligence could be fully explained by the theory of evolution, the codiscoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace, claimed that abstract intelligence was of no use to ancestral humans and could only be explained by intelligent design. Wallace's apparent paradox can be dissolved with two hypotheses about human cognition. One is that intelligence is an adaptation to a knowledge-using, socially interdependent lifestyle, the "cognitive niche." This embraces the ability to overcome the evolutionary fixed defenses of plants and animals by applications of reasoning, including weapons, traps, coordinated driving of game, and detoxification of plants. Such reasoning exploits intuitive theories about different aspects of the world, such as objects, forces, paths, places, states, substances, and other people's beliefs and desires. The theory explains many zoologically unusual traits in Homo sapiens, including our complex toolkit, wide range of habitats and diets, extended childhoods and long lives, hypersociality, complex mating, division into cultures, and language (which multiplies the benefit of knowledge because know-how is useful not only for its practical benefits but as a trade good with others, enhancing the evolution of cooperation). The second hypothesis is that humans possess an ability of metaphorical abstraction, which allows them to coopt faculties that originally evolved for physical problem-solving and social coordination, apply them to abstract subject matter, and combine them productively. These abilities can help explain the emergence of abstract cognition without supernatural or exotic evolutionary forces and are in principle testable by analyses of statistical signs of selection in the human genome.

  16. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence From Word Segmentation.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-11-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's cognitive plausibility. We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition model can aim to be cognitively plausible in multiple ways. We discuss these cognitive plausibility checkpoints generally and then apply them to a case study in word segmentation, investigating a promising Bayesian segmentation strategy. We incorporate cognitive plausibility by using an age-appropriate unit of perceptual representation, evaluating the model output in terms of its utility, and incorporating cognitive constraints into the inference process. Our more cognitively plausible model shows a beneficial effect of cognitive constraints on segmentation performance. One interpretation of this effect is as a synergy between the naive theories of language structure that infants may have and the cognitive constraints that limit the fidelity of their inference processes, where less accurate inference approximations are better when the underlying assumptions about how words are generated are less accurate. More generally, these results highlight the utility of incorporating cognitive plausibility more fully into computational models of language acquisition. Copyright © 2015 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  17. Can language acquisition be facilitated in cochlear implanted children? Comparison of cognitive and behavioral psychologists' viewpoints.

    PubMed

    Monshizadeh, Leila; Vameghi, Roshanak; Yadegari, Fariba; Sajedi, Firoozeh; Hashemi, Seyed Basir

    2016-11-08

    To study how language acquisition can be facilitated for cochlear implanted children based on cognitive and behavioral psychology viewpoints? To accomplish this objective, literature related to behaviorist and cognitive psychology prospects about language acquisition were studied and some relevant books as well as Medline, Cochrane Library, Google scholar, ISI web of knowledge and Scopus databases were searched. Among 25 articles that were selected, only 11 met the inclusion criteria and were included in the study. Based on the inclusion criteria, review articles, expert opinion studies, non-experimental and experimental studies that clearly focused on behavioral and cognitive factors affecting language acquisition in children were selected. Finally, the selected articles were appraised according to guidelines of appraisal of medical studies. Due to the importance of the cochlear implanted child's language performance, the comparison of behaviorist and cognitive psychology points of view in child language acquisition was done. Since each theoretical basis, has its own positive effects on language, and since the two are not in opposition to one another, it can be said that a set of behavioral and cognitive factors might facilitate the process of language acquisition in children. Behavioral psychologists believe that repetition, as well as immediate reinforcement of child's language behavior help him easily acquire the language during a language intervention program, while cognitive psychologists emphasize on the relationship between information processing, memory improvement through repetitively using words along with "associated" pictures and objects, motor development and language acquisition. It is recommended to use a combined approach based on both theoretical frameworks while planning a language intervention program.

  18. Can language acquisition be facilitated in cochlear implanted children? Comparison of cognitive and behavioral psychologists’ viewpoints

    PubMed Central

    Monshizadeh, Leila; Vameghi, Roshanak; Yadegari, Fariba; Sajedi, Firoozeh; Hashemi, Seyed Basir

    2016-01-01

    AIM To study how language acquisition can be facilitated for cochlear implanted children based on cognitive and behavioral psychology viewpoints? METHODS To accomplish this objective, literature related to behaviorist and cognitive psychology prospects about language acquisition were studied and some relevant books as well as Medline, Cochrane Library, Google scholar, ISI web of knowledge and Scopus databases were searched. Among 25 articles that were selected, only 11 met the inclusion criteria and were included in the study. Based on the inclusion criteria, review articles, expert opinion studies, non-experimental and experimental studies that clearly focused on behavioral and cognitive factors affecting language acquisition in children were selected. Finally, the selected articles were appraised according to guidelines of appraisal of medical studies. RESULTS Due to the importance of the cochlear implanted child’s language performance, the comparison of behaviorist and cognitive psychology points of view in child language acquisition was done. Since each theoretical basis, has its own positive effects on language, and since the two are not in opposition to one another, it can be said that a set of behavioral and cognitive factors might facilitate the process of language acquisition in children. Behavioral psychologists believe that repetition, as well as immediate reinforcement of child’s language behavior help him easily acquire the language during a language intervention program, while cognitive psychologists emphasize on the relationship between information processing, memory improvement through repetitively using words along with “associated” pictures and objects, motor development and language acquisition. CONCLUSION It is recommended to use a combined approach based on both theoretical frameworks while planning a language intervention program. PMID:27872829

  19. One language, two number-word systems and many problems: numerical cognition in the Czech language.

    PubMed

    Pixner, S; Zuber, J; Heřmanová, V; Kaufmann, L; Nuerk, H-C; Moeller, K

    2011-01-01

    Comparing numerical performance between different languages does not only mean comparing different number-word systems, but also implies a comparison of differences regarding culture or educational systems. The Czech language provides the remarkable opportunity to disentangle this confound as there exist two different number-word systems within the same language: for instance, "25" can be either coded in non-inverted order "dvadsetpät" [twenty-five] or in inverted order "pätadvadset" [five-and-twenty]. To investigate the influence of the number-word system on basic numerical processing within one culture, 7-year-old Czech-speaking children had to perform a transcoding task (i.e., writing Arabic numbers to dictation) in both number-word systems. The observed error pattern clearly indicated that the structure of the number-word system determined transcoding performance reliably: In the inverted number-word system about half of all errors were inversion-related. In contrast, hardly any inversion-related errors occurred in the non-inverted number-word system. We conclude that the development of numerical cognition does not only depend on cultural or educational differences, but is indeed related to the structure and transparency of a given number-word system. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Apes, Wolves, Birds, and Humans: Toward a Comparative Foundation for a Functional Theory of Language Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Jane H.

    1977-01-01

    This article reviews the possibilities that a comparative, functionally oriented view of communication evolution offers to a linguist interested in the evolution of human languages and suggests a wide variety of areas which might be further investigated with profit. (CFM)

  1. Comparison of the Recovery Patterns of Language and Cognitive Functions in Patients with Post-Traumatic Language Processing Deficits and in Patients with Aphasia Following a Stroke

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vukovic, Mile; Vuksanovic, Jasmina; Vukovic, Irena

    2008-01-01

    In this study we investigated the recovery patterns of language and cognitive functions in patients with post-traumatic language processing deficits and in patients with aphasia following a stroke. The correlation of specific language functions and cognitive functions was analyzed in the acute phase and 6 months later. Significant recovery of the…

  2. The sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis for language acquisition and language evolution.

    PubMed

    Imai, Mutsumi; Kita, Sotaro

    2014-09-19

    Sound symbolism is a non-arbitrary relationship between speech sounds and meaning. We review evidence that, contrary to the traditional view in linguistics, sound symbolism is an important design feature of language, which affects online processing of language, and most importantly, language acquisition. We propose the sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis, claiming that (i) pre-verbal infants are sensitive to sound symbolism, due to a biologically endowed ability to map and integrate multi-modal input, (ii) sound symbolism helps infants gain referential insight for speech sounds, (iii) sound symbolism helps infants and toddlers associate speech sounds with their referents to establish a lexical representation and (iv) sound symbolism helps toddlers learn words by allowing them to focus on referents embedded in a complex scene, alleviating Quine's problem. We further explore the possibility that sound symbolism is deeply related to language evolution, drawing the parallel between historical development of language across generations and ontogenetic development within individuals. Finally, we suggest that sound symbolism bootstrapping is a part of a more general phenomenon of bootstrapping by means of iconic representations, drawing on similarities and close behavioural links between sound symbolism and speech-accompanying iconic gesture.

  3. The sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis for language acquisition and language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Imai, Mutsumi; Kita, Sotaro

    2014-01-01

    Sound symbolism is a non-arbitrary relationship between speech sounds and meaning. We review evidence that, contrary to the traditional view in linguistics, sound symbolism is an important design feature of language, which affects online processing of language, and most importantly, language acquisition. We propose the sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis, claiming that (i) pre-verbal infants are sensitive to sound symbolism, due to a biologically endowed ability to map and integrate multi-modal input, (ii) sound symbolism helps infants gain referential insight for speech sounds, (iii) sound symbolism helps infants and toddlers associate speech sounds with their referents to establish a lexical representation and (iv) sound symbolism helps toddlers learn words by allowing them to focus on referents embedded in a complex scene, alleviating Quine's problem. We further explore the possibility that sound symbolism is deeply related to language evolution, drawing the parallel between historical development of language across generations and ontogenetic development within individuals. Finally, we suggest that sound symbolism bootstrapping is a part of a more general phenomenon of bootstrapping by means of iconic representations, drawing on similarities and close behavioural links between sound symbolism and speech-accompanying iconic gesture. PMID:25092666

  4. Cognition and Language: From Apprehension to Judgment -- Quantum Conjectures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arecchi, F. T.

    2014-12-01

    We critically discuss the two moments of human cognition, namely, apprehension (A), whereby a coherent perception emerges from the recruitment of neuronal groups, and judgment (B), that entails the comparison of two apprehensions acquired at different times, coded in a suitable language and recalled by memory. (B) requires selfconsciousness, in so far as the agent who expresses the judgment must be aware that the two apprehensions are submitted to his/her own scrutiny and that it is his/her duty to extract a mutual relation. Since (B) lasts around 3 seconds, the semantic value of the pieces under comparison must be decided within this time. This implies a fast search of the memory contents. As a fact, exploring human subjects with sequences of simple words, we find evidence of a limited time window, corresponding to the memory retrieval of a linguistic item in order to match it with the next one in a text flow (be it literary, or musical,or figurative). Classifying the information content of spike trains, an uncertainty relation emerges between the bit size of a word and its duration. This uncertainty is ruled by a constant that can be given a numerical value and that has nothing to do with Planck's constant. A "quantum conjecture" in the above sense might explain the onset and decay of the memory window connecting successive pieces of a linguistic text. The conjecture here formulated is applicable to other reported evidences of quantum effects in human cognitive processes, so far lacking a plausible framework since no efforts to assign a quantum constant have been associated.

  5. Paleoenvironmental basis of cognitive evolution in great apes.

    PubMed

    Potts, Richard

    2004-03-01

    A bias favoring tree-dominated habitats and ripe-fruit frugivory has persisted in great ape evolution since the early Miocene. This bias is indicated by fossil ape paleoenvironments, molar morphology, dental microwear, the geographic pattern of extinctions, and extant apes' reliance on wooded settings. The ephemeral aspect of high-quality fruit has placed a premium on cognitive and social means of finding and defending food sources, and appears related to great apes' affinity since the Miocene for wooded, fruit-rich environments. These habitats have, however, undergone a severe withdrawal toward the low latitudes of Africa and Southeast Asia since the late Miocene, corresponding to a decline in the diversity of great apes beginning 9.5 million years ago. Plio-Pleistocene records imply that wooded settings of Africa and SE Asia were prone to substantial fragmentation and coalescence. Once apes were confined to equatorial settings, therefore, habitat instability heightened the spatial/temporal uncertainty of ripe-fruit sources. Prolonged learning, the assignment of attributes to distant places, mental representation, and reliance on fallback foods were all favored in this dynamic environmental context. These abilities helped sustain forest frugivory in most lineages. Fluid social grouping afforded the animals opportunities to locate ephemeral foods in continuous and fragmented forests. Fission-fusion grouping also magnified the problems of object impermanence (of individuals) and dispersion manifested by food sources in the ecological realm. Thus the spatial and temporal dynamics of fruit and wooded habitats since the Miocene are reflected in important components of great ape cognition, foraging, and sociality. In contrast to great apes, cercopithecoid monkeys have increased their plant dietary options and diversified in seasonal environments since the late Miocene. Early hominins eventually severed the habitat bias that characterized the evolution of great apes, and

  6. On Quantitative Comparative Research in Communication and Language Evolution.

    PubMed

    Oller, D Kimbrough; Griebel, Ulrike

    2014-09-01

    Quantitative comparison of human language and natural animal communication requires improved conceptualizations. We argue that an infrastructural approach to development and evolution incorporating an extended interpretation of the distinctions among illocution, perlocution, and meaning (Austin 1962; Oller and Griebel 2008) can help place the issues relevant to quantitative comparison in perspective. The approach can illuminate the controversy revolving around the notion of functional referentiality as applied to alarm calls, for example in the vervet monkey. We argue that referentiality offers a poor point of quantitative comparison across language and animal communication in the wild. Evidence shows that even newborn human cry could be deemed to show functional referentiality according to the criteria typically invoked by advocates of referentiality in animal communication. Exploring the essence of the idea of illocution, we illustrate an important realm of commonality among animal communication systems and human language, a commonality that opens the door to more productive, quantifiable comparisons. Finally, we delineate two examples of infrastructural communicative capabilities that should be particularly amenable to direct quantitative comparison across humans and our closest relatives.

  7. On Quantitative Comparative Research in Communication and Language Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Oller, D. Kimbrough; Griebel, Ulrike

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative comparison of human language and natural animal communication requires improved conceptualizations. We argue that an infrastructural approach to development and evolution incorporating an extended interpretation of the distinctions among illocution, perlocution, and meaning (Austin 1962; Oller and Griebel 2008) can help place the issues relevant to quantitative comparison in perspective. The approach can illuminate the controversy revolving around the notion of functional referentiality as applied to alarm calls, for example in the vervet monkey. We argue that referentiality offers a poor point of quantitative comparison across language and animal communication in the wild. Evidence shows that even newborn human cry could be deemed to show functional referentiality according to the criteria typically invoked by advocates of referentiality in animal communication. Exploring the essence of the idea of illocution, we illustrate an important realm of commonality among animal communication systems and human language, a commonality that opens the door to more productive, quantifiable comparisons. Finally, we delineate two examples of infrastructural communicative capabilities that should be particularly amenable to direct quantitative comparison across humans and our closest relatives. PMID:25285057

  8. Evolution of the diagnostic criteria for degenerative and cognitive disorders

    PubMed Central

    Lopez, Oscar L.; McDade, Eric; Riverol, Mario; Becker, James T.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose of review This review describes the evolution of the clinical criteria for Alzheimer’s disease over the past 25 years, with special emphasis on those recently published that have incorporated the use of biomarkers. Recent findings One of the most important advances in the knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease was the development of cerebrospinal fluid, PET and MRI biomarkers. These have shown that the Alzheimer’s disease is present in cognitively normal individuals, suggesting that there is a long incubation process that precedes the onset of the symptoms. Although there are diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer’s disease, the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association has proposed a set of diagnostic criteria oriented to provide a unified vision of the pathological process from preclinical, to mild cognitive impairment, and to full-blown dementia. These new criteria take advantage of different biomarkers to support the clinical diagnosis of the different stages of the disease. Summary The new guidelines provide a definition of the dementia syndrome and core diagnostic features to be used in research and clinical practice, although they caution about the use of biomarkers, since they still require validation, and the longitudinal interaction and dynamics of these biomarkers in relationship to the manifestation of the symptoms are not fully understood. PMID:22071334

  9. Sleep intensity and the evolution of human cognition.

    PubMed

    Samson, David R; Nunn, Charles L

    2015-01-01

    Over the past four decades, scientists have made substantial progress in understanding the evolution of sleep patterns across the Tree of Life. Remarkably, the specifics of sleep along the human lineage have been slow to emerge. This is surprising, given our unique mental and behavioral capacity and the importance of sleep for individual cognitive performance. One view is that our species' sleep architecture is in accord with patterns documented in other mammals. We promote an alternative view, that human sleep is highly derived relative to that of other primates. Based on new and existing evidence, we specifically propose that humans are more efficient in their sleep patterns than are other primates, and that human sleep is shorter, deeper, and exhibits a higher proportion of REM than expected. Thus, we propose the sleep intensity hypothesis: Early humans experienced selective pressure to fulfill sleep needs in the shortest time possible. Several factors likely served as selective pressures for more efficient sleep, including increased predation risk in terrestrial environments, threats from intergroup conflict, and benefits arising from increased social interaction. Less sleep would enable longer active periods in which to acquire and transmit new skills and knowledge, while deeper sleep may be critical for the consolidation of those skills, leading to enhanced cognitive abilities in early humans. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Metaphorically speaking: cognitive abilities and the production of figurative language.

    PubMed

    Beaty, Roger E; Silvia, Paul J

    2013-02-01

    Figurative language is one of the most common expressions of creative behavior in everyday life. However, the cognitive mechanisms behind figures of speech such as metaphors remain largely unexplained. Recent evidence suggests that fluid and executive abilities are important to the generation of conventional and creative metaphors. The present study investigated whether several factors of the Cattell-Horn-Carroll model of intelligence contribute to generating these different types of metaphors. Specifically, the roles of fluid intelligence (Gf), crystallized intelligence (Gc), and broad retrieval ability (Gr) were explored. Participants completed a series of intelligence tests and were asked to produce conventional and creative metaphors. Structural equation modeling was used to assess the contribution of the different factors of intelligence to metaphor production. For creative metaphor, there were large effects of Gf (β = .45) and Gr (β = .52); for conventional metaphor, there was a moderate effect of Gc (β = .30). Creative and conventional metaphors thus appear to be anchored in different patterns of abilities: Creative metaphors rely more on executive processes, whereas conventional metaphors primarily draw from acquired vocabulary knowledge.

  11. Life history, cognition and the evolution of complex foraging niches.

    PubMed

    Schuppli, Caroline; Graber, Sereina M; Isler, Karin; van Schaik, Carel P

    2016-03-01

    Animal species that live in complex foraging niches have, in general, improved access to energy-rich and seasonally stable food sources. Because human food procurement is uniquely complex, we ask here which conditions may have allowed species to evolve into such complex foraging niches, and also how niche complexity is related to relative brain size. To do so, we divided niche complexity into a knowledge-learning and a motor-learning dimension. Using a sample of 78 primate and 65 carnivoran species, we found that two life-history features are consistently correlated with complex niches: slow, conservative development or provisioning of offspring over extended periods of time. Both act to buffer low energy yields during periods of learning, and may thus act as limiting factors for the evolution of complex niches. Our results further showed that the knowledge and motor dimensions of niche complexity were correlated with pace of development in primates only, and with the length of provisioning in only carnivorans. Accordingly, in primates, but not carnivorans, living in a complex foraging niche requires enhanced cognitive abilities, i.e., a large brain. The patterns in these two groups of mammals show that selection favors evolution into complex niches (in either the knowledge or motor dimension) in species that either develop more slowly or provision their young for an extended period of time. These findings help to explain how humans constructed by far the most complex niche: our ancestors managed to combine slow development (as in other primates) with systematic provisioning of immatures and even adults (as in carnivorans). This study also provides strong support for the importance of ecological factors in brain size evolution. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Case report: Is verbal cognitive performance in bilingual neuropsychiatric patients test-language dependent?

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Mabel; Kratochvilova, Zuzana; Kuniss, Renata; Vorackova, Veronika; Dorazilova, Aneta; Fajnerova, Iveta

    2015-12-01

    Bilingualism (BL) is increasing around the world. Although BL has been shown to have a broad impact-both positive and negative-on language and cognitive functioning, cognitive models and standards are mainly based on monolinguals. If we take cognitive performance of monolinguals as a standard, then the performance of bilinguals might not be accurately estimated. The assessment of cognitive functions is an important part of both the diagnostic process and further treatment in neurological and neuropsychiatric patients. In order to identify the presence or absence of cognitive deficit in bilingual patients, it will be important to determine the positive and/or negative impact of BL properties on measured cognitive performance. However, research of the impact of BL on cognitive performance in neuropsychiatric patients is limited. This article aims to compare the influence of the language (dominant-L1, second-L2) used for assessment of verbal cognitive performance in two cases of bilingual neuropsychiatric patients (English/Czech). Despite the fact that the two cases have different diagnoses, similarities in working memory and verbal learning profiles for L1 and L2 were present in both patients. We expected L1 to have higher performance in all measures when compared with L2. This assumption was partially confirmed. As expected, verbal working memory performance was better when assessed in L1. In contrast, verbal learning showed the same or better performance in L2 when compared with L1. Verbal fluency and immediate recall results were comparable in both languages. In conclusion, the language of administration partially influenced verbal performance of bilingual patients. Whether the language itself influenced low performance in a given language or it was a result of a deficit requires further research. According to our results, we suggest that an assessment in both languages needs to be a component of reasonable cognitive assessment of bilingual patients. © 2015 The

  13. Development of structure and function in the infant brain: implications for cognition, language and social behaviour.

    PubMed

    Paterson, Sarah J; Heim, Sabine; Friedman, Jennifer Thomas; Choudhury, Naseem; Benasich, April A

    2006-01-01

    Recent advances in cognitive neuroscience have allowed us to begin investigating the development of both structure and function in the infant brain. However, despite the rapid evolution of technology, surprisingly few studies have examined the intersection between brain and behaviour over the first years of life. Even fewer have done so in the context of a particular research question. This paper aims to provide an overview of four domains that have been studied using techniques amenable to elucidating the brain/behaviour interface: language, face processing, object permanence, and joint attention, with particular emphasis on studies focusing on early development. The importance of the unique role of development and the interplay between structure and function is stressed throughout. It is hoped that this review will serve as a catalyst for further thinking about the substantial gaps in our understanding of the relationship between brain and behaviour across development. Further, our aim is to provide ideas about candidate brain areas that are likely to be implicated in particular behaviours or cognitive domains.

  14. Language, cognitive flexibility, and explicit false belief understanding: longitudinal analysis in typical development and specific language impairment.

    PubMed

    Farrant, Brad M; Maybery, Murray T; Fletcher, Janet

    2012-01-01

    The hypothesis that language plays a role in theory-of-mind (ToM) development is supported by a number of lines of evidence (e.g., H. Lohmann & M. Tomasello, 2003). The current study sought to further investigate the relations between maternal language input, memory for false sentential complements, cognitive flexibility, and the development of explicit false belief understanding in 91 English-speaking typically developing children (M age = 61.3 months) and 30 children with specific language impairment (M age = 63.0 months). Concurrent and longitudinal findings converge in supporting a model in which maternal language input predicts the child's memory for false complements, which predicts cognitive flexibility, which in turn predicts explicit false belief understanding. © 2011 The Authors. Child Development © 2011 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  15. I thought we were good: social cognition, figurative language, and adolescent psychopathology.

    PubMed

    Im-Bolter, Nancie; Cohen, Nancy J; Farnia, Fataneh

    2013-07-01

    Language has been shown to play a critical role in social cognitive reasoning in preschool and school-aged children, but little research has been conducted with adolescents. During adolescence, the ability to understand figurative language becomes increasingly important for social relationships and may affect social adjustment. This study investigated the contribution of structural and figurative language to social cognitive skills in adolescents who present for mental health services and those who do not. One hundred and thirty-eight adolescents referred to mental health centers (clinic group) and 186 nonreferred adolescents (nonclinic group) aged 12-17 were administered measures of structural and figurative language, working memory, and social cognitive problem solving. We found that adolescents in the clinic group demonstrated less mature social problem solving overall, but particularly with respect to anticipating and overcoming potential obstacles and conflict resolution compared with the nonclinic group. In addition, results demonstrated that age, working memory, and structural and figurative language predicted social cognitive maturity in the clinic group, but only structural language was a predictor in the nonclinic group. Social problem solving may be particularly difficult for adolescents referred for mental health services and places higher demands on their cognitive and language skills compared with adolescents who have never been referred for mental health services. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2013 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  16. Learning, language, memory, and reading: the role of language automatization and its impact on complex cognitive activities.

    PubMed

    Bebko, J

    1998-01-01

    Two related models of the role of developing and automatized language skills in the cognitive processing of deaf and hearing children are presented. One model focuses on explaining apparent delays in the emergence of a memory strategy (cumulative rehearsal) in children who are deaf, linking strategy use with the child's emerging language skills and the automatization of those skills. The second model is larger in scope and integrates this rehearsal model with added components relevant for higher-level cognitive activities such as reading. A program of research is reviewed that provides support for various components of the models with deaf children. Implications of the models for potential concurrent learning disabilities are discussed.

  17. Language Cognition: A Theoretical Model Based on Neuro-Cortical Matrices.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    George, Don

    Cognition, not to be confused with perception, reception, or stimulus detection, is defined as relationships of sensory experiences in single-loop matrices. The reticular system of the upper brain stem is centered upon as the likely locus of sensory filtering and modification that can modulate language usage. That is, higher cognitive functions…

  18. Cognitive Load Theory: An Empirical Study of Anxiety and Task Performance in Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, I-Jung; Chang, Chi-Cheng

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: This study explores the relationship among three variables--cognitive load, foreign language anxiety, and task performance. Cognitive load refers to the load imposed on working memory while performing a particular task. The authors hypothesized that anxiety consumes the resources of working memory, leaving less capacity for cognitive…

  19. Language and Cognitive Predictors of Text Comprehension: Evidence from Multivariate Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Young-Suk

    2015-01-01

    Using data from children in South Korea (N = 145, M[subscript age] = 6.08), it was determined how low-level language and cognitive skills (vocabulary, syntactic knowledge, and working memory) and high-level cognitive skills (comprehension monitoring and theory of mind [ToM]) are related to listening comprehension and whether listening…

  20. Brain-Based Aspects of Cognitive Learning Approaches in Second Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moghaddam, Alireza Navid; Araghi, Seyed Mahdi

    2013-01-01

    Language learning process is one of the complicated behaviors of human beings which has called many scholars and experts' attention especially after the middle of last century by the advent of cognitive psychology that later on we see its implication to education. Unlike previous thought of schools, cognitive psychology deals with the way in which…

  1. Language and Cognitive Predictors of Text Comprehension: Evidence from Multivariate Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Young-Suk

    2015-01-01

    Using data from children in South Korea (N = 145, M[subscript age] = 6.08), it was determined how low-level language and cognitive skills (vocabulary, syntactic knowledge, and working memory) and high-level cognitive skills (comprehension monitoring and theory of mind [ToM]) are related to listening comprehension and whether listening…

  2. Does cognition in the disconnected right hemisphere require right hemisphere possession of language?

    PubMed

    Bogen, J E

    1997-03-01

    It has been asserted at times that the human right hemisphere is cognitively inferior to that of a chimpanzee or even a monkey. Related is the even stronger claim that human consciousness, as well as cognition, requires language. These claims are discussed, and counterexamples are presented from both split-brain subjects and patients hemispherectomized in adulthood after customary development as righthanders.

  3. Prenatal Alcohol and Cocaine Exposure: Influences on Cognition, Speech, Language, and Hearing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cone-Wesson, B.

    2005-01-01

    This paper reviews research on the consequences of prenatal exposure to alcohol and cocaine on children's speech, language, hearing, and cognitive development. The review shows that cognitive impairment, learning disabilities, and behavioral disorders are the central nervous system manifestations of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), and cranio-facial…

  4. Prenatal Alcohol and Cocaine Exposure: Influences on Cognition, Speech, Language, and Hearing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cone-Wesson, B.

    2005-01-01

    This paper reviews research on the consequences of prenatal exposure to alcohol and cocaine on children's speech, language, hearing, and cognitive development. The review shows that cognitive impairment, learning disabilities, and behavioral disorders are the central nervous system manifestations of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), and cranio-facial…

  5. Young Children's Cognitive Achievement: Home Learning Environment, Language and Ethnic Background

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frumkin, Lara A.

    2013-01-01

    For decades, research has shown differences in cognitive assessment scores between White and minority ethnic group(s) learners as well as differences across different minority ethnic groups. More recent data have indicated that the home learning environment and languages spoken can impact cognitive assessment and other corollary outcomes. This…

  6. Foreign Language Achievement in Relation to Student-Teacher Cognitive Styles: A Preliminary Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hansen, Jacqueline; Stansfield, Charles

    Research has shown student field-independent cognitive style (FI), as opposed to field-dependent cognitive style (FD), to be correlated moderately with success on selected second language tasks. A trait-treatment interaction approach was utilized in this study to examine the role of FD/I among 236 college students enrolled in six sections of an…

  7. The Cognitive Coaching-Supported Reflective Teaching Approach in English Language Teaching: Academic and Permanence Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akyildiz, Seçil Tümen; Semerci, Çetin

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed at investigating the effect of the cognitive coaching-supported reflective teaching approach in English language teaching on the academic success of students and on the permanence of success. It was conducted during the spring semester of 2013/2014 academic year at the School of Foreign Languages, Firat University, Elazig, Turkey.…

  8. Cognitive Retroactive Transfer (CRT) of Language Skills among Bilingual Arabic-English Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abu-Rabia, Salim; Shakkour, Wael; Siegel, Linda

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the effects of an intervention helping struggling readers improve their reading and writing skills in English as a foreign language (L2), and those same skills in Arabic, which was their first language (L1). Transferring linguistic skills from L2 to L1 is termed "cognitive retroactive transfer". Tests were…

  9. Language and Cognitive Assessment of Negro Children; Assumptions and Research Needs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baratz, Joan C.

    This paper focuses attention on the kinds of research assumptions that are present in the literature on language, and which can be found in the "myths" about family structure and motivation. Three major professions are concerned with describing the language and cognitive abilities of black children--(1) educators, who believe these children to be…

  10. Cognition, Language Contact, and the Development of Pragmatic Comprehension in a Study-Abroad Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taguchi, Naoko

    2008-01-01

    This study examined two issues: (a) whether there are gains in accurate and speedy comprehension of second language (L2) pragmatic meaning over time and (b) whether the gains are associated with cognitive processing ability and the amount of language contact in an L2 environment. Forty-four college students in a US institution completed three…

  11. Nonverbal and Language-Reduced Measures of Cognitive Ability: A Review and Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Drevon, Daniel D.; Knight, Rachel M.; Bradley-Johnson, Sharon

    2017-01-01

    With the number of new and revised nonverbal and language-reduced tests of cognitive ability, selection and interpretation of appropriate measures can be complicated. Seven nonverbal or language-reduced tests with normative data collected within the last 15 years were evaluated. Besides evaluating technical adequacy, other variables affecting test…

  12. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence from Word Segmentation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's "cognitive plausibility." We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition…

  13. Cognitive Retroactive Transfer (CRT) of Language Skills among Bilingual Arabic-English Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abu-Rabia, Salim; Shakkour, Wael; Siegel, Linda

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the effects of an intervention helping struggling readers improve their reading and writing skills in English as a foreign language (L2), and those same skills in Arabic, which was their first language (L1). Transferring linguistic skills from L2 to L1 is termed "cognitive retroactive transfer". Tests were…

  14. Propositional Density in Spoken and Written Language of Czech-Speaking Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smolík, Filip; Stepankova, Hana; Vyhnálek, Martin; Nikolai, Tomáš; Horáková, Karolína; Matejka, Štepán

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Propositional density (PD) is a measure of content richness in language production that declines in normal aging and more profoundly in dementia. The present study aimed to develop a PD scoring system for Czech and use it to compare PD in language productions of older people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and control…

  15. Cognitive Learning Styles in "Traditional" Audio-Lingual and Suggestopedic Language Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bayuk, Milla

    The need for cognitive style mapping and student grouping in order to enhance learning and retention in foreign language instruction is examined. The four components of classical audio-lingual language instruction, listening, speaking, reading, and writing, are discussed. Different learning modalities are considered, including visual, auditory,…

  16. Differences in Language and Cognitive Development: ECI-3. Early Childhood Intervention Catalog Module.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Evans, Joyce; Bricker, Donna

    The third of seven training modules for professionals in early intervention focuses on working with young (birth to age 3) children who are speech/language impaired, learning disabled, slow learning, or socially delayed. Background information summarized what is known about language, cognitive and social dysfunction or affect in infants and young…

  17. The Use of Cognitive Processing Strategies and Linguistic Cues for Efficient Automatic Language Identification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leavers, V. F.; Burley, C. E.

    2001-01-01

    Presents a method of automatic language identification based on the cognitive processing strategies humans use. Proposes that correctly parametrized, prosodic information, which might be associated with a language in which the listener has little familiarity, is an important discriminating feature. (Author/VWL)

  18. Profiles of Academic Achievement and Cognitive Processing in College Students with Foreign Language Difficulties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prevatt, Frances; Proctor, Briley; Swartz, Stacy L.; Canto, Angela I.

    2003-01-01

    This study evaluated the cognitive and achievement profiles of college students experiencing difficulties in foreign language (FLD group). Because past research appears to have generated different results based on the type of comparison groups utilized, we attempted to obtain a better representation of students with foreign language difficulties.…

  19. Using the Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) to Increase Vocalizations of Older Adults with Cognitive Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LeBlanc, Linda A.; Geiger, Kaneen B.; Sautter, Rachael A.; Sidener, Tina M.

    2007-01-01

    The Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) has proven effective in increasing spontaneous verbalizations for children with autism. This study investigated the use of NLP with older adults with cognitive impairments served at a leisure-based adult day program for seniors. Three individuals with limited spontaneous use of functional language participated…

  20. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence from Word Segmentation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's "cognitive plausibility." We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition…

  1. Propositional Density in Spoken and Written Language of Czech-Speaking Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smolík, Filip; Stepankova, Hana; Vyhnálek, Martin; Nikolai, Tomáš; Horáková, Karolína; Matejka, Štepán

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Propositional density (PD) is a measure of content richness in language production that declines in normal aging and more profoundly in dementia. The present study aimed to develop a PD scoring system for Czech and use it to compare PD in language productions of older people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and control…

  2. "Cognitive Diagnosis and Q-Matrices in Language Assessment": A Commentary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alderson, J. Charles

    2010-01-01

    This commentary appraises the 2009 special issue of "Language Assessment Quarterly" on "Cognitive Diagnosis and Q-matrices in Language Assessment." Despite a number of weaknesses, specifically in attempting inappropriately to retrofit a suite of proficiency tests to diagnostic purposes, the special issue is seen as a landmark in the development of…

  3. Relation of Cognitive Style to Metaphor Interpretation and Second Language Proficiency.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Janice; Rosano, Teresa

    1993-01-01

    Administered tests of cognition, language, and metaphor interpretation to 3 groups of 15 students: native English speakers (NESs) and 2 groups of students in an English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) course. ESL students performed less well than NESs on decontextualized measures of vocabulary and verbal analogies but equally well on measures derived…

  4. Allocation of Limited Cognitive Resources during Text Comprehension in a Second Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morishima, Yasunori

    2013-01-01

    For native (L1) comprehenders, lower-level language processes such as lexical access and parsing are considered to consume few cognitive resources. In contrast, these processes pose considerable demands for second-language (L2) comprehenders. Two reading-time experiments employing inconsistency detection found that English learners did not detect…

  5. I Thought We Were Good: Social Cognition, Figurative Language, and Adolescent Psychopathology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Im-Bolter, Nancie; Cohen, Nancy J.; Farnia, Fataneh

    2013-01-01

    Background: Language has been shown to play a critical role in social cognitive reasoning in preschool and school-aged children, but little research has been conducted with adolescents. During adolescence, the ability to understand figurative language becomes increasingly important for social relationships and may affect social adjustment. This…

  6. Association between Speech-Language, General Cognitive Functioning and Behaviour Problems in Individuals with Williams Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rossi, N. F.; Giacheti, C. M.

    2017-01-01

    Background: Williams syndrome (WS) phenotype is described as unique and intriguing. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between speech-language abilities, general cognitive functioning and behavioural problems in individuals with WS, considering age effects and speech-language characteristics of WS sub-groups. Methods: The…

  7. Using the Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) to Increase Vocalizations of Older Adults with Cognitive Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LeBlanc, Linda A.; Geiger, Kaneen B.; Sautter, Rachael A.; Sidener, Tina M.

    2007-01-01

    The Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) has proven effective in increasing spontaneous verbalizations for children with autism. This study investigated the use of NLP with older adults with cognitive impairments served at a leisure-based adult day program for seniors. Three individuals with limited spontaneous use of functional language participated…

  8. Some Cognitive Aspects of the Language Development of a Two Year Old Child.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodriguez-Brown, Flora V.

    Studied were some cognitive aspects of the language development of a 2-year-old Puerto Rican boy who had been on the U.S. mainland 1 month. A Neo-Piagetian approach (developed by K. Witz and J. Easley) was used to study: language behavior as being embedded in more complex, unified systems; productivity of different structures and language…

  9. Cognition, Language Contact, and the Development of Pragmatic Comprehension in a Study-Abroad Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taguchi, Naoko

    2008-01-01

    This study examined two issues: (a) whether there are gains in accurate and speedy comprehension of second language (L2) pragmatic meaning over time and (b) whether the gains are associated with cognitive processing ability and the amount of language contact in an L2 environment. Forty-four college students in a US institution completed three…

  10. Cognitive Learning Styles in "Traditional" Audio-Lingual and Suggestopedic Language Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bayuk, Milla

    The need for cognitive style mapping and student grouping in order to enhance learning and retention in foreign language instruction is examined. The four components of classical audio-lingual language instruction, listening, speaking, reading, and writing, are discussed. Different learning modalities are considered, including visual, auditory,…

  11. "Cognitive Diagnosis and Q-Matrices in Language Assessment": A Commentary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alderson, J. Charles

    2010-01-01

    This commentary appraises the 2009 special issue of "Language Assessment Quarterly" on "Cognitive Diagnosis and Q-matrices in Language Assessment." Despite a number of weaknesses, specifically in attempting inappropriately to retrofit a suite of proficiency tests to diagnostic purposes, the special issue is seen as a landmark in the development of…

  12. I Thought We Were Good: Social Cognition, Figurative Language, and Adolescent Psychopathology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Im-Bolter, Nancie; Cohen, Nancy J.; Farnia, Fataneh

    2013-01-01

    Background: Language has been shown to play a critical role in social cognitive reasoning in preschool and school-aged children, but little research has been conducted with adolescents. During adolescence, the ability to understand figurative language becomes increasingly important for social relationships and may affect social adjustment. This…

  13. Producing Spatial Words Is Not Enough: Understanding the Relation Between Language and Spatial Cognition.

    PubMed

    Miller, Hilary E; Vlach, Haley A; Simmering, Vanessa R

    2016-11-08

    Prior research has investigated the relation between children's language and spatial cognition by assessing the quantity of children's spatial word production, with limited attention to the context in which children use such words. This study tested whether 4-year-olds children's (N = 41, primarily white middle class) adaptive use of task-relevant language across contexts predicted their spatial skills. Children were presented with a spatial scene description task, four spatial tasks, and vocabulary assessments. Children's adaptive use of task-relevant language was more predictive of their spatial skills than demographic and language factors (e.g., quantity of spatial words produced). These findings identify new links between language and spatial cognition and highlight the importance of understanding the quality, not just quantity, of children's language use. © 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  14. Oral and Written Language and the Cognitive Processes of Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, David R.

    1977-01-01

    Looks at the structures of childrens' oral language or "mother tongue" and the structures of adult literate prose and emphasizes the alternate conceptions of reality that those languages sustain. (MH)

  15. Oral and Written Language and the Cognitive Processes of Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, David R.

    1977-01-01

    Looks at the structures of childrens' oral language or "mother tongue" and the structures of adult literate prose and emphasizes the alternate conceptions of reality that those languages sustain. (MH)

  16. Reproducing American Sign Language sentences: cognitive scaffolding in working memory

    PubMed Central

    Supalla, Ted; Hauser, Peter C.; Bavelier, Daphne

    2014-01-01

    The American Sign Language Sentence Reproduction Test (ASL-SRT) requires the precise reproduction of a series of ASL sentences increasing in complexity and length. Error analyses of such tasks provides insight into working memory and scaffolding processes. Data was collected from three groups expected to differ in fluency: deaf children, deaf adults and hearing adults, all users of ASL. Quantitative (correct/incorrect recall) and qualitative error analyses were performed. Percent correct on the reproduction task supports its sensitivity to fluency as test performance clearly differed across the three groups studied. A linguistic analysis of errors further documented differing strategies and bias across groups. Subjects' recall projected the affordance and constraints of deep linguistic representations to differing degrees, with subjects resorting to alternate processing strategies when they failed to recall the sentence correctly. A qualitative error analysis allows us to capture generalizations about the relationship between error pattern and the cognitive scaffolding, which governs the sentence reproduction process. Highly fluent signers and less-fluent signers share common chokepoints on particular words in sentences. However, they diverge in heuristic strategy. Fluent signers, when they make an error, tend to preserve semantic details while altering morpho-syntactic domains. They produce syntactically correct sentences with equivalent meaning to the to-be-reproduced one, but these are not verbatim reproductions of the original sentence. In contrast, less-fluent signers tend to use a more linear strategy, preserving lexical status and word ordering while omitting local inflections, and occasionally resorting to visuo-motoric imitation. Thus, whereas fluent signers readily use top-down scaffolding in their working memory, less fluent signers fail to do so. Implications for current models of working memory across spoken and signed modalities are considered. PMID

  17. Cognitive Rationality and Its Logic-Mathematical Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Masalova, Svetlana

    2012-01-01

    The article deals with the cognitive (flexible) rationality, combining rational and irrational moments of the scientific search of the cognizing subject. Linguo-cognitive model of the concept as the flexible regulative rationality reveals the activity of the cognitive processes and the mentality of the epistemological-ontic subject, its leading…

  18. Cognitive characteristics of learning Java, an object-oriented programming language

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Garry Lynn

    Industry and Academia are moving from procedural programming languages (e.g., COBOL) to object-oriented programming languages, such as Java for the Internet. Past studies in the cognitive aspects of programming have focused primarily on procedural programming languages. Some of the languages used have been Pascal, C, Basic, FORTAN, and COBOL. Object-oriented programming (OOP) represents a new paradigm for computing. Industry is finding that programmers are having difficulty shifting to this new programming paradigm. This instruction in OOP is currently starting in colleges and universities across the country. What are the cognitive aspects for this new OOP language Java? When is a student developmentally ready to handle the cognitive characteristics of the OOP language Java? Which cognitive teaching style is best for this OOP language Java? Questions such as the aforementioned are the focus of this research Such research is needed to improve understanding of the learning process and identify students' difficulties with OOP methods. This can enhance academic teaching and industry training (Scholtz, 1993; Sheetz, 1997; Rosson, 1990). Cognitive development as measured by the Propositional Logic Test, cognitive style as measured by the Hemispheric Mode Indicator, and physical hemispheric dominance as measured by a self-report survey were obtained from thirty-six university students studying Java programming. Findings reveal that physical hemispheric dominance is unrelated to cognitive and programming language variables. However, both procedural and object oriented programming require Piaget's formal operation cognitive level as indicated by the Propositional Logic Test. This is consistent with prior research A new finding is that object oriented programming also requires formal operation cognitive level. Another new finding is that object oriented programming appears to be unrelated to hemispheric cognitive style as indicated by the Hemispheric Mode Indicator (HMI

  19. Evolution of brain and culture: the neurological and cognitive journey from Australopithecus to Albert Einstein.

    PubMed

    Falk, Dean

    2016-06-20

    Fossil and comparative primatological evidence suggest that alterations in the development of prehistoric hominin infants kindled three consecutive evolutionary-developmental (evo-devo) trends that, ultimately, paved the way for the evolution of the human brain and cognition. In the earliest trend, infants' development of posture and locomotion became delayed because of anatomical changes that accompanied the prolonged evolution of bipedalism. Because modern humans have inherited these changes, our babies are much slower than other primates to reach developmental milestones such as standing, crawling, and walking. The delay in ancestral babies' physical development eventually precipitated an evolutionary reversal in which they became increasing unable to cling independently to their mothers. For the first time in prehistory, babies were, thus, periodically deprived of direct physical contact with their mothers. This prompted the emergence of a second evo-devo trend in which infants sought contact comfort from caregivers using evolved signals, including new ways of crying that are conserved in modern babies. Such signaling stimulated intense reciprocal interactions between prehistoric mothers and infants that seeded the eventual emergence of motherese and, subsequently, protolanguage. The third trend was for an extreme acceleration in brain growth that began prior to the last trimester of gestation and continued through infants' first postnatal year (early "brain spurt"). Conservation of this trend in modern babies explains why human brains reach adult sizes that are over three times those of chimpanzees. The fossil record of hominin cranial capacities together with comparative neuroanatomical data suggest that, around 3 million years ago, early brain spurts began to facilitate an evolutionary trajectory for increasingly large adult brains in association with neurological reorganization. The prehistoric increase in brain size eventually caused parturition to become

  20. Race, language, and mental evolution in Darwin's descent of man.

    PubMed

    Alter, Stephen G

    2007-01-01

    Charles Darwin was notoriously ambiguous in his remarks about the relationship between human evolution and biological race. He stressed the original unity of the races, yet he also helped to popularize the notion of a racial hierarchy filling the gaps between the highest anthropoids and civilized Europeans. A focus on Darwin's explanation of how humans initially evolved, however, shows that he mainly stressed not hierarchy but a version of humanity's original mental unity. In his book The Descent of Man, Darwin emphasized a substantial degree of mental development (including the incipient use of language) in the early, monogenetic phase of human evolution. This development, he argued, necessarily came before primeval man's numerical increase, geographic dispersion, and racial diversification, because only thus could one explain how that group was able to spread at the expense of rival ape-like populations. This scenario stood opposed to a new evolutionary polygenism formulated in the wake of Darwin's Origin of Species by his ostensible supporters Alfred Russel Wallace and Ernst Haeckel. Darwin judged this outlook inadequate to the task of explaining humanity's emergence. (c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Language Learning Experience as a Contributor to ESOL Teacher Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Elizabeth Margaret

    2006-01-01

    Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in English-speaking countries are not usually required to have proficiency in another language. Teacher competency statements frequently require "an understanding of second language development," and it is assumed that a monolingual teacher can attain such understanding without…

  2. Implications of timing of maternal depressive symptoms for early cognitive and language development.

    PubMed

    Sohr-Preston, Sara L; Scaramella, Laura V

    2006-03-01

    : Statistically, women, particularly pregnant women and new mothers, are at heightened risk for depression. The present review describes the current state of the research linking maternal depressed mood and children's cognitive and language development. Exposure to maternal depressive symptoms, whether during the prenatal period, postpartum period, or chronically, has been found to increase children's risk for later cognitive and language difficulties. The present review considers both the timing of maternal depression and the chronicity of mothers' depression on children's risk for cognitive and language delays. Infancy is frequently identified as a sensitive period in which environmental stimulation has the potential to substantially influence children's cognitive and language development. However, children's exposure to chronic maternal depression seems to be associated with more problematic outcomes for children, perhaps because depression interferes with mothers' ability to respond sensitively and consistently over time. Consistent with this expectation, interventions targeting parenting practices of depressed mothers have been found to increase children's cognitive competence during early childhood. The current review provides a synthesis of the current state of the field regarding the association between maternal depression and children's cognitive and language development during early childhood.

  3. Relative contribution of perception/cognition and language on spatial categorization.

    PubMed

    Choi, Soonja; Hattrup, Kate

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the relative contribution of perception/cognition and language-specific semantics in nonverbal categorization of spatial relations. English and Korean speakers completed a video-based similarity judgment task involving containment, support, tight fit, and loose fit. Both perception/cognition and language served as resources for categorization, and allocation between the two depended on the target relation and the features contrasted in the choices. Whereas perceptual/cognitive salience for containment and tight-fit features guided categorization in many contexts, language-specific semantics influenced categorization where the two features competed for similarity judgment and when the target relation was tight support, a domain where spatial relations are perceptually diverse. In the latter contexts, each group categorized more in line with semantics of their language, that is, containment/support for English and tight/loose fit for Korean. We conclude that language guides spatial categorization when perception/cognition alone is not sufficient. In this way, language is an integral part of our cognitive domain of space.

  4. Learning a Foreign Language: A New Path to Enhancement of Cognitive Functions.

    PubMed

    Shoghi Javan, Sara; Ghonsooly, Behzad

    2017-08-30

    The complicated cognitive processes involved in natural (primary) bilingualism lead to significant cognitive development. Executive functions as a fundamental component of human cognition are deemed to be affected by language learning. To date, a large number of studies have investigated how natural (primary) bilingualism influences executive functions; however, the way acquired (secondary) bilingualism manipulates executive functions is poorly understood. To fill this gap, controlling for age, gender, IQ, and socio-economic status, the researchers compared 60 advanced learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) to 60 beginners on measures of executive functions involving Stroop, Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST) and Wechsler's digit span tasks. The results suggested that mastering English as a foreign language causes considerable enhancement in two components of executive functions, namely cognitive flexibility and working memory. However, no significant difference was observed in inhibitory control between the advanced EFL learners and beginners.

  5. Language and cognitive predictors of text comprehension: evidence from multivariate analysis.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young-Suk

    2015-01-01

    Using data from children in South Korea (N = 145, Mage = 6.08), it was determined how low-level language and cognitive skills (vocabulary, syntactic knowledge, and working memory) and high-level cognitive skills (comprehension monitoring and theory of mind [ToM]) are related to listening comprehension and whether listening comprehension and word reading mediate the relations of language and cognitive skills to reading comprehension. Low-level skills predicted comprehension monitoring and ToM, which in turn predicted listening comprehension. Vocabulary and syntactic knowledge were also directly related to listening comprehension, whereas working memory was indirectly related via comprehension monitoring and ToM. Listening comprehension and word reading completely mediated the relations of language and cognitive skills to reading comprehension.

  6. Language experience differentiates prefrontal and subcortical activation of the cognitive control network in novel word learning

    PubMed Central

    King, Kelly E.; Hernandez, Arturo E.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the cognitive control mechanisms in adult English speaking monolinguals compared to early sequential Spanish-English bilinguals during the initial stages of novel word learning. Functional magnetic resonance imaging during a lexico-semantic task after only two hours of exposure to novel German vocabulary flashcards showed that monolinguals activated a broader set of cortical control regions associated with higher-level cognitive processes, including the supplementary motor area (SMA), anterior cingulate (ACC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), as well as the caudate, implicated in cognitive control of language. However, bilinguals recruited a more localized subcortical network that included the putamen, associated more with motor control of language. These results suggest that experience managing multiple languages may differentiate the learning strategy and subsequent neural mechanisms of cognitive control used by bilinguals compared to monolinguals in the early stages of novel word learning. PMID:23194816

  7. Spanish and English neuropsychological assessment scales: relationship to demographics, language, cognition, and independent function.

    PubMed

    Mungas, Dan; Reed, Bruce R; Haan, Mary N; González, Hector

    2005-07-01

    This study examined the relationship of the Spanish and English Neuropsychological Assessment Scales (SENAS) to demographic, cultural, and language fluency variables and to measures of cognition and independent functioning. Participants were 367 Hispanics and 160 Caucasians in the 60+ years age range, all living in the community. In Study 1, education and language use had strong influences on SENAS scores and largely explained ethnic group differences in mean scale scores. Age had weak effects on most scales except for verbal memory measures. Acculturation effects in Hispanics were largely accounted for by education and language use. Study 2 showed equivalent sensitivity of SENAS to cognitive and functional status in Hispanics and Caucasians. Results indicate that interpretation of SENAS scores must be informed by effects related to education and language fluency but provide evidence of equivalent validity in Hispanics and Caucasians with respect to concurrent measures of cognition and independent function.

  8. On the nature and evolution of the neural bases of human language

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lieberman, Philip

    2002-01-01

    the brains of human beings and other species provides insight into the evolution of the brain bases of human language. The neural substrate that regulated motor control in the common ancestor of apes and humans most likely was modified to enhance cognitive and linguistic ability. Speech communication played a central role in this process. However, the process that ultimately resulted in the human brain may have started when our earliest hominid ancestors began to walk.

  9. On the nature and evolution of the neural bases of human language

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lieberman, Philip

    2002-01-01

    the brains of human beings and other species provides insight into the evolution of the brain bases of human language. The neural substrate that regulated motor control in the common ancestor of apes and humans most likely was modified to enhance cognitive and linguistic ability. Speech communication played a central role in this process. However, the process that ultimately resulted in the human brain may have started when our earliest hominid ancestors began to walk.

  10. Cognitive control for language switching in bilinguals: A quantitative meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies

    PubMed Central

    Luk, Gigi; Green, David W.; Abutalebi, Jubin; Grady, Cheryl

    2013-01-01

    In a quantitative meta-analysis, using the activation likelihood estimation method, we examined the neural regions involved in bilingual cognitive control, particularly when engaging in switching between languages. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the bilingual cognitive control model based on a qualitative analysis [Abutalebi, J., & Green, D. W. (2008). Control mechanisms in bilingual language production: Neural evidence from language switching studies. Language and Cognitive Processes, 23, 557–582.]. After reviewing 128 peer-reviewed articles, ten neuroimaging studies met our inclusion criteria and in each study, bilinguals switched between languages in response to cues. We isolated regions involved in voluntary language switching, by including reported contrasts between the switching conditions and high level baseline conditions involving similar tasks but requiring the use of only one language. Eight brain regions showed significant and reliable activation: left inferior frontal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, right precentral gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, midline pre-SMA and bilateral caudate nuclei. This quantitative result is consistent with bilingual aphasia studies that report switching deficits associated with lesions to the caudate nuclei or prefrontal cortex. It also extends the previously reported qualitative model. We discuss the implications of the findings for accounts of bilingual cognitive control. PMID:24795491

  11. Relationship between speech, oromotor, language and cognitive abilities in children with Down's syndrome.

    PubMed

    Cleland, Joanne; Wood, Sara; Hardcastle, William; Wishart, Jennifer; Timmins, Claire

    2010-01-01

    Children and young people with Down's syndrome present with deficits in expressive speech and language, accompanied by strengths in vocabulary comprehension compared with non-verbal mental age. Intelligibility is particularly low, but whether speech is delayed or disordered is a controversial topic. Most studies suggest a delay, but no studies explore the relationship between cognitive or language skills and intelligibility. This study sought to determine whether severity of speech disorder correlates with language and cognitive level and to classify the types of errors, developmental or non-developmental, that occur in the speech of children and adolescents with Down's syndrome. Fifteen children and adolescents with Down's syndrome (aged 9-18 years) were recruited. Participants completed a battery of standardized speech, language and cognitive assessments. The phonology assessment was subject to phonological and phonetic analyses. Results from each test were correlated to determine relationships. Individuals with Down's syndrome present with deficits in receptive and expressive language that are not wholly accounted for by their cognitive delay. Receptive vocabulary is a strength in comparison with expressive and receptive language skills, but it was unclear from the findings whether it is more advanced compared with non-verbal cognitive skills. The majority of speech errors were developmental in nature, but all of the children with Down's syndrome showed at least one atypical or non-developmental speech error. Children with Down's syndrome present with speech disorders characterized by atypical, and often unusual, errors alongside many developmental errors. A lack of correlation between speech and cognition or language measures suggests that the speech disorder in Down's syndrome is not simply due to cognitive delay. Better differential diagnosis of speech disorders in Down's syndrome is required, allowing interventions to target the specific disorder in each

  12. Early life instruction in foreign language and music and incidence of mild cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Robert S; Boyle, Patricia A; Yang, Jingyun; James, Bryan D; Bennett, David A

    2015-03-01

    To test the hypothesis that foreign language and music instruction in early life are associated with lower incidence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and slower rate of cognitive decline in old age. At enrollment in a longitudinal cohort study, 964 older persons without cognitive impairment estimated years of foreign language and music instruction by age 18. Annually thereafter they completed clinical evaluations that included cognitive testing and clinical classification of MCI. There were 264 persons with no foreign language instruction, 576 with 1-4 years, and 124 with > 4 years; 346 persons with no music instruction, 360 with 1-4 years, and 258 with > 4 years. During a mean of 5.8 years of observation, 396 participants (41.1%) developed MCI. In a proportional hazards model adjusted for age, sex, and education, higher levels (> 4 years) of foreign language (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.687, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.482, 0.961]) and music (HR = 0.708, 95% CI [0.539, 0.930]) instruction by the age of 18 were each associated with reduced risk of MCI. The association persisted after adjustment for other early life indicators of an enriched cognitive environment, and it was stronger for nonamnestic than amnestic MCI. Both foreign language and music instruction were associated with higher initial level of cognitive function, but neither instruction measure was associated with cognitive decline. Higher levels of foreign language and music instruction during childhood and adolescence are associated in old age with lower risk of developing MCI but not with rate of cognitive decline. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.

  13. Early Life Instruction in Foreign Language and Music and Incidence of Mild Cognitive Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Robert S.; Boyle, Patricia A.; Yang, Jingyun; James, Bryan D.; Bennett, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To test the hypothesis that foreign language and music instruction in early life are associated with lower incidence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and slower rate of cognitive decline in old age. Method At enrollment in a longitudinal cohort study, 964 older persons without cognitive impairment estimated years of foreign language and music instruction by age 18. Annually thereafter they completed clinical evaluations that included cognitive testing and clinical classification of MCI. Results There were 264 persons with no foreign language instruction, 576 with 1–4 years, and 124 with >4 years; 346 persons with no music instruction, 360 with 1–4 years, and 258 with >4 years. During a mean of 5.8 years of observation, 396 participants (41.1%) developed MCI. In a proportional hazards model adjusted for age, sex, and education, higher levels (>4 years) of foreign language (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.687, 95% confidence interval [ CI]: 0.482, 0.961) and music (HR = 0.708, 95% CI: 0.539, 0.930) instruction by the age of 18 were each associated with reduced risk of MCI. The association persisted after adjustment for other early life indicators of an enriched cognitive environment, and it was stronger for nonamnestic than amnestic MCI. Both foreign language and music instruction were associated with higher initial level of cognitive function, but neither instruction measure was associated with cognitive decline. Conclusions Higher levels of foreign language and music instruction during childhood and adolescence are associated in old age with lower risk of developing MCI but not with rate of cognitive decline. PMID:25110933

  14. Using hybridization networks to retrace the evolution of Indo-European languages.

    PubMed

    Willems, Matthieu; Lord, Etienne; Laforest, Louise; Labelle, Gilbert; Lapointe, François-Joseph; Di Sciullo, Anna Maria; Makarenkov, Vladimir

    2016-09-06

    Curious parallels between the processes of species and language evolution have been observed by many researchers. Retracing the evolution of Indo-European (IE) languages remains one of the most intriguing intellectual challenges in historical linguistics. Most of the IE language studies use the traditional phylogenetic tree model to represent the evolution of natural languages, thus not taking into account reticulate evolutionary events, such as language hybridization and word borrowing which can be associated with species hybridization and horizontal gene transfer, respectively. More recently, implicit evolutionary networks, such as split graphs and minimal lateral networks, have been used to account for reticulate evolution in linguistics. Striking parallels existing between the evolution of species and natural languages allowed us to apply three computational biology methods for reconstruction of phylogenetic networks to model the evolution of IE languages. We show how the transfer of methods between the two disciplines can be achieved, making necessary methodological adaptations. Considering basic vocabulary data from the well-known Dyen's lexical database, which contains word forms in 84 IE languages for the meanings of a 200-meaning Swadesh list, we adapt a recently developed computational biology algorithm for building explicit hybridization networks to study the evolution of IE languages and compare our findings to the results provided by the split graph and galled network methods. We conclude that explicit phylogenetic networks can be successfully used to identify donors and recipients of lexical material as well as the degree of influence of each donor language on the corresponding recipient languages. We show that our algorithm is well suited to detect reticulate relationships among languages, and present some historical and linguistic justification for the results obtained. Our findings could be further refined if relevant syntactic, phonological and

  15. Short-term language switching training tunes the neural correlates of cognitive control in bilingual language production.

    PubMed

    Kang, Chunyan; Fu, Yongben; Wu, Junjie; Ma, Fengyang; Lu, Chunming; Guo, Taomei

    2017-09-03

    The present study investigated how language switching experience would modulate the neural correlates of cognitive control involved in bilingual language production. A group of unbalanced Chinese-English bilinguals undertook an 8-day cued picture naming training during which they named pictures in either of their languages based on visually presented cues. Participants' brain activation was scanned before and after the training in the same task. Behavioral results revealed a significant training effect such that switch costs were reduced after training. fMRI results showed that after training, activation of brain areas associated with cognitive control including the anterior cingulated cortex and the caudate was reduced. Besides, the activation reduction in the left dorsal anterior cingulated cortex positively correlated with the reduction in switch costs in response time and this training effect could be transferred to untrained stimuli. These findings suggest that neural correlates of cognitive control, especially that of the conflict monitoring process, in bilingual language production could be modulated by short-term language switching training. Hum Brain Mapp, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Effects of Embedded and Direct Language Strategies on Prekindergarten Students' Cognitive and Social Emotional Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dominy, Matthew L.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to measure the effect of a standard of care embedded language strategies program utilized in combination with direct language strategy instruction on the measured expressive language, cognitive development, social emotional development, and language development of prekindergarten students attending three neighborhood…

  17. Integrating Language and Cognition in Grounded Adaptive Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-11-21

    session on “Modelling Language Acquisition and Evolution” at the IJCNN06 conference. Cangelosi was the chair of the Special Session on “Modelling... Language Acquisition and Evolution” held on July 2006 at the IJCNN2006 conference. The session was organized in collaboration with Dr. Leonid Perlovsky...learning during language acquisition . 5. Webpage for grant Tikhanoff has designed a web page dedicated to the project. This includes an overview of

  18. Linguistic Evolution through Language Acquisition: Formal and Computational Models.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Briscoe, Ted, Ed.

    This collection of papers examines how children acquire language and how this affects language change over the generations. It proceeds from the basis that it is important to address not only the language faculty per se within the framework of evolutionary theory, but also the origins and subsequent development of languages themselves, suggesting…

  19. Linguistic Evolution through Language Acquisition: Formal and Computational Models.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Briscoe, Ted, Ed.

    This collection of papers examines how children acquire language and how this affects language change over the generations. It proceeds from the basis that it is important to address not only the language faculty per se within the framework of evolutionary theory, but also the origins and subsequent development of languages themselves, suggesting…

  20. Brain Circuit for Cognitive Control is Shared by Task and Language Switching.

    PubMed

    De Baene, Wouter; Duyck, Wouter; Brass, Marcel; Carreiras, Manuel

    2015-09-01

    Controlling multiple languages during speech production is believed to rely on functional mechanisms that are (at least partly) shared with domain-general cognitive control in early, highly proficient bilinguals. Recent neuroimaging results have indeed suggested a certain degree of neural overlap between language control and nonverbal cognitive control in bilinguals. However, this evidence is only indirect. Direct evidence for neural overlap between language control and nonverbal cognitive control can only be provided if two prerequisites are met: Language control and nonverbal cognitive control should be compared within the same participants, and the task requirements of both conditions should be closely matched. To provide such direct evidence for the first time, we used fMRI to examine the overlap in brain activation between switch-specific activity in a linguistic switching task and a closely matched nonlinguistic switching task, within participants, in early, highly proficient Spanish-Basque bilinguals. The current findings provide direct evidence that, in these bilinguals, highly similar brain circuits are involved in language control and domain-general cognitive control.

  1. Cognitive and speech-language performance in children with ataxia telangiectasia.

    PubMed

    Vinck, Anja; Verhagen, Mijke M M; Gerven, Marjo van; de Groot, Imelda J M; Weemaes, Corry M R; Maassen, Ben A M; Willemsen, Michel A A P

    2011-01-01

    To describe cognitive and speech-language functioning of patients with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) in relation to their deteriorating (oculo)motor function. Observational case series. Cognitive functioning, language, speech and oral-motor functioning were examined in eight individuals with A-T (six boys, two girls), taking into account the confounding effects of motor functioning on test performance. All patients, except the youngest one, suffered from mild-to-moderate/severe intellectual impairment. Compared to developmental age, patients showed cognitive deficits in attention, (non)verbal memory and verbal fluency. Furthermore, dysarthria and weak oral-motor performance was found. Language was one of the patients' assets. In contrast to the severe deterioration of motor functioning in A-T, cognitive and language functioning appeared to level off with a typical profile of neuropsychological strengths and weaknesses. Based on our experiences with A-T, suggestions are made to determine a valid assessment of the cognitive and speech-language manifestations.

  2. Association between Primary Caregiver Education and Cognitive and Language Development of Preterm Neonates.

    PubMed

    Asztalos, Elizabeth V; Church, Paige T; Riley, Patricia; Fajardo, Carlos; Shah, Prakesh S

    2017-03-01

    Objective This study aims to explore the association between primary caregiver education and cognitive and language composite scores of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, 3rd ed. (Bayley-III) in preterm infants at 18 to 21 months corrected age. Design An observational study was performed on preterm infants born before 29 weeks' gestation between 2010 and 2011. Primary caregivers were categorized by their highest education level and cognitive and language composite scores of the Bayley-III were compared among infants between these groups with adjustment for perinatal and neonatal factors. Results In total, 1,525 infants/caregivers were included in the multivariate analysis. Compared with those with less than a high school education, infants with primary caregivers who received partial college/specialized training displayed higher cognitive (adjusted difference [AD]: 4.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.8-7.4) and language scores (AD: 4.0, 95% CI: 0.8-7.1); infants with primary caregivers with university graduate education or above also demonstrated higher cognitive (AD: 6.4, 95% CI: 2.6-10.1) and language scores (AD: 9.9, 95% CI: 5.7-14.1). Conclusion Higher levels of education of the primary caregiver were associated with increased cognitive and language composite scores at 18 to 21 months corrected age in preterm infants.

  3. The role of domain-general cognitive control in language comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Fedorenko, Evelina

    2014-01-01

    What role does domain-general cognitive control play in understanding linguistic input? Although much evidence has suggested that domain-general cognitive control and working memory resources are sometimes recruited during language comprehension, many aspects of this relationship remain elusive. For example, how frequently do cognitive control mechanisms get engaged when we understand language? And is this engagement necessary for successful comprehension? I here (a) review recent brain imaging evidence for the neural separability of the brain regions that support high-level linguistic processing vs. those that support domain-general cognitive control abilities; (b) define the space of possibilities for the relationship between these sets of brain regions; and (c) review the available evidence that constrains these possibilities to some extent. I argue that we should stop asking whether domain-general cognitive control mechanisms play a role in language comprehension, and instead focus on characterizing the division of labor between the cognitive control brain regions and the more functionally specialized language regions. PMID:24803909

  4. The cultural evolution of language and brain: Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colagè, Ivan

    2016-03-01

    Michael A. Arbib's Mirror System Hypothesis (MSH) [1,2] is among the most elaborate attempts at disentangling the issue of language origin. I will focus on the role that cultural evolution, as distinct from biological (genetic) evolution, may have played in the emergence of ;modern; human language (as contrasted with forms of proto-languages).

  5. Building Blocks of Fetal Cognition: Emotion and Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huotilainen, Minna

    2010-01-01

    Magnetoencephalography (MEG) can be effectively used to record fetal and neonatal cognitive abilities/functions by recording completely non-invasively the magnetic fields produced by the active neurons in the brain. During the last trimester and the first months of life, the cognitive capabilities related to emotion recognition and language…

  6. Building Blocks of Fetal Cognition: Emotion and Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huotilainen, Minna

    2010-01-01

    Magnetoencephalography (MEG) can be effectively used to record fetal and neonatal cognitive abilities/functions by recording completely non-invasively the magnetic fields produced by the active neurons in the brain. During the last trimester and the first months of life, the cognitive capabilities related to emotion recognition and language…

  7. Cognitive Adequacy in Structural-Functional Theories of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Christopher S.

    2008-01-01

    This paper discusses the role played by cognition in three linguistic theories which may be labelled as "structural-functional": Functional (Discourse) Grammar, Role and Reference Grammar and Systemic Functional Grammar. It argues that if we are to achieve true cognitive adequacy, we must go well beyond the grammar itself to include the processes…

  8. A Dynamic Systems Model of Cognitive and Language Growth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Geert, Paul

    1991-01-01

    A conceptual framework of cognitive growth is sketched and a mathematical model of cognitive growth is presented with the conclusion that the most plausible model is a model of logistic growth with delayed feedback. The model is transformed into a dynamic systems model based on the logistic-growth equation. (SLD)

  9. Cognitive Adequacy in Structural-Functional Theories of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Christopher S.

    2008-01-01

    This paper discusses the role played by cognition in three linguistic theories which may be labelled as "structural-functional": Functional (Discourse) Grammar, Role and Reference Grammar and Systemic Functional Grammar. It argues that if we are to achieve true cognitive adequacy, we must go well beyond the grammar itself to include the processes…

  10. Bilingual Language Representation and Cognitive Processes in Translation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatzidaki, Anna; Pothos, Emmanuel M.

    2008-01-01

    A "text"-translation task and a recognition task investigated the hypothesis that "semantic memory" principally mediates translation from a bilingual's native first language (L1) to her second language (L2), whereas "lexical memory" mediates translation from L2 to L1. This has been held for word translation by the revised hierarchical model (RHM)…

  11. Laboratory Studies on Multilingual Cognition and Further Language Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanz, Cristina; Cox, Jessica G.

    2017-01-01

    Multilingualism is now seen as the norm rather than the exception in an age of migration and supranational entities, and where minority language rights and the consequent educational policies have become more common. The field of applied linguistics reflects that transition: second language acquisition (sla) research is slowly being replaced by…

  12. Laboratory Studies on Multilingual Cognition and Further Language Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanz, Cristina; Cox, Jessica G.

    2017-01-01

    Multilingualism is now seen as the norm rather than the exception in an age of migration and supranational entities, and where minority language rights and the consequent educational policies have become more common. The field of applied linguistics reflects that transition: second language acquisition (sla) research is slowly being replaced by…

  13. Exploring Cognitive Relations between Prediction in Language and Music

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patel, Aniruddh D.; Morgan, Emily

    2017-01-01

    The online processing of both music and language involves making predictions about upcoming material, but the relationship between prediction in these two domains is not well understood. Electrophysiological methods for studying individual differences in prediction in language processing have opened the door to new questions. Specifically, we ask…

  14. Cognitive Correlates of Vocabulary Growth in English Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farnia, Fataneh; Geva, Esther

    2011-01-01

    This study modeled vocabulary trajectories in 91 English language learners (ELLs) with Punjabi, Tamil, or Portuguese home languages, and 50 English monolinguals (EL1) from Grades 1 to 6. The concurrent and longitudinal relationships between phonological awareness and phonological short-term memory and vocabulary were examined. ELLs underperformed…

  15. Cognitive Correlates of Vocabulary Growth in English Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farnia, Fataneh; Geva, Esther

    2011-01-01

    This study modeled vocabulary trajectories in 91 English language learners (ELLs) with Punjabi, Tamil, or Portuguese home languages, and 50 English monolinguals (EL1) from Grades 1 to 6. The concurrent and longitudinal relationships between phonological awareness and phonological short-term memory and vocabulary were examined. ELLs underperformed…

  16. Neurolinguistic Relativity: How Language Flexes Human Perception and Cognition.

    PubMed

    Thierry, Guillaume

    2016-09-01

    The time has come, perhaps, to go beyond merely acknowledging that language is a core manifestation of the workings of the human mind and that it relates interactively to all aspects of thinking. The issue, thus, is not to decide whether language and human thought may be ineluctably linked (they just are), but rather to determine what the characteristics of this relationship may be and to understand how language influences-and may be influenced by-nonverbal information processing. In an attempt to demystify linguistic relativity, I review neurolinguistic studies from our research group showing a link between linguistic distinctions and perceptual or conceptual processing. On the basis of empirical evidence showing effects of terminology on perception, language-idiosyncratic relationships in semantic memory, grammatical skewing of event conceptualization, and unconscious modulation of executive functioning by verbal input, I advocate a neurofunctional approach through which we can systematically explore how languages shape human thought.

  17. Are There Any Connections between Language Deficits and Cognitive Slowing in Alzheimer's Disease?

    PubMed

    Schecker, Michael; Kochler, Carsten; Schmidtke, Klaus; Rauh, Reinhold

    2014-09-01

    Speech disorders already occur in the early phases of Alzheimer's disease (AD). As a possible cause, problems of executive processes are discussed. Cognitive slowing is also repeatedly addressed. Are there any connections between cognitive slowing and speech disorders in AD? And is there a relationship between cognitive slowing and executive processes? The data of 72 healthy controls and 52 AD patients were examined with regard to their language performance and their response times in a computerized Stroop paradigm. The AD patients showed significantly worse results in all language tests as well as much longer reaction times in all Stroop conditions, especially in the interference condition (Stroop 3). Speech errors and response times correlated with severity (MMSE), and the speech errors correlated with the reaction times in Stroop 3 (interference condition, which reflects the processing time of executive processes). The most interesting question now is: How are language processing and executive processing time (Stroop 3) related?

  18. Toward the Language-Ready Brain: Biological Evolution and Primate Comparisons.

    PubMed

    Arbib, Michael A

    2017-02-01

    The approach to language evolution suggested here focuses on three questions: How did the human brain evolve so that humans can develop, use, and acquire languages? How can the evolutionary quest be informed by studying brain, behavior, and social interaction in monkeys, apes, and humans? How can computational modeling advance these studies? I hypothesize that the brain is language ready in that the earliest humans had protolanguages but not languages (i.e., communication systems endowed with rich and open-ended lexicons and grammars supporting a compositional semantics), and that it took cultural evolution to yield societies (a cultural constructed niche) in which language-ready brains could become language-using brains. The mirror system hypothesis is a well-developed example of this approach, but I offer it here not as a closed theory but as an evolving framework for the development and analysis of conflicting subhypotheses in the hope of their eventual integration. I also stress that computational modeling helps us understand the evolving role of mirror neurons, not in and of themselves, but only in their interaction with systems "beyond the mirror." Because a theory of evolution needs a clear characterization of what it is that evolved, I also outline ideas for research in neurolinguistics to complement studies of the evolution of the language-ready brain. A clear challenge is to go beyond models of speech comprehension to include sign language and models of production, and to link language to visuomotor interaction with the physical and social world.

  19. Variation in spatial language and cognition: exploring visuo-spatial thinking and speaking cross-linguistically.

    PubMed

    Soroli, Efstathia

    2012-08-01

    Languages differ strikingly in how they encode spatial information. This variability is realized with spatial semantic elements mapped across languages in very different ways onto lexical/syntactic structures. For example, satellite-framed languages (e.g., English) express MANNER: in the verb and PATH: in satellites, while verb-framed languages (e.g., French) lexicalize PATH: in the verb, leaving MANNER: implicit or peripheral. Some languages are harder to classify into these categories, rather presenting equipollently framed systems, such as Chinese (serial-verb constructions) or Greek (parallel verb- and satellite-framed structures in equally frequent contexts). Such properties seem to have implications not only on the formulation/articulation levels, but also on the conceptualization level, thereby reviving questions concerning the language-thought interface. The present study investigates the relative impact of language-independent and language-specific factors on spatial representations across three typologically different languages (English-French-Greek) combining a variety of complementary tasks (production, non-verbal, and verbal categorization). The findings show that typological properties of languages can have an impact on both linguistic and non-linguistic organization of spatial information, open new perspectives for the investigation of conceptualization, and contribute more generally to the debate concerning the universal and language-specific dimensions of cognition.

  20. Thinking and Content Learning of Mathematics and Science as Cognitional Development in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): Teaching Through a Foreign Language in Finland

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jappinen, Aini-Kristiina

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents a study on thinking and learning processes of mathematics and science in teaching through a foreign language, in Finland. The entity of thinking and content learning processes is, in this study, considered as cognitional development. Teaching through a foreign language is here called Content and Language Integrated Learning or…

  1. Second language lexical development and cognitive control: A longitudinal fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Grant, Angela M; Fang, Shin-Yi; Li, Ping

    2015-05-01

    In this paper we report a longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study that tested contrasting predictions about the time course of cognitive control in second language (L2) acquisition. We examined the neural correlates of lexical processing in L2 learners twice over the course of one academic year. Specifically, while in the scanner, participants were asked to judge the language membership of unambiguous first and second language words, as well as interlingual homographs. Our ROI and connectivity analyses reveal that with increased exposure to the L2, overall activation in control areas such as the anterior cingulate cortex decrease while connectivity with semantic processing regions such as the middle temporal gyrus increase. These results suggest that cognitive control is more important initially in L2 acquisition, and have significant implications for understanding developmental and neurocognitive models of second language lexical processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Language and cognitive shifting: evidence from young monolingual and bilingual children.

    PubMed

    Okanda, Mako; Moriguchi, Yusuke; Itakura, Shoji

    2010-08-01

    The relationship between language and cognitive shifting in young children was examined. Specifically, second language experiences from infancy as well as individual differences in monolingual language experience may affect performances on the Dimensional Change Card Sort Task. 54 Japanese-French bilingual children and two groups of Japanese monolingual children participated (ns = 18). One monolingual group was matched to the bilingual group on verbal ability and chronological age (VC monolingual group) and the other group was matched by chronological age but had higher verbal ability (C monolingual group). The results showed that the groups of children who were bilingual and monolingual with higher verbal ability performed the task significantly better than matched monolingual children. Language experiences may affect cognitive set shifting in young children.

  3. Developing embodied cognition: insights from children’s concepts and language processing

    PubMed Central

    Wellsby, Michele; Pexman, Penny M.

    2014-01-01

    Over the past decade, theories of embodied cognition have become increasingly influential with research demonstrating that sensorimotor experiences are involved in cognitive processing; however, this embodied research has primarily focused on adult cognition. The notion that sensorimotor experience is important for acquiring conceptual knowledge is not a novel concept for developmental researchers, and yet theories of embodied cognition often do not fully integrate developmental findings. We propose that in order for an embodied cognition perspective to be refined and advanced as a lifelong theory of cognition, it is important to consider what can be learned from research with children. In this paper, we focus on development of concepts and language processing, and examine the importance of children's embodied experiences for these aspects of cognition in particular. Following this review, we outline what we see as important developmental issues that need to be addressed in order to determine the extent to which language and conceptual knowledge are embodied and to refine theories of embodied cognition. PMID:24904513

  4. The Evolution of Neuroimaging Research and Developmental Language Disorders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lane, Angela B.; Foundas, Anne L.; Leonard, Christiana M.

    2001-01-01

    This article reviews current neuroimaging literature, including computer tomography, positron emission tomography, single photon emission spectroscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging, on individuals with developmental language disorders. The review suggests a complicated relationship between cortical morphometry and language development that is…

  5. The Evolution of Neuroimaging Research and Developmental Language Disorders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lane, Angela B.; Foundas, Anne L.; Leonard, Christiana M.

    2001-01-01

    This article reviews current neuroimaging literature, including computer tomography, positron emission tomography, single photon emission spectroscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging, on individuals with developmental language disorders. The review suggests a complicated relationship between cortical morphometry and language development that is…

  6. Evolving Meaning: The Roles of Kin Selection, Allomothering and Paternal Care in Language Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitch, W. Tecumseh

    Many contemporary scholars agree that future theories of language evolution need to take a componential approach to language that breaks human language into separate mechanistic components such as vocal imitation, syntactic abilities, and propositional semantics. In this chapter, I discuss the evolution of the last component - the abilities and proclivities underlying honest, complex, propositional meanings. This is both a critical component of language, and one whose evolution is the hardest to explain, precisely because of its apparent uniqueness. Nonetheless, I argue, the comparative approach has important insights to offer in this domain. I briefly discuss the hypothesis that kin selection played an important, but neglected, role in driving the evolution of rich semantic communication. I then review several bodies of comparative data not addressed in previous discussions.

  7. The Cognitive Development of Young Dual Language Learners: A Critical Review.

    PubMed

    Barac, Raluca; Bialystok, Ellen; Castro, Dina C; Sanchez, Marta

    2014-01-01

    Dual language exposure and bilingualism are relatively common experiences for children. The present review set out to synthesize the existing research on cognitive development in bilingual children and to identify the gaps and the methodological concerns present in the existing research. A search of major data bases for research conducted with typically-developing, preschool-age dual language learners between 2000-2013 yielded 102 peer-reviewed articles. The existing evidence points to areas of cognitive development in bilingual children where findings are robust or inconclusive, and reveals variables that influence performance. The present review also identifies areas for future research and methodological limitations.

  8. The Cognitive Development of Young Dual Language Learners: A Critical Review

    PubMed Central

    Barac, Raluca; Bialystok, Ellen; Castro, Dina C.; Sanchez, Marta

    2014-01-01

    Dual language exposure and bilingualism are relatively common experiences for children. The present review set out to synthesize the existing research on cognitive development in bilingual children and to identify the gaps and the methodological concerns present in the existing research. A search of major data bases for research conducted with typically-developing, preschool-age dual language learners between 2000-2013 yielded 102 peer-reviewed articles. The existing evidence points to areas of cognitive development in bilingual children where findings are robust or inconclusive, and reveals variables that influence performance. The present review also identifies areas for future research and methodological limitations. PMID:25284958

  9. Effects of early language, speech, and cognition on later reading: a mediation analysis

    PubMed Central

    Durand, Vanessa N.; Loe, Irene M.; Yeatman, Jason D.; Feldman, Heidi M.

    2013-01-01

    This longitudinal secondary analysis examined which early language and speech abilities are associated with school-aged reading skills, and whether these associations are mediated by cognitive ability. We analyzed vocabulary, syntax, speech sound maturity, and cognition in a sample of healthy children at age 3 years (N = 241) in relation to single word reading (decoding), comprehension, and oral reading fluency in the same children at age 9–11 years. All predictor variables and the mediator variable were associated with the three reading outcomes. The predictor variables were all associated with cognitive abilities, the mediator. Cognitive abilities partially mediated the effects of language on reading. After mediation, decoding was associated with speech sound maturity; comprehension was associated with receptive vocabulary; and oral fluency was associated with speech sound maturity, receptive vocabulary, and syntax. In summary, all of the effects of language on reading could not be explained by cognition as a mediator. Specific components of language and speech skills in preschool made independent contributions to reading skills 6–8 years later. These early precursors to later reading skill represent potential targets for early intervention to improve reading. PMID:24027549

  10. Neurolinguistic Relativity: How Language Flexes Human Perception and Cognition

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The time has come, perhaps, to go beyond merely acknowledging that language is a core manifestation of the workings of the human mind and that it relates interactively to all aspects of thinking. The issue, thus, is not to decide whether language and human thought may be ineluctably linked (they just are), but rather to determine what the characteristics of this relationship may be and to understand how language influences—and may be influenced by—nonverbal information processing. In an attempt to demystify linguistic relativity, I review neurolinguistic studies from our research group showing a link between linguistic distinctions and perceptual or conceptual processing. On the basis of empirical evidence showing effects of terminology on perception, language‐idiosyncratic relationships in semantic memory, grammatical skewing of event conceptualization, and unconscious modulation of executive functioning by verbal input, I advocate a neurofunctional approach through which we can systematically explore how languages shape human thought. PMID:27642191

  11. Building a bridge—an archeologist's perspective on the evolution of causal cognition

    PubMed Central

    Haidle, Miriam N.

    2014-01-01

    The cognitive capacities of fossil humans cannot be studied directly. Taking the evolution of causal cognition as an example this article demonstrates the use of bridging arguments from archeological finds as starting point via identification/classification, behavioral reconstructions, and cognitive interpretations to psychological models. Generally, tool use is linked to some causal understanding/agent construal as the tool broadens the subject's specific capabilities by adding new characters to its action sphere. In human evolution, the distance between the primarily perceived problem and the solution satisfying this need increased markedly: from simple causal relations to effective chaining in secondary/modular tool use, and further to the use of composite tools, complementary tool sets and notional tools. This article describes the evolution of human tool behavior from the perspective of problem-solution-distance and discusses the implications for a linked development of causal cognition. PMID:25566147

  12. Language Evolution by Iterated Learning with Bayesian Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffiths, Thomas L.; Kalish, Michael L.

    2007-01-01

    Languages are transmitted from person to person and generation to generation via a process of iterated learning: people learn a language from other people who once learned that language themselves. We analyze the consequences of iterated learning for learning algorithms based on the principles of Bayesian inference, assuming that learners compute…

  13. Language Evolution by Iterated Learning with Bayesian Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffiths, Thomas L.; Kalish, Michael L.

    2007-01-01

    Languages are transmitted from person to person and generation to generation via a process of iterated learning: people learn a language from other people who once learned that language themselves. We analyze the consequences of iterated learning for learning algorithms based on the principles of Bayesian inference, assuming that learners compute…

  14. From Cognition To Language: The Modeling Field Theory Approach

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-10-02

    multi-agent framework was probably best made by Ferdinand de Saussure in his famous statement “language is not complete in any speaker; it exists...was probably best made by Ferdinand de Saussure in a famous statement made in his lectures at the University of Geneva (1906-1911) “language is not... Ferdinand de Saussure may be appropriate to describe this situation – without labels the world is a vague, uncharted nebula. (The original quotation

  15. Thinking outside the cortex: social motivation in the evolution and development of language.

    PubMed

    Syal, Supriya; Finlay, Barbara L

    2011-03-01

    Alteration of the organization of social and motivational neuroanatomical circuitry must have been an essential step in the evolution of human language. Development of vocal communication across species, particularly birdsong, and new research on the neural organization and evolution of social and motivational circuitry, together suggest that human language is the result of an obligatory link of a powerful cortico-striatal learning system, and subcortical socio-motivational circuitry.

  16. Phonation takes precedence over articulation in development as well as evolution of language.

    PubMed

    Oller, D Kimbrough

    2014-12-01

    Early human vocal development is characterized first by emerging control of phonation and later by prosodic and supraglottal articulation. The target article has missed the opportunity to use these facts in the characterization of evolution in language-specific brain mechanisms. Phonation appears to be the initial human-specific brain change for language, and it was presumably a key target of selection in early hominin evolution.

  17. The Effects of Early Neglect on Cognitive, Language, and Behavioral Functioning in Childhood

    PubMed Central

    Spratt, Eve G.; Friedenberg, Samantha L.; Swenson, Cynthia C.; LaRosa, Angela; De Bellis, Michael D.; Macias, Michelle M.; Summer, Andrea P.; Hulsey, Thomas C.; Runyan, Des K.; Brady, Kathleen T.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives Few studies have explored the impact of different types of neglect on children’s development. Measures of cognition, language, behavior, and parenting stress were used to explore differences between children experiencing various forms of neglect, as well as to compare children with and without a history of early neglect. Methods Children, ages 3 to 10 years with a history of familial neglect (USN), were compared to children with a history of institutional rearing (IA) and children without a history of neglect using the Differential Abilities Scale, Test of Early Language Development, Child Behavior Checklist, and Parenting Stress Index. Factors predicting child functioning were also explored. Results Compared with youth that were not neglected, children with a history of USN and IA demonstrated lower cognitive and language scores and more behavioral problems. Both internalizing and externalizing behavior problems were most common in the USN group. Externalizing behavior problems predicted parenting stress. Higher IQ could be predicted by language scores and an absence of externalizing behavior problems. When comparing the two neglect groups, shorter time spent in a stable environment, lower scores on language skills, and the presence of externalizing behavior predicted lower IQ. Conclusion These findings emphasize the importance of early stable, permanent placement of children who have been in neglectful and pre-adoptive international settings. While an enriching environment may promote resilience, children who have experienced early neglect are vulnerable to cognitive, language and behavioral deficits and neurodevelopmental and behavioral evaluations are required to identify those in need of intervention. PMID:23678396

  18. Cognitive and linguistic profiles of specific language impairment and semantic-pragmatic disorder in bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Jordaan, H; Shaw-Ridley, G; Serfontein, J; Orelowitz, K; Monaghan, N

    2001-01-01

    This study explored the notion that the extent to which language-impaired children can become bilingual depends on the type of language impairment. Single-case studies were conducted on two 7-year-old bilingual children, who had both been exposed to English and Afrikaans consistently and regularly from an early age. The subjects presented with specific language impairment (SLI) and semantic-pragmatic disorder (SPD), respectively. They were assessed on a battery of cognitive and linguistic tests in both their languages. Results indicate that the SLI subject, who presented with a deficit in successive processing on the Cognitive Assessment System, had difficulty in acquiring the surface features of both languages. She developed much better proficiency in English than in Afrikaans, despite substantial exposure to the latter. The SPD subject, whose cognitive profile was characterised by planning and attention deficits, but a strength in successive processing, presented with equal proficiency in both languages. The theoretical and clinical implications of this research are discussed.

  19. Good-enough linguistic representations and online cognitive equilibrium in language processing.

    PubMed

    Karimi, Hossein; Ferreira, Fernanda

    2016-01-01

    We review previous research showing that representations formed during language processing are sometimes just "good enough" for the task at hand and propose the "online cognitive equilibrium" hypothesis as the driving force behind the formation of good-enough representations in language processing. Based on this view, we assume that the language comprehension system by default prefers to achieve as early as possible and remain as long as possible in a state of cognitive equilibrium where linguistic representations are successfully incorporated with existing knowledge structures (i.e., schemata) so that a meaningful and coherent overall representation is formed, and uncertainty is resolved or at least minimized. We also argue that the online equilibrium hypothesis is consistent with current theories of language processing, which maintain that linguistic representations are formed through a complex interplay between simple heuristics and deep syntactic algorithms and also theories that hold that linguistic representations are often incomplete and lacking in detail. We also propose a model of language processing that makes use of both heuristic and algorithmic processing, is sensitive to online cognitive equilibrium, and, we argue, is capable of explaining the formation of underspecified representations. We review previous findings providing evidence for underspecification in relation to this hypothesis and the associated language processing model and argue that most of these findings are compatible with them.

  20. Speed of Word Recognition and Vocabulary Knowledge in Infancy Predict Cognitive and Language Outcomes in Later Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marchman, Virginia A.; Fernald, Anne

    2008-01-01

    The nature of predictive relations between early language and later cognitive function is a fundamental question in research on human cognition. In a longitudinal study assessing speed of language processing in infancy, Fernald, Perfors and Marchman (2006 ) found that reaction time at 25 months was strongly related to lexical and grammatical…

  1. Teacher Language Awareness and Cognitive Linguistics (CL): Building a CL-Inspired Perspective on Teaching Lexis in EFL Student Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giebler, Ralf

    2012-01-01

    It has been suggested recently that it may be useful for language teaching practitioners to have some knowledge of cognitive linguistics. Cognitive linguistics (CL) provides tools that may help the language-teaching practitioner to gain insight into the semantic potential of words and communicate the meaning of lexical chunks in greater detail…

  2. Teacher Language Awareness and Cognitive Linguistics (CL): Building a CL-Inspired Perspective on Teaching Lexis in EFL Student Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giebler, Ralf

    2012-01-01

    It has been suggested recently that it may be useful for language teaching practitioners to have some knowledge of cognitive linguistics. Cognitive linguistics (CL) provides tools that may help the language-teaching practitioner to gain insight into the semantic potential of words and communicate the meaning of lexical chunks in greater detail…

  3. Utility of the Psychoeducational Profile-3 for Assessing Cognitive and Language Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fulton, Mandy L.; D'Entremont, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    The Psychoeducational Profile-3's (PEP-3) ability to estimate cognitive and language skills of 136 children (20-75 months) with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) across a range of functioning, and the association between the PEP-3 and ASD symptomatology was examined using retrospective data. PEP-3 cognitive and language measures were positively…

  4. Cognitive Predictors of Language Development in Children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Daal, John; Verhoeven, Ludo; van Balkom, Hans

    2009-01-01

    Background: Language development is generally viewed as a multifactorial process. There are increasing indications that this similarly holds for the problematic language development process. Aims: A population of 97 young Dutch children with specific language impairment (SLI) was followed over a 2-year period to provide additional evidence for the…

  5. Cognitive Predictors of Language Development in Children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Daal, John; Verhoeven, Ludo; van Balkom, Hans

    2009-01-01

    Background: Language development is generally viewed as a multifactorial process. There are increasing indications that this similarly holds for the problematic language development process. Aims: A population of 97 young Dutch children with specific language impairment (SLI) was followed over a 2-year period to provide additional evidence for the…

  6. The English Language Curriculum for Senior Secondary School in China: Its Evolution from 1949

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Wenfeng; Lam, Agnes S. L.

    2009-01-01

    This article traces the evolution of the English language curriculum for senior secondary school in China from 1949 against the background of national developments in China. The latest English language curriculum (2003) is then introduced and discussed in comparison with the 1993 syllabus. The comparison suggests that the 2003 curriculum…

  7. The English Language Curriculum for Senior Secondary School in China: Its Evolution from 1949

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Wenfeng; Lam, Agnes S. L.

    2009-01-01

    This article traces the evolution of the English language curriculum for senior secondary school in China from 1949 against the background of national developments in China. The latest English language curriculum (2003) is then introduced and discussed in comparison with the 1993 syllabus. The comparison suggests that the 2003 curriculum…

  8. Hominin cognitive evolution: identifying patterns and processes in the fossil and archaeological record

    PubMed Central

    Shultz, Susanne; Nelson, Emma; Dunbar, Robin I. M.

    2012-01-01

    As only limited insight into behaviour is available from the archaeological record, much of our understanding of historical changes in human cognition is restricted to identifying changes in brain size and architecture. Using both absolute and residual brain size estimates, we show that hominin brain evolution was likely to be the result of a mix of processes; punctuated changes at approximately 100 kya, 1 Mya and 1.8 Mya are supplemented by gradual within-lineage changes in Homo erectus and Homo sapiens sensu lato. While brain size increase in Homo in Africa is a gradual process, migration of hominins into Eurasia is associated with step changes at approximately 400 kya and approximately 100 kya. We then demonstrate that periods of rapid change in hominin brain size are not temporally associated with changes in environmental unpredictability or with long-term palaeoclimate trends. Thus, we argue that commonly used global sea level or Indian Ocean dust palaeoclimate records provide little evidence for either the variability selection or aridity hypotheses explaining changes in hominin brain size. Brain size change at approximately 100 kya is coincident with demographic change and the appearance of fully modern language. However, gaps remain in our understanding of the external pressures driving encephalization, which will only be filled by novel applications of the fossil, palaeoclimatic and archaeological records. PMID:22734056

  9. Hominin cognitive evolution: identifying patterns and processes in the fossil and archaeological record.

    PubMed

    Shultz, Susanne; Nelson, Emma; Dunbar, Robin I M

    2012-08-05

    As only limited insight into behaviour is available from the archaeological record, much of our understanding of historical changes in human cognition is restricted to identifying changes in brain size and architecture. Using both absolute and residual brain size estimates, we show that hominin brain evolution was likely to be the result of a mix of processes; punctuated changes at approximately 100 kya, 1 Mya and 1.8 Mya are supplemented by gradual within-lineage changes in Homo erectus and Homo sapiens sensu lato. While brain size increase in Homo in Africa is a gradual process, migration of hominins into Eurasia is associated with step changes at approximately 400 kya and approximately 100 kya. We then demonstrate that periods of rapid change in hominin brain size are not temporally associated with changes in environmental unpredictability or with long-term palaeoclimate trends. Thus, we argue that commonly used global sea level or Indian Ocean dust palaeoclimate records provide little evidence for either the variability selection or aridity hypotheses explaining changes in hominin brain size. Brain size change at approximately 100 kya is coincident with demographic change and the appearance of fully modern language. However, gaps remain in our understanding of the external pressures driving encephalization, which will only be filled by novel applications of the fossil, palaeoclimatic and archaeological records.

  10. Speed of word recognition and vocabulary knowledge in infancy predict cognitive and language outcomes in later childhood

    PubMed Central

    Marchman, Virginia A.; Fernald, Anne

    2010-01-01

    The nature of predictive relations between early language and later cognitive function is a fundamental question in research on human cognition. In a longitudinal study assessing speed of language processing in infancy, Fernald, Perfors and Marchman (2006) found that reaction time at 25 months was strongly related to lexical and grammatical development over the second year. In this follow-up study, children originally tested as infants were assessed at 8 years on standardized tests of language, cognition, and working memory. Speed of spoken word recognition and vocabulary size at 25 months each accounted for unique variance in linguistic and cognitive skills at 8 years, effects that were attributable to strong relations between both infancy measures and working memory. These findings suggest that processing speed and early language skills are fundamental to intellectual functioning, and that language development is guided by learning and representational principles shared across cognitive and linguistic domains. PMID:18466367

  11. Long-term differences in language and cognitive function after childhood exposure to anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Ing, Caleb; DiMaggio, Charles; Whitehouse, Andrew; Hegarty, Mary K; Brady, Joanne; von Ungern-Sternberg, Britta S; Davidson, Andrew; Wood, Alastair J J; Li, Guohua; Sun, Lena S

    2012-09-01

    Over the past decade, the safety of anesthetic agents in children has been questioned after the discovery that immature animals exposed to anesthesia display apoptotic neurodegeneration and long-term cognitive deficiencies. We examined the association between exposure to anesthesia in children under age 3 and outcomes in language, cognitive function, motor skills, and behavior at age 10. We performed an analysis of the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study, which includes 2868 children born from 1989 to 1992. Of 2608 children assessed, 321 were exposed to anesthesia before age 3, and 2287 were unexposed. On average, exposed children had lower scores than their unexposed peers in receptive and expressive language (Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals: Receptive [CELF-R] and Expressive [CELF-E]) and cognition (Colored Progressive Matrices [CPM]). After adjustment for demographic characteristics, exposure to anesthesia was associated with increased risk of disability in language (CELF-R: adjusted risk ratio [aRR], 1.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20-2.93, CELF-E: aRR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.12-2.64), and cognition (CPM: aRR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.13-2.53). An increased aRR for disability in language and cognition persisted even with a single exposure to anesthesia (CELF-R aRR, 2.41; 95% CI, 1.40-4.17, and CPM aRR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.04-2.88). Our results indicate that the association between anesthesia and neuropsychological outcome may be confined to specific domains. Children in our cohort exposed to anesthesia before age 3 had a higher relative risk of language and abstract reasoning deficits at age 10 than unexposed children.

  12. From Behaviourism to Cognitive Behaviourism to Cognitive Development: Steps in the Evolution of Instructional Design.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Case, Robbie; Bereiter, Carl

    1984-01-01

    Traces history of instructional technology, including Skinner's work, Gagne's task analytic approach, and contemporary efforts associated with the cognitive revolution. It is suggested that an understanding of cognitive development improves earlier approaches by adapting them directly to students' cognitive development levels. Recent instructional…

  13. The evolution of behaviour therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy.

    PubMed

    Rachman, S

    2015-01-01

    The historical background of the development of behaviour therapy is described. It was based on the prevailing behaviourist psychology and constituted a fundamentally different approach to the causes and treatment of psychological disorders. It had a cold reception and the idea of treating the behaviour of neurotic and other patients was regarded as absurd. The opposition of the medical profession and psychoanalysts is explained. Parallel but different forms of behaviour therapy developed in the US and UK. The infusion of cognitive concepts and procedures generated a merger of behaviour therapy and cognitive therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). The strengths and limitations of the early and current approaches are evaluated.

  14. Exploring Cognitive Relations Between Prediction in Language and Music.

    PubMed

    Patel, Aniruddh D; Morgan, Emily

    2017-03-01

    The online processing of both music and language involves making predictions about upcoming material, but the relationship between prediction in these two domains is not well understood. Electrophysiological methods for studying individual differences in prediction in language processing have opened the door to new questions. Specifically, we ask whether individuals with musical training predict upcoming linguistic material more strongly and/or more accurately than non-musicians. We propose two reasons why prediction in these two domains might be linked: (a) Musicians may have greater verbal short-term/working memory; (b) music may specifically reward predictions based on hierarchical structure. We provide suggestions as to how to expand upon recent work on individual differences in language processing to test these hypotheses.

  15. New evidence about language and cognitive development based on a longitudinal study: hypotheses for intervention.

    PubMed

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Levine, Susan C; Hedges, Larry V; Huttenlocher, Janellen; Raudenbush, Stephen W; Small, Steven L

    2014-09-01

    We review findings from a four-year longitudinal study of language learning conducted on two samples: a sample of typically developing children whose parents vary substantially in socioeconomic status, and a sample of children with pre- or perinatal brain injury. This design enables us to study language development across a wide range of language learning environments and a wide range of language learners. We videotaped samples of children's and parents' speech and gestures during spontaneous interactions at home every four months, and then we transcribed and coded the tapes. We focused on two behaviors known to vary across individuals and environments-child gesture and parent speech-behaviors that have the potential to index, and perhaps even play a role in creating, differences across children in linguistic and other cognitive skills. Our observations have led to four hypotheses that have promise for the development of diagnostic tools and interventions to enhance language and cognitive development and brain plasticity after neonatal injury. One kind of hypothesis involves tools that could identify children who may be at risk for later language deficits. The other involves interventions that have the potential to promote language development. We present our four hypotheses as a summary of the findings from our study because there is scientific evidence behind them and because this evidence has the potential to be put to practical use in improving education. (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  16. New Evidence About Language and Cognitive Development Based on a Longitudinal Study: Hypotheses for Intervention

    PubMed Central

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Levine, Susan C.; Hedges, Larry V.; Huttenlocher, Janellen; Raudenbush, Stephen W.; Small, Steven L.

    2014-01-01

    We review findings from a four-year longitudinal study of language learning conducted on two samples: a sample of typically developing children whose parents vary substantially in socioeconomic status, and a sample of children with pre- or perinatal brain injury. This design enables us to study language development across a wide range of language learning environments and a wide range of language learners. We videotaped samples of children's and parents' speech and gestures during spontaneous interactions at home every four months, and then we transcribed and coded the tapes. We focused on two behaviors known to vary across individuals and environments—child gesture and parent speech—behaviors that have the potential to index, and perhaps even play a role in creating, differences across children in linguistic and other cognitive skills. Our observations have led to four hypotheses that have promise for the development of diagnostic tools and interventions to enhance language and cognitive development and brain plasticity after neonatal injury. One kind of hypothesis involves tools that could identify children who may be at risk for later language deficits. The other involves interventions that have the potential to promote language development. We present our four hypotheses as a summary of the findings from our study because there is scientific evidence behind them and because this evidence has the potential to be put to practical use in improving education. PMID:24911049

  17. Language learning in Down syndrome: the speech and language profile compared to adolescents with cognitive impairment of unknown origin.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Robin S

    2006-07-01

    Children and adolescents with Down syndrome show an emerging profile of speech and language characteristics that is typical of the syndrome (Chapman & Hesketh, 2000; Chapman, 2003; Abbeduto & Chapman, 2005) and different from typically developing children matched for nonverbal mental age, including expressive language deficits relative to comprehension that are most severe for syntax, and, in adolescence, strengths in comprehension vocabulary, improvements in expressive syntax, but losses in comprehension of syntax (Chapman, Hesketh & Kistler, 2002). Here we compare 20 adolescents with Down syndrome to 16 individuals with cognitive impairment of unknown origin, statistically matched for age and nonverbal mental age, to show that the age-related strengths in vocabulary comprehension are not limited to the Down syndrome phenotype, but are limited to a certain type of vocabulary test: for both groups, performance on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-3 is significantly greater than performance on the vocabulary subtest of the Test of Auditory Comprehension of Language-3, which does not differ from the syntax comprehension subtests. Vocabulary size, but not conceptual level, is a strength for adolescents with cognitive impairment. In contrast, deficits in auditory-verbal working memory, syntax and vocabulary comprehension, and narration of picture-books without an opportunity to preview them are all specific to the adolescent group with Down syndrome. The expressive language deficit disappears when a preview opportunity and picture support is given.

  18. Thinking outside the Cortex: Social Motivation in the Evolution and Development of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Syal, Supriya; Finlay, Barbara L.

    2011-01-01

    Alteration of the organization of social and motivational neuroanatomical circuitry must have been an essential step in the evolution of human language. Development of vocal communication across species, particularly birdsong, and new research on the neural organization and evolution of social and motivational circuitry, together suggest that…

  19. Thinking outside the Cortex: Social Motivation in the Evolution and Development of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Syal, Supriya; Finlay, Barbara L.

    2011-01-01

    Alteration of the organization of social and motivational neuroanatomical circuitry must have been an essential step in the evolution of human language. Development of vocal communication across species, particularly birdsong, and new research on the neural organization and evolution of social and motivational circuitry, together suggest that…

  20. Decoding the molecular evolution of human cognition using comparative genomics.

    PubMed

    Usui, Noriyoshi; Co, Marissa; Konopka, Genevieve

    2014-01-01

    Identification of genetic and molecular factors responsible for the specialized cognitive abilities of humans is expected to provide important insights into the mechanisms responsible for disorders of cognition such as autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Here, we discuss the use of comparative genomics for identifying salient genes and gene networks that may underlie cognition. We focus on the comparison of human and non-human primate brain gene expression and the utility of building gene coexpression networks for prioritizing hundreds of genes that differ in expression among the species queried. We also discuss the importance of and methods for functional studies of the individual genes identified. Together, this integration of comparative genomics with cellular and animal models should provide improved systems for developing effective therapeutics for disorders of cognition. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  1. Decoding the molecular evolution of human cognition using comparative genomics

    PubMed Central

    Usui, Noriyoshi; Co, Marissa; Konopka, Genevieve

    2014-01-01

    Identification of genetic and molecular factors responsible for the specialized cognitive abilities of humans is expected to provide important insights into the mechanisms responsible for disorders of cognition such as autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Here, we discuss the use of comparative genomics for identifying salient genes and gene networks that may underlie cognition. We focus on the comparison of human and non-human primate brain gene expression and the utility of building gene co-expression networks for prioritizing hundreds of genes that differ in expression among the species queried. We also discuss the importance and methods for functional studies of individual genes identified. Together, this integration of comparative genomics with cellular and animal models should provide improved systems for developing effective therapeutics for disorders of cognition. PMID:25247723

  2. Cognition and Literacy in English Language Learners at Risk for Reading Disabilities: A Latent Transition Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee; Kudo, Milagros; Guzman-Orth, Danielle

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the prevalence and stability of latent classes at risk for reading disabilities (RD) in elementary-aged children whose first language is Spanish. To this end, children (N = 489) in Grades 1, 2, and 3 at Wave 1 were administered a battery of reading, vocabulary, and cognitive measures (short-term memory [STM], working memory…

  3. Preschool Experience in 10 Countries: Cognitive and Language Performance at Age 7

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montie, Jeanne E.; Xiang, Zongping; Schweinhart, Lawrence J.

    2006-01-01

    The IEA Preprimary Project is a longitudinal, cross-national study of preprimary care and education designed to identify how process and structural characteristics of the settings children attended at age 4 are related to their age-7 cognitive and language performance. Investigators collaborated to develop common instruments to measure family…

  4. Genetic and Environmental Links between Natural Language Use and Cognitive Ability in Toddlers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Canfield, Caitlin F.; Edelson, Lisa R.; Saudino, Kimberly J.

    2017-01-01

    Although the phenotypic correlation between language and nonverbal cognitive ability is well-documented, studies examining the etiology of the covariance between these abilities are scant, particularly in very young children. The goal of this study was to address this gap in the literature by examining the genetic and environmental links between…

  5. Expressive language and cognitive development: diversity and complexity of children's productions.

    PubMed

    Flabiano, Fabíola Custódio; Bühler, Karina Elena Bernardis; Limongi, Suelly Cecilia Olivan

    2010-01-01

    Objective and systematized analysis of cognitive and expressive language development. To characterize expressive language and cognitive development considering the diversity and complexity of children's productions. This study involved 20 subjects (10 male and 10 female), who were adequate for gestational age and birth weight and had no pre, peri or post natal intercurrences. Participants were submitted to 30-minute sessions, once a month, for the observation of expressive language and cognitive development. The observations were made during the period that went from eight to 18 months of age, using the material and application procedures suggested by the PELCDO-r. The amount of different schemes, gestures and verbalizations that children were capable of producing (diversity and complexity) are presented and analyzed considering each one of the 30-minute sessions as well as the overall total during the period of observation (from eight to 18 months). The PELCDO-r allowed the characterization of expressive language and cognitive development by means of the objective observation of this process concerning the diversity and complexity of subjects' productions, considering the period between the fourth phase of sensorimotor stage and the beginning of preoperational stage.

  6. Implications of Timing of Maternal Depressive Symptoms for Early Cognitive and Language Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sohr-Preston, Sara L.; Scaramella, Laura V.

    2006-01-01

    Statistically, women, particularly pregnant women and new mothers, are at heightened risk for depression. The present review describes the current state of the research linking maternal depressed mood and children's cognitive and language development. Exposure to maternal depressive symptoms, whether during the prenatal period, postpartum period,…

  7. Bridging the Gap: Cognitive and Social Approaches to Research in Second Language Learning and Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hulstijn, Jan H.; Young, Richard F.; Ortega, Lourdes; Bigelow, Martha; DeKeyser, Robert; Ellis, Nick C.; Lantolf, James P.; Mackey, Alison; Talmy, Steven

    2014-01-01

    For some, research in learning and teaching of a second language (L2) runs the risk of disintegrating into irreconcilable approaches to L2 learning and use. On the one side, we find researchers investigating linguistic-cognitive issues, often using quantitative research methods including inferential statistics; on the other side, we find…

  8. Early Predictors of Dyslexia in Chinese Children: Familial History of Dyslexia, Language Delay, and Cognitive Profiles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McBride-Chang, Catherine; Lam, Fanny; Lam, Catherine; Chan, Becky; Fong, Cathy Y. C.; Wong, Terry T. Y.; Wong, Simpson W. L.

    2011-01-01

    Background: This work tested the rates at which Chinese children with either language delay or familial history of dyslexia at age 5 manifested dyslexia at age 7, identified which cognitive skills at age 5 best distinguished children with and without dyslexia at age 7, and examined how these early abilities predicted subsequent literacy skills.…

  9. Cognition and Literacy in English Language Learners at Risk for Reading Disabilities: A Latent Transition Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee; Kudo, Milagros; Guzman-Orth, Danielle

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the prevalence and stability of latent classes at risk for reading disabilities (RD) in elementary-aged children whose first language is Spanish. To this end, children (N = 489) in Grades 1, 2, and 3 at Wave 1 were administered a battery of reading, vocabulary, and cognitive measures (short-term memory [STM], working memory…

  10. Emotional Vitality in Infancy as a Predictor of Cognitive and Language Abilities in Toddlerhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moreno, Amanda J.; Robinson, JoAnn L.

    2005-01-01

    Previous work by our group has shown that infant emotional vitality (EV), the lively expression of shared emotion both positive and negative, predicts cognitive and language abilities in toddlerhood. Specifically, infants who demonstrated a pattern of high emotional expression combined with high bids to their caregivers, fared significantly better…

  11. Reflecting on the Cognitive-Social Debate in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larsen-Freeman, Diane

    2007-01-01

    Firth and Wagner's (1997) call for a more socially and contextually situated view of second language acquisition (SLA) research has generated a great deal of discussion and debate, a summary of which is offered in this reflective commentary. Given the individualistic, cognitive origin of the SLA field, such controversy is entirely understandable.…

  12. Cognitive and Language Development in an Additive-Bilingual Program: Report after Four Observations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bamford, Kathryn W.; Mizokawa, Donald T.

    The fourth phase of a longitudinal study focusing on the cognitive and language development of children in a primary-grade Spanish immersion program (SIP) is reported. Subjects were the remaining 13 members of an SIP cohort beginning in 1987, 15 members of a standard program comparison classroom, 18 members of another class in the 1987 SIP cohort,…

  13. The Language, Working Memory, and Other Cognitive Demands of Verbal Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Archibald, Lisa M. D.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To gain a better understanding of the cognitive processes supporting verbal abilities, the underlying structure and interrelationships between common verbal measures were investigated. Methods: An epidemiological sample (n = 374) of school-aged children completed standardized tests of language, intelligence, and short-term and working…

  14. Bridging the Gap: Cognitive and Social Approaches to Research in Second Language Learning and Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hulstijn, Jan H.; Young, Richard F.; Ortega, Lourdes; Bigelow, Martha; DeKeyser, Robert; Ellis, Nick C.; Lantolf, James P.; Mackey, Alison; Talmy, Steven

    2014-01-01

    For some, research in learning and teaching of a second language (L2) runs the risk of disintegrating into irreconcilable approaches to L2 learning and use. On the one side, we find researchers investigating linguistic-cognitive issues, often using quantitative research methods including inferential statistics; on the other side, we find…

  15. The Cognitive Contribution to the Development of Proficiency in a Foreign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Csapo, Beno; Nikolov, Marianne

    2009-01-01

    The present paper reports results of a longitudinal research project studying the contribution of cognitive skills and other factors to proficiency in a foreign language (L2) in the Hungarian educational context. The larger project aims to describe the levels of L2 proficiency of school-aged populations in order to explore the conditions and…

  16. Early Predictors of Dyslexia in Chinese Children: Familial History of Dyslexia, Language Delay, and Cognitive Profiles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McBride-Chang, Catherine; Lam, Fanny; Lam, Catherine; Chan, Becky; Fong, Cathy Y. C.; Wong, Terry T. Y.; Wong, Simpson W. L.

    2011-01-01

    Background: This work tested the rates at which Chinese children with either language delay or familial history of dyslexia at age 5 manifested dyslexia at age 7, identified which cognitive skills at age 5 best distinguished children with and without dyslexia at age 7, and examined how these early abilities predicted subsequent literacy skills.…

  17. Cognitive Load of Navigating without Vision when Guided by Virtual Sound versus Spatial Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klatzky, Roberta L.; Marston, James R.; Giudice, Nicholas A.; Golledge, Reginald G.; Loomis, Jack M.

    2006-01-01

    A vibrotactile N-back task was used to generate cognitive load while participants were guided along virtual paths without vision. As participants stepped in place, they moved along a virtual path of linear segments. Information was provided en route about the direction of the next turning point, by spatial language ("left," "right," or "straight")…

  18. Fleeing from the Elephant: Language, Cognition and Post-Skinnerian Behavior Analytic Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Steven C.

    2005-01-01

    The present set of papers show that leaders in the field of organizational behavior management are grappling with issues of human language and cognition. That is a good and necessary step for the field, but the solutions proposed are worrisome: adopting principles from non-behavioral psychology, adopting principles from introspection that have not…

  19. Task Complexity, the Cognition Hypothesis and Second Language Learning and Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Peter; Gilabert, Roger

    2007-01-01

    In this paper we describe a taxonomy of task demands which distinguishes between Task Complexity, Task Condition and Task Difficulty. We then describe three theoretical claims and predictions of the Cognition Hypothesis (Robinson 2001, 2003b, 2005a) concerning the effects of task complexity on: (a) language production; (b) interaction and uptake…

  20. Preschool Experience in 10 Countries: Cognitive and Language Performance at Age 7

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montie, Jeanne E.; Xiang, Zongping; Schweinhart, Lawrence J.

    2006-01-01

    The IEA Preprimary Project is a longitudinal, cross-national study of preprimary care and education designed to identify how process and structural characteristics of the settings children attended at age 4 are related to their age-7 cognitive and language performance. Investigators collaborated to develop common instruments to measure family…

  1. The Cognition Hypothesis: A Synthesis and Meta-Analysis of Research on Second Language Task Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Daniel O.; Suethanapornkul, Sakol

    2013-01-01

    This study employed synthetic and meta-analytic techniques to review the literature on the Cognition Hypothesis, which predicts that increasing task complexity influences the quality of second language production. Based on 8 inclusion criteria, 17 published studies were synthesized according to key features. A subset of these studies (k = 9) was…

  2. Air Traffic Communication in a Second Language: Implications of Cognitive Factors for Training and Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farris, Candace; Trofimovich, Pavel; Segalowitz, Norman; Gatbonton, Elizabeth

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of second language (L2) proficiency and task-induced cognitive workload on participants' speech production and retention of information in an environment designed to simulate the demands faced by pilots receiving instructions from air-traffic controllers. Three groups of 20 participants (one…

  3. Implications of Timing of Maternal Depressive Symptoms for Early Cognitive and Language Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sohr-Preston, Sara L.; Scaramella, Laura V.

    2006-01-01

    Statistically, women, particularly pregnant women and new mothers, are at heightened risk for depression. The present review describes the current state of the research linking maternal depressed mood and children's cognitive and language development. Exposure to maternal depressive symptoms, whether during the prenatal period, postpartum period,…

  4. Air Traffic Communication in a Second Language: Implications of Cognitive Factors for Training and Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farris, Candace; Trofimovich, Pavel; Segalowitz, Norman; Gatbonton, Elizabeth

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of second language (L2) proficiency and task-induced cognitive workload on participants' speech production and retention of information in an environment designed to simulate the demands faced by pilots receiving instructions from air-traffic controllers. Three groups of 20 participants (one…

  5. Peripapillary Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness and the Evolution of Cognitive Performance in an Elderly Population

    PubMed Central

    Méndez-Gómez, Juan Luis; Rougier, Marie-Bénédicte; Tellouck, Laury; Korobelnik, Jean-François; Schweitzer, Cédric; Delyfer, Marie-Noëlle; Amieva, Hélène; Dartigues, Jean-François; Delcourt, Cécile; Helmer, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness is reduced in Alzheimer’s patients. However, whether it is associated with early evolution of cognitive function is unknown. Within 427 participants from the Three-City-Alienor longitudinal population-based cohort, we explored the relationship between peripapillary RNFL thicknesses and the evolution of cognitive performance. RNFL was assessed at baseline by spectral domain optical coherence tomography; cognitive performances were assessed at baseline and at 2 years, with the Mini–Mental State Examination, the Isaacs’ set test, and the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT). Multivariate linear mixed models were performed. The RNFL was not associated with initial cognitive performance. Nevertheless, a thicker RNFL was significantly associated with a better cognitive evolution over time in the free delayed recall (p = 0.0037) and free + cued delayed recall (p = 0.0043) scores of the FCSRT, particularly in the temporal, superotemporal, and inferotemporal segments. No associations were found with other cognitive tests. The RNFL was associated with changes in scores that assess episodic memory. RNFL thickness could reflect a higher risk of developing cognitive impairment over time. PMID:28373855

  6. An arms race between producers and scroungers can drive the evolution of social cognition

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The “social intelligence hypothesis” states that the need to cope with complexities of social life has driven the evolution of advanced cognitive abilities. It is usually invoked in the context of challenges arising from complex intragroup structures, hierarchies, and alliances. However, a fundamental aspect of group living remains largely unexplored as a driving force in cognitive evolution: the competition between individuals searching for resources (producers) and conspecifics that parasitize their findings (scroungers). In populations of social foragers, abilities that enable scroungers to steal by outsmarting producers, and those allowing producers to prevent theft by outsmarting scroungers, are likely to be beneficial and may fuel a cognitive arms race. Using analytical theory and agent-based simulations, we present a general model for such a race that is driven by the producer–scrounger game and show that the race’s plausibility is dramatically affected by the nature of the evolving abilities. If scrounging and scrounging avoidance rely on separate, strategy-specific cognitive abilities, arms races are short-lived and have a limited effect on cognition. However, general cognitive abilities that facilitate both scrounging and scrounging avoidance undergo stable, long-lasting arms races. Thus, ubiquitous foraging interactions may lead to the evolution of general cognitive abilities in social animals, without the requirement of complex intragroup structures. PMID:24822021

  7. Cognitive and Metacognitive Learning Strategies among Arabic Language Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yusri, Ghazali; Rahimi, Nik Mohd; Shah, Parilah M.; Wah, Wan Haslina

    2013-01-01

    This study investigates cognitive and metacognitive strategies in learning oral Arabic among students at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia. The concept of these strategies was derived from the self-regulated learning framework, which consists of five components, namely rehearsal, elaboration, organization, critical thinking, and…

  8. Cognitive and Metacognitive Learning Strategies among Arabic Language Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yusri, Ghazali; Rahimi, Nik Mohd; Shah, Parilah M.; Wah, Wan Haslina

    2013-01-01

    This study investigates cognitive and metacognitive strategies in learning oral Arabic among students at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia. The concept of these strategies was derived from the self-regulated learning framework, which consists of five components, namely rehearsal, elaboration, organization, critical thinking, and…

  9. Relation of Infant Vision to Early Cognitive and Language Status.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duckman, Robert; Tulloch, Deborah

    Relationships between infant visual skills and the development of object permanence and expressive language skills were examined with 31 infants in three groups: visually typical, visually atypical, and Down Syndrome. Measures used to evaluate visual status were: forced preferential looking, optokinetic nystagmus, and behavioral. Object permanence…

  10. Young Children with Specific Language Impairment and Their Numerical Cognition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arvedson, Paula J.

    2002-01-01

    Enumeration and numerical reasoning levels of 19 children with specific language impairment (SLI) were compared to children matched for age and children matched for grammatical ability (GM). Children with SLI performed better than the GM group on reproduction of sets, numerosity of sets, an addition/subtraction condition, and transformation…

  11. Speech, Language, and Cognition in Preschool Children with Epilepsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Selassie, G. Rejno-Habte; Viggedal, G.; Olsson, I.; Jennische, M.

    2008-01-01

    We studied expressive and receptive language, oral motor ability, attention, memory, and intelligence in 20 6-year-old children with epilepsy (14 females, six males; mean age 6y 5mo, range 6y-6y 11mo) without learning disability, cerebral palsy (CP), and/or autism, and in 30 reference children without epilepsy (18 females, 12 males; mean age 6y…

  12. Speech, Language, and Cognition in Preschool Children with Epilepsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Selassie, G. Rejno-Habte; Viggedal, G.; Olsson, I.; Jennische, M.

    2008-01-01

    We studied expressive and receptive language, oral motor ability, attention, memory, and intelligence in 20 6-year-old children with epilepsy (14 females, six males; mean age 6y 5mo, range 6y-6y 11mo) without learning disability, cerebral palsy (CP), and/or autism, and in 30 reference children without epilepsy (18 females, 12 males; mean age 6y…

  13. Cognitive Contributions to Plurilithic Views of English and Other Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    Monolithic views of languages predominate in linguistics, applied linguistics, and everyday discourse. The World Englishes, English as a Lingua Franca, and Critical Applied Linguistics frameworks have gone some way to counter the myth, highlighting the iniquities it gives rise to for global users and learners of English. Here, I propose that…

  14. Cognitive Principles Underlying Task-Centred Foreign Language Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Littlewood, William

    A discussion of the task-based approach to second language learning looks at different interpretations of "task" and defines it in terms of two basic dimensions: (1) degree of learner involvement in purposeful work, and (2) a continuum from focus on linguistic form to focus on message. It is proposed that these dimensions can be understood better…

  15. Words as alleles: connecting language evolution with Bayesian learners to models of genetic drift.

    PubMed

    Reali, Florencia; Griffiths, Thomas L

    2010-02-07

    Scientists studying how languages change over time often make an analogy between biological and cultural evolution, with words or grammars behaving like traits subject to natural selection. Recent work has exploited this analogy by using models of biological evolution to explain the properties of languages and other cultural artefacts. However, the mechanisms of biological and cultural evolution are very different: biological traits are passed between generations by genes, while languages and concepts are transmitted through learning. Here we show that these different mechanisms can have the same results, demonstrating that the transmission of frequency distributions over variants of linguistic forms by Bayesian learners is equivalent to the Wright-Fisher model of genetic drift. This simple learning mechanism thus provides a justification for the use of models of genetic drift in studying language evolution. In addition to providing an explicit connection between biological and cultural evolution, this allows us to define a 'neutral' model that indicates how languages can change in the absence of selection at the level of linguistic variants. We demonstrate that this neutral model can account for three phenomena: the s-shaped curve of language change, the distribution of word frequencies, and the relationship between word frequencies and extinction rates.

  16. Words as alleles: connecting language evolution with Bayesian learners to models of genetic drift

    PubMed Central

    Reali, Florencia; Griffiths, Thomas L.

    2010-01-01

    Scientists studying how languages change over time often make an analogy between biological and cultural evolution, with words or grammars behaving like traits subject to natural selection. Recent work has exploited this analogy by using models of biological evolution to explain the properties of languages and other cultural artefacts. However, the mechanisms of biological and cultural evolution are very different: biological traits are passed between generations by genes, while languages and concepts are transmitted through learning. Here we show that these different mechanisms can have the same results, demonstrating that the transmission of frequency distributions over variants of linguistic forms by Bayesian learners is equivalent to the Wright–Fisher model of genetic drift. This simple learning mechanism thus provides a justification for the use of models of genetic drift in studying language evolution. In addition to providing an explicit connection between biological and cultural evolution, this allows us to define a ‘neutral’ model that indicates how languages can change in the absence of selection at the level of linguistic variants. We demonstrate that this neutral model can account for three phenomena: the s-shaped curve of language change, the distribution of word frequencies, and the relationship between word frequencies and extinction rates. PMID:19812077

  17. The evolution of the Faculty of Language from a Chomskyan perspective: bridging linguistics and biology.

    PubMed

    Longa, Victor Manuel

    2013-01-01

    While language was traditionally considered a purely cultural trait, the advent of Noam Chomsky's Generative Grammar in the second half of the twentieth century dramatically challenged that view. According to that theory, language is an innate feature, part of the human biological endowment. If language is indeed innate, it had to biologically evolve. This review has two main objectives: firstly, it characterizes from a Chomskyan perspective the evolutionary processes by which language could have come into being. Secondly, it proposes a new method for interpreting the archaeological record that radically differs from the usual types of evidence Paleoanthropology has concentrated on when dealing with language evolution: while archaeological remains have usually been regarded from the view of the behavior they could be associated with, the paper will consider archaeological remains from the view of the computational processes and capabilities at work for their production. This computational approach, illustrated with a computational analysis of prehistoric geometric engravings, will be used to challenge the usual generative thinking on language evolution, based on the high specificity of language. The paper argues that the biological machinery of language is neither specifically linguistic nor specifically human, although language itself can still be considered a species-specific innate trait. From such a view, language would be one of the consequences of a slight modification operated on an ancestral architecture shared with vertebrates.

  18. An evaluation of language in brain tumor patients using a new cognitively motivated testing protocol.

    PubMed

    Faulkner, Josh W; Wilshire, Carolyn E; Parker, Andrew J; Cunningham, Kay

    2017-09-01

    To characterize the language impairments that occur in brain tumor patients using a cognitively oriented theoretical framework. Forty-nine preoperative brain tumor patients completed a new testing protocol (the BLAST) which assesses 8 well documented, "core" cognitive skills required for language: auditory word recognition, accessing semantic knowledge, lexical selection, phonological encoding, verbal short-term memory, goal-driven language selection, verb retrieval, and articulatory-motor planning. Patients were unselected with respect to lesion location. A surprising 65% of patients scored below controls on at least 1 core skill. Patients with left temporal tumors, as a group, had lower scores than the remaining patients on phonological encoding, accessing semantic knowledge and verbal short-term memory (STM). Those with left frontal tumors had the lowest scores on articulatory-motor planning. These findings are broadly consistent with previous studies examining the anatomical substrates of our "core" cognitive processes. We conclude that selective impairments in key language skills are common in brain tumor patients, but many of these are not adequately assessed on conventional aphasia assessments. Our protocol may provide a useful resource for preoperative, postoperative and intraoperative language assessment in this population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. Networks uncover hidden lexical borrowing in Indo-European language evolution.

    PubMed

    Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; List, Johann-Mattis; Geisler, Hans; Fangerau, Heiner; Gray, Russell D; Martin, William; Dagan, Tal

    2011-06-22

    Language evolution is traditionally described in terms of family trees with ancestral languages splitting into descendent languages. However, it has long been recognized that language evolution also entails horizontal components, most commonly through lexical borrowing. For example, the English language was heavily influenced by Old Norse and Old French; eight per cent of its basic vocabulary is borrowed. Borrowing is a distinctly non-tree-like process--akin to horizontal gene transfer in genome evolution--that cannot be recovered by phylogenetic trees. Here, we infer the frequency of hidden borrowing among 2346 cognates (etymologically related words) of basic vocabulary distributed across 84 Indo-European languages. The dataset includes 124 (5%) known borrowings. Applying the uniformitarian principle to inventory dynamics in past and present basic vocabularies, we find that 1373 (61%) of the cognates have been affected by borrowing during their history. Our approach correctly identified 117 (94%) known borrowings. Reconstructed phylogenetic networks that capture both vertical and horizontal components of evolutionary history reveal that, on average, eight per cent of the words of basic vocabulary in each Indo-European language were involved in borrowing during evolution. Basic vocabulary is often assumed to be relatively resistant to borrowing. Our results indicate that the impact of borrowing is far more widespread than previously thought.

  20. Gender Differences in Human Cognition. Counterpoints: Cognition, Memory, and Language Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caplan, Paula J.; Crawford, Mary; Hyde, Janet Shibley; Richardson, John T. E.

    Noting the fascination of both researchers and the general public with possible gender differences in human cognition and whether these differences originate in biology, childhood influences, or cultural stereotypes, this book summarizes research studies on gender differences in cognition. The book examines social and cultural implications of this…