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Sample records for evolution cognition language

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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);…

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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'.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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''…

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.…

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. Language and Cognition Interaction Neural Mechanisms

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    cognition and consciousness,” in Neurodynamics of Cognition and Consciousness, L. Perlovsky and R. Kozma, Eds., Springer, Heidelberg, Germany, 2007. [31] L...115, 1987. [43] L. I. Perlovsky, “Neural dynamic logic of consciousness: the knowledge instinct,” in Neurodynamics of Higher-Level Cognition and...Brain, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass, USA, 2000. [58] L. I. Perlovsky and R. Kozma, Eds., Neurodynamics of Higher- Level Cognition and

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Neural Cognition and Affective Computing on Cyber Language

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26491431

  8. 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.

  9. From Cognition To Language: The Modeling Field Theory Approach

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-10-02

    semantic complexity occurred during hominid evolution [33]. Semantic complexity means not only a large number of cognitive categories (meanings) but...pressure being the binding together of the early hominids in large groups, with gossip substituting costly grooming as the main mechanism of social

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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,…

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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.…

  8. 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…

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  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. 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,…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. Interaction of Language, Culture and Cognition in Group Dynamics for Understanding the Adversary

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-07-01

    neuter. Romance Languages : (M, F nouns) Hebrew: (M, F nouns, verbs...their parent romance language based on Latin, the idea that “the sea” should be a masculine vs. a feminine noun reflected divergent cultural...MAY 2010 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Interaction of Language , Culture and Cognition in Group Dynamics for

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. How Can One Learn Mathematical Word Problems in a Second Language? A Cognitive Load Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moussa-Inaty, Jase; Causapin, Mark; Groombridge, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Language may ordinarily account for difficulties in solving word problems and this is particularly true if mathematical word problems are taught in a language other than one's native language. Research into cognitive load may offer a clear theoretical framework when investigating word problems because memory, specifically working memory, plays a…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  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 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. "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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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.…

  4. 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…

  5. 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,…

  6. 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.…

  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. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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)

  11. 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…

  12. 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)…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Integration of Language and Cognition at Pre-Conceptual Level

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-10-04

    and cognition at a pre-conceptual level, where conceptual and emotional contents are not differentiated might be interesting for theoretical linguistics and for practical development of understanding-based search engines .

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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).

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.…

  2. 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")…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.…

  5. 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…

  6. 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,…

  7. 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…

  8. 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,…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  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. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Language and cognitive development in 47,XXX females followed since birth.

    PubMed

    Pennington, B; Puck, M; Robinson, A

    1980-01-01

    In this report, data are presented on language and cognitive development in an unselected group of eleven 47,XXX females, followed since birth, who are now 6--14 years old. The results of the Yale Developmental Exam (at 2 years) and the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA) (at 4--6 years) show an early delay in language development. Those girls who presently have serious language and learning problems were significantly delayed in first walking or talking, whereas the relatively unaffected girls were not. Results of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) at 4 years of age and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC or WISC-R) at 8 years of age are similar and show a generalized depression of both verbal and nonverbal abilities. Thus, unlike 45,X females or 47,XXX males, triple-X females do not have a specifically nonverbal or verbal cognitive deficit.

  19. 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…

  20. Les contributions de la psychologie cognitive a l'enseignement strategique des langues secondes au niveau universitaire (The Contributions of Cognitive Psychology to Strategic Second Language Instruction at the University Level).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Besnard, Christine

    1995-01-01

    Contributions of the field of cognitive psychology to second language instruction are reviewed. It is proposed that these concepts can contribute not only to classroom language instruction, but also to methodology of language teacher education. (MSE)

  1. Cognitive Exploration of Language and Linguistics. Cognitive Linguistics in Practice Series, Volume 1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dirven, Rene; Verspoor, Marjolijn

    This book is designed as a comprehensive introductory text for first and second year college students of language and linguistics. It provides a chapter on each of the more established areas of linguistics, such as lexicology, morphology, syntax, phonetics and phonology, historical linguistics, and language typology and on some newer areas such as…

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. Individual differences in spatial cognition influence mental simulation of language.

    PubMed

    Vukovic, Nikola; Williams, John N

    2015-09-01

    The factors that contribute to perceptual simulation during sentence comprehension remain underexplored. Extant research on perspective taking in language has largely focused on linguistic constraints, such as the role of pronouns in guiding perspective adoption. In the present study, we identify preferential usage of egocentric and allocentric reference frames in individuals, and test the two groups on a standard sentence-picture verification task. Across three experiments, we show that individual biases in spatial reference frame adoption observed in non-linguistic tasks influence visual simulation of perspective in language. Our findings suggest that typically reported grand-averaged effects may obscure important between-subject differences, and support proposals arguing for representational pluralism, where perceptual information is integrated dynamically and in a way that is sensitive to contextual and especially individual constraints.

  6. 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.

  7. Overlapping networks engaged during spoken language production and its cognitive control.

    PubMed

    Geranmayeh, Fatemeh; Wise, Richard J S; Mehta, Amrish; Leech, Robert

    2014-06-25

    Spoken language production is a complex brain function that relies on large-scale networks. These include domain-specific networks that mediate language-specific processes, as well as domain-general networks mediating top-down and bottom-up attentional control. Language control is thought to involve a left-lateralized fronto-temporal-parietal (FTP) system. However, these regions do not always activate for language tasks and similar regions have been implicated in nonlinguistic cognitive processes. These inconsistent findings suggest that either the left FTP is involved in multidomain cognitive control or that there are multiple spatially overlapping FTP systems. We present evidence from an fMRI study using multivariate analysis to identify spatiotemporal networks involved in spoken language production in humans. We compared spoken language production (Speech) with multiple baselines, counting (Count), nonverbal decision (Decision), and "rest," to pull apart the multiple partially overlapping networks that are involved in speech production. A left-lateralized FTP network was activated during Speech and deactivated during Count and nonverbal Decision trials, implicating it in cognitive control specific to sentential spoken language production. A mirror right-lateralized FTP network was activated in the Count and Decision trials, but not Speech. Importantly, a second overlapping left FTP network showed relative deactivation in Speech. These three networks, with distinct time courses, overlapped in the left parietal lobe. Contrary to the standard model of the left FTP as being dominant for speech, we revealed a more complex pattern within the left FTP, including at least two left FTP networks with competing functional roles, only one of which was activated in speech production.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. One Language, Two Number-Word Systems and Many Problems: Numerical Cognition in the Czech Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pixner, S.; Zuber, J.; Hermanova, 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…

  11. Grammatical Language Impairment and the Specificity of Cognitive Domains: Relations between Auditory and Language Abilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van der Lely, Heather K. J.; Rosen, Stuart; Adlard, Alan

    2004-01-01

    Grammatical-specific language impairment (G-SLI) in children, arguably, provides evidence for the existence of a specialised grammatical sub-system in the brain, necessary for normal language development. Some researchers challenge this, claiming that domain-general, low-level auditory deficits, particular to rapid processing, cause phonological…

  12. Spatial Language Facilitates Spatial Cognition: Evidence from Children Who Lack Language Input

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gentner, Dedre; Ozyurek, Asli; Gurcanli, Ozge; 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…

  13. Language, Executive Function and Social Cognition in the Diagnosis of Frontotemporal Dementia Syndromes

    PubMed Central

    Harciarek, Michał; Cosentino, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

    Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) represents a spectrum of non-Alzheimer’s degenerative conditions associated with focal atrophy of the frontal and/or temporal lobes. Frontal and temporal regions of the brain have been shown to be strongly involved in executive function, social cognition and language processing and, thus, deficits in these domains are frequently seen in patients with FTD or may even be hallmarks of a specific FTD subtype ( i.e., relatively selective and progressive language impairment in primary progressive aphasia). In this review, we have attempted to delineate how language, executive function, and social cognition may contribute to the diagnosis of FTD syndromes, namely the behavioral variant FTD as well as the language variants of FTD including the three subtypes of primary progressive aphasia (PPA): non-fluent/agrammatic, semantic, and logopenic. This review also addresses the extent to which deficits in these cognitive areas contribute to the differential diagnosis of FTD versus AD. Finally, early clinical determinants of pathology are briefly discussed and contemporary challenges to the diagnosis of FTD are presented. PMID:23611348

  14. Improvement in cognitive and language skills from preschool to adolescence in autism.

    PubMed

    Sigman, Marian; McGovern, Corina W

    2005-02-01

    This paper reports on the developmental progression of a sample of 48 adolescents and young adults with autism who were previously assessed at preschool age and again in the mid-school period. In contrast to the earlier period when about one-third of the children made dramatic gains, cognitive and language skills tended to remain stable or decline over this time span. The gain in mental and language age of the non-retarded adolescents with autism was less than half the change in their chronological age. The mentally retarded adolescents with autism showed some gain in mental age over time but this was far less than their change in chronological age, and they showed almost no gain in language age. Early childhood predictors of language skills in adolescence were functional play skills, responsiveness to others' bids for joint attention, and the frequency of requesting behaviors.

  15. Interactions of language and cognition in deaf learners: from research to practice.

    PubMed

    Marschark, Marc

    2003-07-01

    It is well established that deaf children begin school lagging in general language skills relative to hearing peers, and that deaf and hearing students differ with regard to literacy and other academic skills. These domains are typically treated separately, by different groups of researchers, with little consideration for common factors that might underlie them. It appears, however, that both of these situations might reflect differences in conceptual and content knowledge, as well as linguistic knowledge, between and among deaf and hearing learners. Such differences would clearly contribute to observed patterns of academic performance, and might have rather specific consequences for the development of language and literacy. A review of relevant research indicates interactions in concept-related language and cognitive processes among deaf learners, interactions that would be expected to influence language and literacy skills and potentially provide avenues for improvements in both.

  16. Modular Sequence: English as a Second Language, Methods and Techniques. TTP 001.03 Psychology and Second-Language Teaching: Behaviorist & Cognitive Approaches. Teacher Corps Bilingual Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hernandez, Alberto; Melnick, Susan L.

    This learning module is designed to provide the student with an introduction to the relevance of psychology for second-language teaching and its practical classroom applications and to enable him to: (a) define concisely cognitive and behaviorist theories, (b) identify the effects of the cognitive and behaviorist theories in a series of…

  17. Motor functioning, exploration, visuospatial cognition and language development in preschool children with autism.

    PubMed

    Hellendoorn, Annika; Wijnroks, Lex; van Daalen, Emma; Dietz, Claudine; Buitelaar, Jan K; Leseman, Paul

    2015-04-01

    In order to understand typical and atypical developmental trajectories it is important to assess how strengths or weaknesses in one domain may be affecting performance in other domains. This study examined longitudinal relations between early fine motor functioning, visuospatial cognition, exploration, and language development in preschool children with ASD and children with other developmental delays/disorders. The ASD group included 63 children at T1 (Mage = 27.10 months, SD = 8.71) and 46 children at T2 (Mage = 45.85 months, SD = 7.16). The DD group consisted of 269 children at T1 (Mage = 17.99 months, SD = 5.59), and 121 children at T2 (Mag e= 43.51 months, SD = 3.81). A subgroup nested within the total sample was randomly selected and studied in-depth on exploratory behavior. This group consisted of 50 children, 21 children with ASD (Mage = 27.57, SD = 7.09) and 29 children with DD (Mage = 24.03 months, SD = 6.42). Fine motor functioning predicted language in both groups. Fine motor functioning was related to visuospatial cognition in both groups and related to object exploration, spatial exploration, and social orientation during exploration only in the ASD group. Visuospatial cognition and all exploration measures were related to both receptive and expressive language in both groups. The findings are in line with the embodied cognition theory, which suggests that cognition emerges from and is grounded in the bodily interactions of an agent with the environment. This study emphasizes the need for researchers and clinicians to consider cognition as emergent from multiple interacting systems.

  18. Speech, language, and cognition in preschool children with epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Selassie, G Rejnö-Habte; Viggedal, G; Olsson, I; Jennische, M

    2008-06-01

    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 5mo, range 6y-6y 11mo). Ten children had partial, six primarily generalized, and four unclassified epilepsy. Fourteen were having monotherapy and six were taking two or more antiepileptic drugs; 13 children were free from seizures 3 months before the assessment. Results show no statistically significant difference between the groups concerning Verbal IQ, expressive and receptive grammar, and receptive vocabulary. The children with epilepsy had a significantly lower Performance IQ and lower scores in tests of oral motor ability, articulation, emerging literacy, auditory attention, short-term memory, and rapid word retrieval. Parent ratings revealed no significant difference in communicative ability. Polytherapy and early onset of epilepsy influenced some results. Preschool children with epilepsy without learning disability, CP, and/or autism may have receptive verbal ability within the normal range but visuoperceptual, auditory attentional, and speech-language difficulties that could affect school achievement. Careful testing of children with epilepsy who appear to be functioning within the normal range is needed because this may reveal specific impairments that require appropriate professional input.

  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. A Study of the Relationship between Code Switching and the Bilingual Advantage: Evidence That Language Use Modulates Neural Indices of Language Processing and Cognitive Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blackburn, Angelique Michelle

    2013-01-01

    Bilinguals sometimes outperform age-matched monolinguals on non-language tasks involving cognitive control. But the bilingual advantage is not consistently found in every experiment and may reflect specific attributes of the bilinguals tested. The goal of this dissertation was to determine if the way in which bilinguals use language, specifically…

  1. Investigation of Pre-Service English Language Teachers' Cognitive Structures about Some Key Concepts in Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching Course through Word Association Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ersanli, Ceylan Yangin

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to map the cognitive structure of pre-service English language (EL) teachers about three key concepts related to approaches and methods in language teaching so as to discover their learning process and misconceptions. The study involves both qualitative and quantitative data. The researcher administrated a Word Association Test…

  2. 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.

  3. Cognitive assessment of refugee children: Effects of trauma and new language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Ida; Stolk, Yvonne; Valibhoy, Madeleine; Tucker, Alan; Baker, Judy

    2016-02-01

    Each year, approximately 60,000 children of refugee background are resettled in Western countries. This paper reviews the effects of the refugee experience on cognitive functioning. The distinctive influences for these children include exposure to traumatic events and the need to acquire a new language, factors that need to be considered to avoid overdiagnosis of learning disorders and inappropriate educational placements. Prearrival trauma, psychological sequelae of traumatic events, developmental impact of trauma, and the quality of family functioning have been found to influence cognitive functioning, learning, and academic performance. In addition, the refugee child may be semiproficient in several languages, but proficient in none, whilst also trying to learn a new language. The influence that the child's limited English proficiency, literacy, and school experience may have on academic and test performance is demonstrated by drawing on the research on refugees' English language acquisition, as well as the more extensive literature on bilingual English language learners. Implications for interventions are drawn at the level of government policy, schools, and the individual. The paper concludes with the observation that there is a major need for longitudinal research on refugee children's learning and academic performance and on interventions that will close the academic gap, thereby enabling refugee children to reach their educational potential.

  4. CANTAB object recognition and language tests to detect aging cognitive decline: an exploratory comparative study

    PubMed Central

    Cabral Soares, Fernanda; de Oliveira, Thaís Cristina Galdino; de Macedo, Liliane Dias e Dias; Tomás, Alessandra Mendonça; Picanço-Diniz, Domingos Luiz Wanderley; Bento-Torres, João; Bento-Torres, Natáli Valim Oliver; Picanço-Diniz, Cristovam Wanderley

    2015-01-01

    Objective The recognition of the limits between normal and pathological aging is essential to start preventive actions. The aim of this paper is to compare the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) and language tests to distinguish subtle differences in cognitive performances in two different age groups, namely young adults and elderly cognitively normal subjects. Method We selected 29 young adults (29.9±1.06 years) and 31 older adults (74.1±1.15 years) matched by educational level (years of schooling). All subjects underwent a general assessment and a battery of neuropsychological tests, including the Mini Mental State Examination, visuospatial learning, and memory tasks from CANTAB and language tests. Cluster and discriminant analysis were applied to all neuropsychological test results to distinguish possible subgroups inside each age group. Results Significant differences in the performance of aged and young adults were detected in both language and visuospatial memory tests. Intragroup cluster and discriminant analysis revealed that CANTAB, as compared to language tests, was able to detect subtle but significant differences between the subjects. Conclusion Based on these findings, we concluded that, as compared to language tests, large-scale application of automated visuospatial tests to assess learning and memory might increase our ability to discern the limits between normal and pathological aging. PMID:25565785

  5. Modeling the emergence of language as an embodied collective cognitive activity.

    PubMed

    Hutchins, Edwin; Johnson, Christine M

    2009-07-01

    Two decades of attempts to model the emergence of language as a collective cognitive activity have demonstrated a number of principles that might have been part of the historical process that led to language. Several models have demonstrated the emergence of structure in a symbolic medium, but none has demonstrated the emergence of the capacity for symbolic representation. The current shift in cognitive science toward theoretical frameworks based on embodiment is already furnishing computational models with additional mechanisms relevant to the emergence of symbolic language. An analysis of embodied interaction among captive, but not human-enculturated, bonobo chimpanzees reveals a number of additional features of embodiment that are relevant to the emergence of symbolic language, but that have not yet been explored in computational simulation models; for example, complementarity of action in addition to imitation, iconic in addition to indexical gesture, coordination among multiple sensory and perceptual modalities, and the orchestration of intra- and inter-individual motor coordination. The bonobos provide an evolutionarily plausible intermediate stage in the development of symbolic expression that can inform efforts to model the emergence of symbolic language.

  6. 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.

  7. Nonverbal cognition in deaf children following cochlear implantation: motor sequencing disturbances mediate language delays.

    PubMed

    Conway, Christopher M; Karpicke, Jennifer; Anaya, Esperanza M; Henning, Shirley C; Kronenberger, William G; Pisoni, David B

    2011-01-01

    We assessed profoundly deaf children with cochlear implants (CIs) (N = 24) and age-matched normal-hearing children (N = 31) on several nonverbal cognition measures: motor sequencing, tactile discrimination, response inhibition, visual-motor integration, and visual-spatial processing. The results revealed that the children with CIs showed disturbances solely on motor sequencing and that performance on this task was significantly correlated with scores on the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, 4th Edition (CELF-4). These findings suggest that a period of auditory deprivation before cochlear implantation affects motor sequencing skills, which in turn may mediate the language delays displayed by some deaf children with CIs.

  8. Bioacoustics of human whistled languages: an alternative approach to the cognitive processes of language.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Julien

    2004-06-01

    Whistled languages are a valuable heritage of human culture. This paper gives a first survey about a new multidisciplinary approach to these languages. Previous studies on whistled equivalents of languages have already documented that they can provide significant information about the role of rhythm and melody in language. To substantiate this, most whistles are represented by modulations of frequency, centered around 2000 Hz (+/- 1000 Hz) and often reach a loudness of about 130 dB (measured at 1m from the source). Their transmission range can reach up to 10 km (as verified in La Gomera, Canary Island), and the messages can remain understandable, even if the signal is deteriorated. In some cultures the use of whistled language is associated with some "talking musical instruments" (e.g. flutes, guitars, harps, gongs, drums, khens). Finally, whistles as a means of conveying information have some analogues in the animal kingdom (e.g. some birds, cetaceans, primates), providing opportunities to compare the acoustic characteristics of the respective signals. With such properties as a reference, the project reported here has two major tasks: to further elucidate the many facets of whistled language and, above all, help to immediately stop the process of its gradual disappearance.

  9. Rana computatrix to human language: towards a computational neuroethology of language evolution.

    PubMed

    Arbib, Michael A

    2003-10-15

    Walter's Machina speculatrix inspired the name Rana computatrix for a family of models of visuomotor coordination in the frog, which contributed to the development of computational neuroethology. We offer here an 'evolutionary' perspective on models in the same tradition for rat, monkey and human. For rat, we show how the frog-like taxon affordance model provides a basis for the spatial navigation mechanisms that involve the hippocampus and other brain regions. For monkey, we recall two models of neural mechanisms for visuomotor coordination. The first, for saccades, shows how interactions between the parietal and frontal cortex augment superior colliculus seen as the homologue of frog tectum. The second, for grasping, continues the theme of parieto-frontal interactions, linking parietal affordances to motor schemas in premotor cortex. It further emphasizes the mirror system for grasping, in which neurons are active both when the monkey executes a specific grasp and when it observes a similar grasp executed by others. The model of human-brain mechanisms is based on the mirror-system hypothesis of the evolution of the language-ready brain, which sees the human Broca's area as an evolved extension of the mirror system for grasping.

  10. The Continuing Evolution of Languages for Specific Purposes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grosse, Christine Uber; Voght, Geoffrey M.

    2012-01-01

    This overview to "The Modern Language Journal"'s Focus Issue on Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) takes a fresh look at issues examined in a 1991 article by Grosse and Voght. Reflecting on change drivers and growth in LSP, the authors comment on current challenges to the field and future research needs. Their remarks are based on new insights…

  11. How Does Evolution Design a Brain Capable of Learning Language?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savage-Rumbaugh, E. Sue

    1993-01-01

    Discusses methods of assessing language comprehension in apes. Considers the possible effect of brain physiology on the differences between productive and receptive language skills. Examines the possibility that differences between synaptic transmission and volume transmission, or transmission across extracellular spaces, of neurological impulses…

  12. Self-locomotion and spatial language and spatial cognition: insights from typical and atypical development.

    PubMed

    Oudgenoeg-Paz, Ora; Rivière, James

    2014-01-01

    Various studies have shown that occurrence of locomotion in infancy is correlated with the development of spatial cognitive competencies. Recent evidence suggests that locomotor experience might also be important for the development of spatial language. Together these findings suggest that locomotor experience might play a crucial role in the development of linguistic-cognitive spatial skills. However, some studies indicate that, despite their total deprivation of locomotor experience, young children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) have the capacity to acquire and use rich spatial representations including good spatial language. Nonetheless, we have to be cautious about what the striking performances displayed by SMA children can reveal on the link between motor and spatial development, as the dynamics of brain development in atypically developing children are different from typically developing children.

  13. Self-locomotion and spatial language and spatial cognition: insights from typical and atypical development

    PubMed Central

    Oudgenoeg-Paz, Ora; Rivière, James

    2014-01-01

    Various studies have shown that occurrence of locomotion in infancy is correlated with the development of spatial cognitive competencies. Recent evidence suggests that locomotor experience might also be important for the development of spatial language. Together these findings suggest that locomotor experience might play a crucial role in the development of linguistic-cognitive spatial skills. However, some studies indicate that, despite their total deprivation of locomotor experience, young children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) have the capacity to acquire and use rich spatial representations including good spatial language. Nonetheless, we have to be cautious about what the striking performances displayed by SMA children can reveal on the link between motor and spatial development, as the dynamics of brain development in atypically developing children are different from typically developing children. PMID:24917836

  14. Novel methodology to examine cognitive and experiential factors in language development: combining eye-tracking and LENA technology.

    PubMed

    Odean, Rosalie; Nazareth, Alina; Pruden, Shannon M

    2015-01-01

    Developmental systems theory posits that development cannot be segmented by influences acting in isolation, but should be studied through a scientific lens that highlights the complex interactions between these forces over time (Overton, 2013a). This poses a unique challenge for developmental psychologists studying complex processes like language development. In this paper, we advocate for the combining of highly sophisticated data collection technologies in an effort to move toward a more systemic approach to studying language development. We investigate the efficiency and appropriateness of combining eye-tracking technology and the LENA (Language Environment Analysis) system, an automated language analysis tool, in an effort to explore the relation between language processing in early development, and external dynamic influences like parent and educator language input in the home and school environments. Eye-tracking allows us to study language processing via eye movement analysis; these eye movements have been linked to both conscious and unconscious cognitive processing, and thus provide one means of evaluating cognitive processes underlying language development that does not require the use of subjective parent reports or checklists. The LENA system, on the other hand, provides automated language output that describes a child's language-rich environment. In combination, these technologies provide critical information not only about a child's language processing abilities but also about the complexity of the child's language environment. Thus, when used in conjunction these technologies allow researchers to explore the nature of interacting systems involved in language development.

  15. Novel methodology to examine cognitive and experiential factors in language development: combining eye-tracking and LENA technology

    PubMed Central

    Odean, Rosalie; Nazareth, Alina; Pruden, Shannon M.

    2015-01-01

    Developmental systems theory posits that development cannot be segmented by influences acting in isolation, but should be studied through a scientific lens that highlights the complex interactions between these forces over time (Overton, 2013a). This poses a unique challenge for developmental psychologists studying complex processes like language development. In this paper, we advocate for the combining of highly sophisticated data collection technologies in an effort to move toward a more systemic approach to studying language development. We investigate the efficiency and appropriateness of combining eye-tracking technology and the LENA (Language Environment Analysis) system, an automated language analysis tool, in an effort to explore the relation between language processing in early development, and external dynamic influences like parent and educator language input in the home and school environments. Eye-tracking allows us to study language processing via eye movement analysis; these eye movements have been linked to both conscious and unconscious cognitive processing, and thus provide one means of evaluating cognitive processes underlying language development that does not require the use of subjective parent reports or checklists. The LENA system, on the other hand, provides automated language output that describes a child’s language-rich environment. In combination, these technologies provide critical information not only about a child’s language processing abilities but also about the complexity of the child’s language environment. Thus, when used in conjunction these technologies allow researchers to explore the nature of interacting systems involved in language development. PMID:26379591

  16. Morphological features of the neonatal brain support development of subsequent cognitive, language, and motor abilities.

    PubMed

    Spann, Marisa N; Bansal, Ravi; Rosen, Tove S; Peterson, Bradley S

    2014-09-01

    Knowledge of the role of brain maturation in the development of cognitive abilities derives primarily from studies of school-age children to adults. Little is known about the morphological features of the neonatal brain that support the subsequent development of abilities in early childhood, when maturation of the brain and these abilities are the most dynamic. The goal of our study was to determine whether brain morphology during the neonatal period supports early cognitive development through 2 years of age. We correlated morphological features of the cerebral surface assessed using deformation-based measures (surface distances) of high-resolution MRI scans for 33 healthy neonates, scanned between the first to sixth week of postmenstrual life, with subsequent measures of their motor, language, and cognitive abilities at ages 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. We found that morphological features of the cerebral surface of the frontal, mesial prefrontal, temporal, and occipital regions correlated with subsequent motor scores, posterior parietal regions correlated with subsequent language scores, and temporal and occipital regions correlated with subsequent cognitive scores. Measures of the anterior and middle portions of the cingulate gyrus correlated with scores across all three domains of ability. Most of the significant findings were inverse correlations located bilaterally in the brain. The inverse correlations may suggest either that a more protracted morphological maturation or smaller local volumes of neonatal brain tissue supports better performance on measures of subsequent motor, language, and cognitive abilities throughout the first 2 years of postnatal life. The correlations of morphological measures of the cingulate with measures of performance across all domains of ability suggest that the cingulate supports a broad range of skills in infancy and early childhood, similar to its functions in older children and adults.

  17. Developmental Trajectories in Siblings of Children with Autism: Cognition and Language from 4 Months to 7 Years

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gamliel, Ifat; Yirmiya, Nurit; Jaffe, Dena H.; Manor, Orly; Sigman, Marian

    2009-01-01

    We compared the cognitive and language development at 4, 14, 24, 36, 54 months, and 7 years of siblings of children with autism (SIBS-A) to that of siblings of children with typical development (SIBS-TD) using growth curve analyses. At 7 years, 40% of the SIBS-A, compared to 16% of SIBS-TD, were identified with cognitive, language and/or academic…

  18. Cognitive mechanisms for the evolution of religious thought.

    PubMed

    Fondevila, Sabela; Martín-Loeches, Manuel

    2013-09-01

    The reasons behind the cultural persistence of religious beliefs throughout human history and prehistory still generate unanswered questions requiring scientific explanations. Within the framework of the cognitive science of religion, this article reviews experimental evidence supporting human predisposition for religious thinking and focuses on the hypothesis that a reason why religious beliefs are successful is their minimal counterintuitiveness. According to this hypothesis, religious concepts or stories would be characterized by containing only a small number of world-knowledge violations, which attracts attention while improving memorizability. We conclude this review by summarizing recent findings from our group using brain electrical activity and delving further into these questions. Our research suggests parallels between the natural tendency of the human cognitive system to use metaphors and the minimal counterintuitiveness of religious beliefs.

  19. Stone tools, language and the brain in human evolution.

    PubMed

    Stout, Dietrich; Chaminade, Thierry

    2012-01-12

    Long-standing speculations and more recent hypotheses propose a variety of possible evolutionary connections between language, gesture and tool use. These arguments have received important new support from neuroscientific research on praxis, observational action understanding and vocal language demonstrating substantial functional/anatomical overlap between these behaviours. However, valid reasons for scepticism remain as well as substantial differences in detail between alternative evolutionary hypotheses. Here, we review the current status of alternative 'gestural' and 'technological' hypotheses of language origins, drawing on current evidence of the neural bases of speech and tool use generally, and on recent studies of the neural correlates of Palaeolithic technology specifically.

  20. The Cognitive Advantages of Counting Specifically: A Representational Analysis of Verbal Numeration Systems in Oceanic Languages.

    PubMed

    Bender, Andrea; Schlimm, Dirk; Beller, Sieghard

    2015-10-01

    The domain of numbers provides a paradigmatic case for investigating interactions of culture, language, and cognition: Numerical competencies are considered a core domain of knowledge, and yet the development of specifically human abilities presupposes cultural and linguistic input by way of counting sequences. These sequences constitute systems with distinct structural properties, the cross-linguistic variability of which has implications for number representation and processing. Such representational effects are scrutinized for two types of verbal numeration systems-general and object-specific ones-that were in parallel use in several Oceanic languages (English with its general system is included for comparison). The analysis indicates that the object-specific systems outperform the general systems with respect to counting and mental arithmetic, largely due to their regular and more compact representation. What these findings reveal on cognitive diversity, how the conjectures involved speak to more general issues in cognitive science, and how the approach taken here might help to bridge the gap between anthropology and other cognitive sciences is discussed in the conclusion.

  1. Growth in literacy, cognition, and working memory in English language learners.

    PubMed

    Lee Swanson, H; Orosco, Michael J; Lussier, Catherine M

    2015-04-01

    This cohort sequential study explored the components of working memory that underlie English reading and language acquisition in elementary school children whose first language is Spanish. To this end, children (N=410) in Grades 1, 2, and 3 at Wave 1 were administered a battery of cognitive (short-term memory [STM], working memory [WM], rapid naming, phonological processing, and random letter and number generation), vocabulary, and reading measures in both Spanish and English. These same measures were administered 1 and 2 years later. The results showed that (a) a three-factor structure (phonological STM, visual-spatial WM, and verbal WM) captured the data within both language systems, (b) growth in both the executive and STM storage components was uniquely related to growth in second language (L2) reading and language acquisition, and (c) the contribution of growth in the executive component of WM to growth in L2 processing was independent of growth in storage, phonological knowledge, inhibition, and rapid naming speed. The results suggested that growth in the phonological storage system does not supersede growth of the executive component of WM as a major contributor to growth in children's L2 reading and language.

  2. Cognitive Control of Language Production in Bilinguals Involves a Partly Independent Process within the Domain-General Cognitive Control Network: Evidence from Task-switching and Electrical Brain Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magezi, David A.; Khateb, Asaid; Mouthon, Michael; Spierer, Lucas; Annoni, Jean-Marie

    2012-01-01

    In highly proficient, early bilinguals, behavioural studies of the cost of switching language or task suggest qualitative differences between language control and domain-general cognitive control. By contrast, several neuroimaging studies have shown an overlap of the brain areas involved in language control and domain-general cognitive control.…

  3. Grounded and embodied mathematical cognition: Promoting mathematical insight and proof using action and language.

    PubMed

    Nathan, Mitchell J; Walkington, Candace

    2017-01-01

    We develop a theory of grounded and embodied mathematical cognition (GEMC) that draws on action-cognition transduction for advancing understanding of how the body can support mathematical reasoning. GEMC proposes that participants' actions serve as inputs capable of driving the cognition-action system toward associated cognitive states. This occurs through a process of transduction that promotes valuable mathematical insights by eliciting dynamic depictive gestures that enact spatio-temporal properties of mathematical entities. Our focus here is on pre-college geometry proof production. GEMC suggests that action alone can foster insight but is insufficient for valid proof production if action is not coordinated with language systems for propositionalizing general properties of objects and space. GEMC guides the design of a video game-based learning environment intended to promote students' mathematical insights and informal proofs by eliciting dynamic gestures through in-game directed actions. GEMC generates several hypotheses that contribute to theories of embodied cognition and to the design of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education interventions. Pilot study results with a prototype video game tentatively support theory-based predictions regarding the role of dynamic gestures for fostering insight and proof-with-insight, and for the role of action coupled with language to promote proof-with-insight. But the pilot yields mixed results for deriving in-game interventions intended to elicit dynamic gesture production. Although our central purpose is an explication of GEMC theory and the role of action-cognition transduction, the theory-based video game design reveals the potential of GEMC to improve STEM education, and highlights the complex challenges of connecting embodiment research to education practices and learning environment design.

  4. Networks uncover hidden lexical borrowing in Indo-European language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; List, Johann-Mattis; Geisler, Hans; Fangerau, Heiner; Gray, Russell D.; Martin, William; Dagan, Tal

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21106583

  5. Specific aspects of cognitive and language proficiency account for variability in neural indices of semantic and syntactic processing in children

    PubMed Central

    Wray, Amanda Hampton; Weber-Fox, Christine

    2013-01-01

    The neural activity mediating language processing in young children is characterized by large individual variability that is likely related in part to individual strengths and weakness across various cognitive abilities. The current study addresses the following question: How does proficiency in specific cognitive and language functions impact neural indices mediating language processing in children? Thirty typically developing seven- and eight-year-olds were divided into high-normal and low-normal proficiency groups based on performance on nonverbal IQ, auditory word recall, and grammatical morphology tests. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were elicited by semantic anomalies and phrase structure violations in naturally spoken sentences. The proficiency for each of the specific cognitive and language tasks uniquely contributed to specific aspects (e.g., timing and/or resource allocation) of neural indices underlying semantic (N400) and syntactic (P600) processing. These results suggest that distinct aptitudes within broader domains of cognition and language, even within the normal range, influence the neural signatures of semantic and syntactic processing. Furthermore, the current findings have important implications for the design and interpretation of developmental studies of ERPs indexing language processing, and they highlight the need to take into account cognitive abilities both within and outside the classic language domain. PMID:23557881

  6. Animal Foraging and the Evolution of Goal-Directed Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hills, Thomas T.

    2006-01-01

    Foraging-and feeding-related behaviors across eumetazoans share similar molecular mechanisms, suggesting the early evolution of an optimal foraging behavior called area-restricted search (ARS), involving mechanisms of dopamine and glutamate in the modulation of behavioral focus. Similar mechanisms in the vertebrate basal ganglia control motor…

  7. Language between Bodies: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding Linguistic Politeness in American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roush, Daniel R.

    2011-01-01

    This article proposes an answer to the primary question of how the American Sign Language (ASL) community in the United States conceptualizes (im)politeness and its related notions. It begins with a review of evolving theoretical issues in research on (im)politeness and related methodological problems with studying (im)politeness in natural…

  8. Children's Comprehension Problems in Oral and Written Language: A Cognitive Perspective. Challenges in Language and Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cain, Kate, Ed.; Oakhill, Jane, Ed.

    2007-01-01

    Comprehension is the ultimate aim of reading and listening. How do children develop the ability to comprehend written and spoken language, and what can be done to help those who are having difficulties? This book presents cutting-edge research on comprehension problems experienced by children without any formal diagnosis as well as those with…

  9. Tone language speakers and musicians share enhanced perceptual and cognitive abilities for musical pitch: evidence for bidirectionality between the domains of language and music.

    PubMed

    Bidelman, Gavin M; Hutka, Stefanie; Moreno, Sylvain

    2013-01-01

    Psychophysiological evidence suggests that music and language are intimately coupled such that experience/training in one domain can influence processing required in the other domain. While the influence of music on language processing is now well-documented, evidence of language-to-music effects have yet to be firmly established. Here, using a cross-sectional design, we compared the performance of musicians to that of tone-language (Cantonese) speakers on tasks of auditory pitch acuity, music perception, and general cognitive ability (e.g., fluid intelligence, working memory). While musicians demonstrated superior performance on all auditory measures, comparable perceptual enhancements were observed for Cantonese participants, relative to English-speaking nonmusicians. These results provide evidence that tone-language background is associated with higher auditory perceptual performance for music listening. Musicians and Cantonese speakers also showed superior working memory capacity relative to nonmusician controls, suggesting that in addition to basic perceptual enhancements, tone-language background and music training might also be associated with enhanced general cognitive abilities. Our findings support the notion that tone language speakers and musically trained individuals have higher performance than English-speaking listeners for the perceptual-cognitive processing necessary for basic auditory as well as complex music perception. These results illustrate bidirectional influences between the domains of music and language.

  10. From mild cognitive impairment to subjective cognitive decline: conceptual and methodological evolution

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Yu-Wen; Chen, Ta-Fu; Chiu, Ming-Jang

    2017-01-01

    Identification of subjects at the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is fundamental for drug development and possible intervention or prevention of cognitive decline. The concept of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) evolved during the past two decades to define subjects at the transitional stage between normal aging and dementia. Evidence from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies has shown that MCI is associated with an increased risk of positive AD biomarkers and an increased annual conversion rate of 5%–17% to AD. The presence of AD biomarkers in subjects with MCI was associated with an even higher risk of progression to dementia. However, earlier clinical trials for pharmacotherapy in subjects with MCI were disappointing. To extend the spectrum of AD to an earlier stage before MCI, subjective cognitive decline (SCD) was introduced and was defined as self-reported cognitive decline before the deficits could be detected by cognitive tests. Subjects with SCD have an increased risk of underlying AD pathology. However, SCD can also develop secondary to other heterogeneous etiologies, including other neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases, personality traits, physical conditions, and medication use. Several clinical and biomarker features were proposed to predict risk of conversion to AD in subjects with SCD. Further longitudinal studies are needed to support the validity of these high-risk features. PMID:28243102

  11. From mild cognitive impairment to subjective cognitive decline: conceptual and methodological evolution.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Yu-Wen; Chen, Ta-Fu; Chiu, Ming-Jang

    2017-01-01

    Identification of subjects at the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is fundamental for drug development and possible intervention or prevention of cognitive decline. The concept of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) evolved during the past two decades to define subjects at the transitional stage between normal aging and dementia. Evidence from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies has shown that MCI is associated with an increased risk of positive AD biomarkers and an increased annual conversion rate of 5%-17% to AD. The presence of AD biomarkers in subjects with MCI was associated with an even higher risk of progression to dementia. However, earlier clinical trials for pharmacotherapy in subjects with MCI were disappointing. To extend the spectrum of AD to an earlier stage before MCI, subjective cognitive decline (SCD) was introduced and was defined as self-reported cognitive decline before the deficits could be detected by cognitive tests. Subjects with SCD have an increased risk of underlying AD pathology. However, SCD can also develop secondary to other heterogeneous etiologies, including other neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases, personality traits, physical conditions, and medication use. Several clinical and biomarker features were proposed to predict risk of conversion to AD in subjects with SCD. Further longitudinal studies are needed to support the validity of these high-risk features.

  12. The Effects of Cognitive: Linguistic Variables and Language Experience on Behavioural and Kinematic Performances in Nonword Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sasisekaran, Jayanthi; Weisberg, Sanford

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of cognitive-linguistic variables and language experience on behavioral and kinematic measures of nonword learning in young adults. Group 1 consisted of thirteen participants who spoke American English as the first and only language. Group 2 consisted of seven participants with varying…

  13. The Co-Emergence of Cognition, Language, and Speech Motor Control in Early Development: A Longitudinal Correlation Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nip, Ignatius S. B.; Green, Jordan R.; Marx, David B.

    2011-01-01

    Although the development of spoken language is dependent on the emergence of cognitive, language, and speech motor skills, knowledge about how these domains interact during the early stages of communication development is currently limited. This exploratory investigation examines the strength of associations between longitudinal changes in…

  14. How Sex, Native Language, and College Major Relate to the Cognitive Strategies Used during 3-D Mental Rotation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Yingli; O'Boyle, Michael W.

    2008-01-01

    Eighty college students mentally rotated 3-D shapes while maintaining a concurrent verbal or spatial memory load to investigate how sex, native language, and college major relate to the cognitive strategies employed during mental rotation (MR). Males were significantly better than females at MR, whereas native language was not related to MR…

  15. Elementary School ELLs' Reading Skill Profiles Using Cognitive Diagnosis Modeling: Roles of Length of Residence and Home Language Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jang, Eunice Eunhee; Dunlop, Maggie; Wagner, Maryam; Kim, Youn-Hee; Gu, Zhimei

    2013-01-01

    The study examined differences in reading achievement and mastery skill development among Grade-6 students with different language background profiles, using cognitive diagnosis modeling applied to large-scale provincial reading test performance data. Our analyses revealed that students residing in various home language environments show different…

  16. Evo-devo, deep homology and FoxP2: implications for the evolution of speech and language.

    PubMed

    Scharff, Constance; Petri, Jana

    2011-07-27

    The evolution of novel morphological features, such as feathers, involves the modification of developmental processes regulated by gene networks. The fact that genetic novelty operates within developmental constraints is the central tenet of the 'evo-devo' conceptual framework. It is supported by findings that certain molecular regulatory pathways act in a similar manner in the development of morphological adaptations, which are not directly related by common ancestry but evolved convergently. The Pax6 gene, important for vision in molluscs, insects and vertebrates, and Hox genes, important for tetrapod limbs and fish fins, exemplify this 'deep homology'. Recently, 'evo-devo' has expanded to the molecular analysis of behavioural traits, including social behaviour, learning and memory. Here, we apply this approach to the evolution of human language. Human speech is a form of auditory-guided, learned vocal motor behaviour that also evolved in certain species of birds, bats and ocean mammals. Genes relevant for language, including the transcription factor FOXP2, have been identified. We review evidence that FoxP2 and its regulatory gene network shapes neural plasticity in cortico-basal ganglia circuits underlying the sensory-guided motor learning in animal models. The emerging picture can help us understand how complex cognitive traits can 'descend with modification'.

  17. Evo-devo, deep homology and FoxP2: implications for the evolution of speech and language

    PubMed Central

    Scharff, Constance; Petri, Jana

    2011-01-01

    The evolution of novel morphological features, such as feathers, involves the modification of developmental processes regulated by gene networks. The fact that genetic novelty operates within developmental constraints is the central tenet of the ‘evo-devo’ conceptual framework. It is supported by findings that certain molecular regulatory pathways act in a similar manner in the development of morphological adaptations, which are not directly related by common ancestry but evolved convergently. The Pax6 gene, important for vision in molluscs, insects and vertebrates, and Hox genes, important for tetrapod limbs and fish fins, exemplify this ‘deep homology’. Recently, ‘evo-devo’ has expanded to the molecular analysis of behavioural traits, including social behaviour, learning and memory. Here, we apply this approach to the evolution of human language. Human speech is a form of auditory-guided, learned vocal motor behaviour that also evolved in certain species of birds, bats and ocean mammals. Genes relevant for language, including the transcription factor FOXP2, have been identified. We review evidence that FoxP2 and its regulatory gene network shapes neural plasticity in cortico-basal ganglia circuits underlying the sensory-guided motor learning in animal models. The emerging picture can help us understand how complex cognitive traits can ‘descend with modification’. PMID:21690130

  18. Attention control and ability level in a complex cognitive skill: attention shifting and second-language proficiency.

    PubMed

    Segalowitz, Norman; Frenkiel-Fishman, Sarah

    2005-06-01

    In this study, we investigated the relationship between attention control and proficiency in a complex cognitive skill. The participants were English-French bilinguals with varying degrees of second-language (French) proficiency. Proficiency was operationalized as efficiency of lexical access in an animacy judgment task, as reflected in the coefficient of variability of response time adjusted for first-language performance on the same task. Attention control was operationalized as the shift cost obtained in a linguistic version of the alternating runs task-switching paradigm. Hierarchical regression revealed that, overall, attention control accounted for 59% of the variance of proficiency and that second-language attention control alone accounted for 32% of the unique variance of proficiency, indicating a high degree of skill domain (second language) specificity in the relationship between attention control and proficiency. The results speak to issues regarding the development of expertise, second-language acquisition, and a cognitive linguistic approach to language and attention.

  19. Bilingual Cognitive Control in Language Switching: An fMRI Study of English-Chinese Late Bilinguals

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Hengfen; Hu, Jiehui; Xi, Jie; Shen, Wen; Ge, Jianqiao; Geng, Feng; Wu, Yuntao; Guo, Jinjin; Yao, Dezhong

    2014-01-01

    The present study explored the bilingual cognitive control mechanism by comparing Chinese-English bilinguals’ language switching in a blocked picture naming paradigm against three baseline conditions, namely the control condition (a fixation cross, low-level baseline), single L1 production (Chinese naming, high-level baseline), and single L2 production (English naming, high-level baseline). Different activation patterns were observed for language switching against different baseline conditions. These results indicate that different script bilingual language control involves a fronto-parietal-subcortical network that extends to the precentral gyrus, the Supplementary Motor Area, the Supra Marginal Gyrus, and the fusiform. The different neural correlates identified across different comparisons supported that bilingual language switching involves high-level cognitive processes that are not specific to language processing. Future studies adopting a network approach are crucial in identifying the functional connectivity among regions subserving language control. PMID:25180974

  20. The classification game: combining supervised learning and language evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swarup, Samarth; Gasser, Les

    2010-03-01

    We study the emergence of shared representations in a population of agents engaged in a supervised classification task, using a model called the classification game. We connect languages with tasks by treating the agents' classification hypothesis space as an information channel. We show that by learning through the classification game, agents can implicitly perform complexity regularisation, which improves generalisation. Improved generalisation also means that the languages that emerge are well adapted to the given task. The improved language-task fit springs from the interplay of two opposing forces: the dynamics of collective learning impose a preference for simple representations, while the intricacy of the classification task imposes a pressure towards representations that are more complex. The push-pull of these two forces results in the emergence of a shared representation that is simple but not too simple. Our agents use artificial neural networks to solve the classification tasks they face, and a simple counting algorithm to learn a language as a form-meaning mapping. We present several experiments to demonstrate that both compositional and holistic languages can emerge in our system. We also demonstrate that the agents avoid overfitting on noisy data, and can learn some very difficult tasks through interaction, which they are unable to learn individually. Further, when the agents use simple recurrent networks to solve temporal classification tasks, we see the emergence of a rudimentary grammar, which does not have to be explicitly learned.

  1. Comparative primate neurobiology and the evolution of brain language systems.

    PubMed

    Rilling, James K

    2014-10-01

    Human brain specializations supporting language can be identified by comparing human with non-human primate brains. Comparisons with chimpanzees are critical in this endeavor. Human brains are much larger than non-human primate brains, but human language capabilities cannot be entirely explained by brain size. Human brain specializations that potentially support our capacity for language include firstly, wider cortical minicolumns in both Broca's and Wernicke's areas compared with great apes; secondly, leftward asymmetries in Broca's area volume and Wernicke's area minicolumn width that are not found in great apes; and thirdly, arcuate fasciculus projections beyond Wernicke's area to a region of expanded association cortex in the middle and inferior temporal cortex involved in processing word meaning.

  2. Punctuated equilibrium in the large-scale evolution of programming languages.

    PubMed

    Valverde, Sergi; Solé, Ricard V

    2015-06-06

    The analogies and differences between biological and cultural evolution have been explored by evolutionary biologists, historians, engineers and linguists alike. Two well-known domains of cultural change are language and technology. Both share some traits relating the evolution of species, but technological change is very difficult to study. A major challenge in our way towards a scientific theory of technological evolution is how to properly define evolutionary trees or clades and how to weight the role played by horizontal transfer of information. Here, we study the large-scale historical development of programming languages, which have deeply marked social and technological advances in the last half century. We analyse their historical connections using network theory and reconstructed phylogenetic networks. Using both data analysis and network modelling, it is shown that their evolution is highly uneven, marked by innovation events where new languages are created out of improved combinations of different structural components belonging to previous languages. These radiation events occur in a bursty pattern and are tied to novel technological and social niches. The method can be extrapolated to other systems and consistently captures the major classes of languages and the widespread horizontal design exchanges, revealing a punctuated evolutionary path.

  3. Vocal development as a guide to modeling the evolution of language

    PubMed Central

    Oller, D. Kimbrough; Griebel, Ulrike; Warlaumont, Anne S.

    2016-01-01

    Modeling of evolution and development of language has principally utilized mature units of spoken language, phonemes and words, as both targets and inputs. This approach cannot address the earliest phases of development because young infants are unable to produce such language features. We argue that units of early vocal development—protophones and their primitive illocutionary/perlocutionary forces—should be targeted in evolutionary modeling because they suggest likely units of hominin vocalization/communication shortly after the split from the chimpanzee/bonobo lineage, and because early development of spontaneous vocal capability is a logically necessary step toward vocal language, a root capability without which other crucial steps toward vocal language capability are impossible. Modeling of language evolution/development must account for dynamic change in early communicative units of form/function across time. We argue for interactive contributions of sender/infants and receiver/caregivers in a feedback loop involving both development and evolution and propose to begin computational modeling at the hominin break from the primate communicative background. PMID:26932662

  4. Maternal Education Level Predicts Cognitive, Language, and Motor Outcome in Preterm Infants in the Second Year of Life.

    PubMed

    Patra, Kousiki; Greene, Michelle M; Patel, Aloka L; Meier, Paula

    2016-07-01

    Objective To evaluate the relative impact of maternal education level (MEL) on cognitive, language, and motor outcomes at 20 months' corrected age (CA) in preterm infants. Study Design A total of 177 preterm infants born between 2008 and 2010 were tested at 20 months' CA using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III. Multiple regression analyses were done to determine the relative impact of MEL on cognitive, language, and motor scores. Results Infants born to mothers with high school MEL were 3.74 times more likely to have a subnormal motor index, while those born to mothers with some college and graduate school MEL had reduced odds (0.36 and 0.12, respectively) of having subnormal language index at 20 months. In linear regression, MEL was the strongest predictor of cognitive, language, and motor scores, and graduate school MEL was associated with increases in cognitive, motor, and language scores of 8.49, 8.23, and 15.74 points, respectively. Conclusions MEL is the most significant predictor of cognitive, language, and motor outcome at 20 months' CA in preterm infants. Further research is needed to evaluate if targeted interventions that focus on early childhood learning and parenting practices can ameliorate the impact of low MEL.

  5. A Cognitive Neural Architecture Able to Learn and Communicate through Natural Language.

    PubMed

    Golosio, Bruno; Cangelosi, Angelo; Gamotina, Olesya; Masala, Giovanni Luca

    2015-01-01

    Communicative interactions involve a kind of procedural knowledge that is used by the human brain for processing verbal and nonverbal inputs and for language production. Although considerable work has been done on modeling human language abilities, it has been difficult to bring them together to a comprehensive tabula rasa system compatible with current knowledge of how verbal information is processed in the brain. This work presents a cognitive system, entirely based on a large-scale neural architecture, which was developed to shed light on the procedural knowledge involved in language elaboration. The main component of this system is the central executive, which is a supervising system that coordinates the other components of the working memory. In our model, the central executive is a neural network that takes as input the neural activation states of the short-term memory and yields as output mental actions, which control the flow of information among the working memory components through neural gating mechanisms. The proposed system is capable of learning to communicate through natural language starting from tabula rasa, without any a priori knowledge of the structure of phrases, meaning of words, role of the different classes of words, only by interacting with a human through a text-based interface, using an open-ended incremental learning process. It is able to learn nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns and other word classes, and to use them in expressive language. The model was validated on a corpus of 1587 input sentences, based on literature on early language assessment, at the level of about 4-years old child, and produced 521 output sentences, expressing a broad range of language processing functionalities.

  6. Asperger's syndrome and high-functioning autism: language, motor and cognitive profiles.

    PubMed

    Noterdaeme, Michele; Wriedt, Elke; Höhne, Christian

    2010-06-01

    The objective of this study is to compare the cognitive profile, the motor and language functioning and the psychosocial adaptation of children with Asperger syndrome (AS) and with high-functioning autism (HFA). Subjects were recruited through the department Autism and Developmental Disorders of the Heckscher-Klinikum. To be included in the study, the full-scale-IQ had to be at least 80. Subjects with AS had to have a normal early language development and subjects with HFA a clear delay in language development, as reported by their parents. The sample consisted of 57 children with Asperger syndrome and 55 children with high-functioning autism. The mean age of the children was 10 years. All subjects were examined with a standardised test battery. Children with AS had a higher full-scale-IQ than children with HFA. This was due to a higher verbal-IQ. There were no significant differences in the performance-IQ. At a mean age of 10 years, subjects with AS had better language skills than subjects with HFA, but at least 30% showed clear receptive language problems. Motor problems were present in about 50% of the children with AS and HFA. The level of psychosocial adaptation was clearly reduced, but was comparable for the two groups. The differences in verbal-IQ and language skills between the two groups could be explained through the definition of the syndromes. The presence of language problems in the subjects with AS at age 10, the comparable degree of motor impairment and level of psychosocial adaptation question the validity of the distinction between AS and HFA within the category of pervasive developmental disorders.

  7. A Cognitive Neural Architecture Able to Learn and Communicate through Natural Language

    PubMed Central

    Golosio, Bruno; Cangelosi, Angelo; Gamotina, Olesya; Masala, Giovanni Luca

    2015-01-01

    Communicative interactions involve a kind of procedural knowledge that is used by the human brain for processing verbal and nonverbal inputs and for language production. Although considerable work has been done on modeling human language abilities, it has been difficult to bring them together to a comprehensive tabula rasa system compatible with current knowledge of how verbal information is processed in the brain. This work presents a cognitive system, entirely based on a large-scale neural architecture, which was developed to shed light on the procedural knowledge involved in language elaboration. The main component of this system is the central executive, which is a supervising system that coordinates the other components of the working memory. In our model, the central executive is a neural network that takes as input the neural activation states of the short-term memory and yields as output mental actions, which control the flow of information among the working memory components through neural gating mechanisms. The proposed system is capable of learning to communicate through natural language starting from tabula rasa, without any a priori knowledge of the structure of phrases, meaning of words, role of the different classes of words, only by interacting with a human through a text-based interface, using an open-ended incremental learning process. It is able to learn nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns and other word classes, and to use them in expressive language. The model was validated on a corpus of 1587 input sentences, based on literature on early language assessment, at the level of about 4-years old child, and produced 521 output sentences, expressing a broad range of language processing functionalities. PMID:26560154

  8. The Evolution of Language Acquisition in Immigrant Students in Catalonia: The Role of the Home Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sansó, Clara; Navarro, José Luis; Huguet, Ángel

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: The development of immigrant students' language proficiency is one of the main challenges facing education professionals today. Our study was a longitudinal analysis of Catalan and Spanish language acquisition. Method: Participants were 72 immigrant students (27 Spanish speakers and 45 non-Spanish speakers) enrolled in compulsory…

  9. Technical evolutions of the french multipurpose instruments for cognitive neurosciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bois, JM; Legrand, G.; Matsakis, Y.; Venet, M.; McIntyre, J.; Shulenin, A.

    Since the first French flight in space in 1982, the CNES has developed a wide range of instruments, especially in the field of Neurosciences. The design of these instruments has considerably evolved from rather simple equipment up to much more sophisticated tools that are being specially tayloried for these missions. Four major phases can be identified: - a simple adaptation of an echographe leading to the first neurosciences experiments (the ARAGATZ'88 mission), - the ILLUSIONS and VIMINAL instruments used during the ANTARES'92 and ALTAIR'93 missions, - the COGNILAB instrument developed for the CASSIOPEE'96 mission, to be re-used in 1997 and in 1999, - a preliminary design of the 1999 mission payload, including virtual reality concepts, in a modular design to adapt to the European COF. Aside from the evolution of scientific requirements, the experience gained during the flights led to progressive improvements in the different technical parts, including visual system, body restraint systems, accessories, such as a force feedback joystick, computer and software, etc. This paper describes the technical evolutions in the CNES Neurosciences program.

  10. IV. NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB): measuring language (vocabulary comprehension and reading decoding).

    PubMed

    Gershon, Richard C; Slotkin, Jerry; Manly, Jennifer J; Blitz, David L; Beaumont, Jennifer L; Schnipke, Deborah; Wallner-Allen, Kathleen; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Gleason, Jean Berko; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy; Adams, Marilyn Jager; Weintraub, Sandra

    2013-08-01

    Mastery of language skills is an important predictor of daily functioning and health. Vocabulary comprehension and reading decoding are relatively quick and easy to measure and correlate highly with overall cognitive functioning, as well as with success in school and work. New measures of vocabulary comprehension and reading decoding (in both English and Spanish) were developed for the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB). In the Toolbox Picture Vocabulary Test (TPVT), participants hear a spoken word while viewing four pictures, and then must choose the picture that best represents the word. This approach tests receptive vocabulary knowledge without the need to read or write, removing the literacy load for children who are developing literacy and for adults who struggle with reading and writing. In the Toolbox Oral Reading Recognition Test (TORRT), participants see a letter or word onscreen and must pronounce or identify it. The examiner determines whether it was pronounced correctly by comparing the response to the pronunciation guide on a separate computer screen. In this chapter, we discuss the importance of language during childhood and the relation of language and brain function. We also review the development of the TPVT and TORRT, including information about the item calibration process and results from a validation study. Finally, the strengths and weaknesses of the measures are discussed.

  11. The interrelationships between motor, cognitive, and language development in children with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    PubMed

    Houwen, Suzanne; Visser, Linda; van der Putten, Annette; Vlaskamp, Carla

    2016-01-01

    It is generally agreed that cognitive and language development are dependent on the emergence of motor skills. As the literature on this issue concerning children with developmental disabilities is scarce, we examined the interrelationships between motor, cognitive, and language development in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and compared them to those in children without IDD. In addition, we investigated whether these relationships differ between children with different levels of cognitive delay. Seventy-seven children with IDD (calendar age between 1;0 and 9;10 years; mean developmental age: 1;8 years) and 130 typically developing children (calendar age between 0;3 and 3;6 years; mean developmental age: 1;10 years) were tested with the Dutch Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition, which assesses development across three domains using five subscales: fine motor development, gross motor development (motor), cognition (cognitive), receptive communication, and expressive communication (language). Results showed that correlations between the motor, cognitive, and language domains were strong, namely .61 to .94 in children with IDD and weak to strong, namely .24 to .56 in children without IDD. Furthermore, the correlations showed a tendency to increase with the severity of IDD. It can be concluded that both fine and gross motor development are more strongly associated with cognition, and consequently language, in children with IDD than in children without IDD. The findings of this study emphasize the importance of early interventions that boost both motor and cognitive development, and suggest that such interventions will also enhance language development.

  12. Exploration as a Mediator of the Relation between the Attainment of Motor Milestones and the Development of Spatial Cognition and Spatial Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oudgenoeg-Paz, Ora; Leseman, Paul P. M.; Volman, M. J. M.

    2015-01-01

    The embodied-cognition approach views cognition and language as grounded in daily sensorimotor child-environment interactions. Therefore, the attainment of motor milestones is expected to play a role in cognitive-linguistic development. Early attainment of unsupported sitting and independent walking indeed predict better spatial cognition and…

  13. The Neurophysiology of Language Processing Shapes the Evolution of Grammar: Evidence from Case Marking

    PubMed Central

    Bickel, Balthasar; Witzlack-Makarevich, Alena; Choudhary, Kamal K.; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina

    2015-01-01

    Do principles of language processing in the brain affect the way grammar evolves over time or is language change just a matter of socio-historical contingency? While the balance of evidence has been ambiguous and controversial, we identify here a neurophysiological constraint on the processing of language that has a systematic effect on the evolution of how noun phrases are marked by case (i.e. by such contrasts as between the English base form she and the object form her). In neurophysiological experiments across diverse languages we found that during processing, participants initially interpret the first base-form noun phrase they hear (e.g. she…) as an agent (which would fit a continuation like … greeted him), even when the sentence later requires the interpretation of a patient role (as in … was greeted). We show that this processing principle is also operative in Hindi, a language where initial base-form noun phrases most commonly denote patients because many agents receive a special case marker ("ergative") and are often left out in discourse. This finding suggests that the principle is species-wide and independent of the structural affordances of specific languages. As such, the principle favors the development and maintenance of case-marking systems that equate base-form cases with agents rather than with patients. We confirm this evolutionary bias by statistical analyses of phylogenetic signals in over 600 languages worldwide, controlling for confounding effects from language contact. Our findings suggest that at least one core property of grammar systematically adapts in its evolution to the neurophysiological conditions of the brain, independently of socio-historical factors. This opens up new avenues for understanding how specific properties of grammar have developed in tight interaction with the biological evolution of our species. PMID:26267884

  14. The neurophysiology of language processing shapes the evolution of grammar: evidence from case marking.

    PubMed

    Bickel, Balthasar; Witzlack-Makarevich, Alena; Choudhary, Kamal K; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina

    2015-01-01

    Do principles of language processing in the brain affect the way grammar evolves over time or is language change just a matter of socio-historical contingency? While the balance of evidence has been ambiguous and controversial, we identify here a neurophysiological constraint on the processing of language that has a systematic effect on the evolution of how noun phrases are marked by case (i.e. by such contrasts as between the English base form she and the object form her). In neurophysiological experiments across diverse languages we found that during processing, participants initially interpret the first base-form noun phrase they hear (e.g. she…) as an agent (which would fit a continuation like … greeted him), even when the sentence later requires the interpretation of a patient role (as in … was greeted). We show that this processing principle is also operative in Hindi, a language where initial base-form noun phrases most commonly denote patients because many agents receive a special case marker ("ergative") and are often left out in discourse. This finding suggests that the principle is species-wide and independent of the structural affordances of specific languages. As such, the principle favors the development and maintenance of case-marking systems that equate base-form cases with agents rather than with patients. We confirm this evolutionary bias by statistical analyses of phylogenetic signals in over 600 languages worldwide, controlling for confounding effects from language contact. Our findings suggest that at least one core property of grammar systematically adapts in its evolution to the neurophysiological conditions of the brain, independently of socio-historical factors. This opens up new avenues for understanding how specific properties of grammar have developed in tight interaction with the biological evolution of our species.

  15. Modeling language and cognition with deep unsupervised learning: a tutorial overview

    PubMed Central

    Zorzi, Marco; Testolin, Alberto; Stoianov, Ivilin P.

    2013-01-01

    Deep unsupervised learning in stochastic recurrent neural networks with many layers of hidden units is a recent breakthrough in neural computation research. These networks build a hierarchy of progressively more complex distributed representations of the sensory data by fitting a hierarchical generative model. In this article we discuss the theoretical foundations of this approach and we review key issues related to training, testing and analysis of deep networks for modeling language and cognitive processing. The classic letter and word perception problem of McClelland and Rumelhart (1981) is used as a tutorial example to illustrate how structured and abstract representations may emerge from deep generative learning. We argue that the focus on deep architectures and generative (rather than discriminative) learning represents a crucial step forward for the connectionist modeling enterprise, because it offers a more plausible model of cortical learning as well as a way to bridge the gap between emergentist connectionist models and structured Bayesian models of cognition. PMID:23970869

  16. Modeling language and cognition with deep unsupervised learning: a tutorial overview.

    PubMed

    Zorzi, Marco; Testolin, Alberto; Stoianov, Ivilin P

    2013-01-01

    Deep unsupervised learning in stochastic recurrent neural networks with many layers of hidden units is a recent breakthrough in neural computation research. These networks build a hierarchy of progressively more complex distributed representations of the sensory data by fitting a hierarchical generative model. In this article we discuss the theoretical foundations of this approach and we review key issues related to training, testing and analysis of deep networks for modeling language and cognitive processing. The classic letter and word perception problem of McClelland and Rumelhart (1981) is used as a tutorial example to illustrate how structured and abstract representations may emerge from deep generative learning. We argue that the focus on deep architectures and generative (rather than discriminative) learning represents a crucial step forward for the connectionist modeling enterprise, because it offers a more plausible model of cortical learning as well as a way to bridge the gap between emergentist connectionist models and structured Bayesian models of cognition.

  17. Cognitive abilities underlying second-language vocabulary acquisition in an early second-language immersion education context: a longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Nicolay, Anne-Catherine; Poncelet, Martine

    2013-08-01

    First-language (L1) and second-language (L2) lexical development has been found to be strongly associated with phonological processing abilities such as phonological short-term memory (STM), phonological awareness, and speech perception. Lexical development also seems to be linked to attentional and executive skills such as auditory attention, flexibility, and response inhibition. The aim of this four-wave longitudinal study was to determine to what extent L2 vocabulary acquired through the particular school context of early L2 immersion education is linked to the same cognitive abilities. A total of 61 French-speaking 5-year-old kindergartners who had just been enrolled in English immersion classes were administered a battery of tasks assessing these three phonological processing abilities and three attentional/executive skills. Their English vocabulary knowledge was measured 1, 2, and 3 school years later. Multiple regression analyses showed that, among the assessed phonological processing abilities, phonological STM and speech perception, but not phonological awareness, appeared to underlie L2 vocabulary acquisition in this context of an early L2 immersion school program, at least during the first steps of acquisition. Similarly, among the assessed attentional/executive skills, auditory attention and flexibility, but not response inhibition, appeared to be involved during the first steps of L2 vocabulary acquisition in such an immersion school context.

  18. The Evolution of English Language Teaching during Societal Transition in Finland--A Mutual Relationship or a Distinctive Process?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jaatinen, Riitta; Saarivirta, Toni

    2014-01-01

    This study describes the evolution of English language teaching in Finland and looks into the connections of the societal and educational changes in the country as explanatory factors in the process. The results of the study show that the language teaching methodology and the status of foreign languages in Finland are clearly connected to the…

  19. Parallel language activation and cognitive control during spoken word recognition in bilinguals

    PubMed Central

    Blumenfeld, Henrike K.; Marian, Viorica

    2013-01-01

    Accounts of bilingual cognitive advantages suggest an associative link between cross-linguistic competition and inhibitory control. We investigate this link by examining English-Spanish bilinguals’ parallel language activation during auditory word recognition and nonlinguistic Stroop performance. Thirty-one English-Spanish bilinguals and 30 English monolinguals participated in an eye-tracking study. Participants heard words in English (e.g., comb) and identified corresponding pictures from a display that included pictures of a Spanish competitor (e.g., conejo, English rabbit). Bilinguals with higher Spanish proficiency showed more parallel language activation and smaller Stroop effects than bilinguals with lower Spanish proficiency. Across all bilinguals, stronger parallel language activation between 300–500ms after word onset was associated with smaller Stroop effects; between 633–767ms, reduced parallel language activation was associated with smaller Stroop effects. Results suggest that bilinguals who perform well on the Stroop task show increased cross-linguistic competitor activation during early stages of word recognition and decreased competitor activation during later stages of word recognition. Findings support the hypothesis that cross-linguistic competition impacts domain-general inhibition. PMID:24244842

  20. The impact of hearing loss on language performance in older adults with different stages of cognitive function

    PubMed Central

    Lodeiro-Fernández, Leire; Lorenzo-López, Laura; Maseda, Ana; Núñez-Naveira, Laura; Rodríguez-Villamil, José Luis; Millán-Calenti, José Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The possible relationship between audiometric hearing thresholds and cognitive performance on language tests was analyzed in a cross-sectional cohort of older adults aged ≥65 years (N=98) with different degrees of cognitive impairment. Materials and methods Participants were distributed into two groups according to Reisberg’s Global Deterioration Scale (GDS): a normal/predementia group (GDS scores 1–3) and a moderate/moderately severe dementia group (GDS scores 4 and 5). Hearing loss (pure-tone audiometry) and receptive and production-based language function (Verbal Fluency Test, Boston Naming Test, and Token Test) were assessed. Results Results showed that the dementia group achieved significantly lower scores than the predementia group in all language tests. A moderate negative correlation between hearing loss and verbal comprehension (r=−0.298; P<0.003) was observed in the predementia group (r=−0.363; P<0.007). However, no significant relationship between hearing loss and verbal fluency and naming scores was observed, regardless of cognitive impairment. Conclusion In the predementia group, reduced hearing level partially explains comprehension performance but not language production. In the dementia group, hearing loss cannot be considered as an explanatory factor of poor receptive and production-based language performance. These results are suggestive of cognitive rather than simply auditory problems to explain the language impairment in the elderly. PMID:25914528

  1. Linear grammar as a possible stepping-stone in the evolution of language.

    PubMed

    Jackendoff, Ray; Wittenberg, Eva

    2017-02-01

    We suggest that one way to approach the evolution of language is through reverse engineering: asking what components of the language faculty could have been useful in the absence of the full complement of components. We explore the possibilities offered by linear grammar, a form of language that lacks syntax and morphology altogether, and that structures its utterances through a direct mapping between semantics and phonology. A language with a linear grammar would have no syntactic categories or syntactic phrases, and therefore no syntactic recursion. It would also have no functional categories such as tense, agreement, and case inflection, and no derivational morphology. Such a language would still be capable of conveying certain semantic relations through word order-for instance by stipulating that agents should precede patients. However, many other semantic relations would have to be based on pragmatics and discourse context. We find evidence of linear grammar in a wide range of linguistic phenomena: pidgins, stages of late second language acquisition, home signs, village sign languages, language comprehension (even in fully syntactic languages), aphasia, and specific language impairment. We also find a full-blown language, Riau Indonesian, whose grammar is arguably close to a pure linear grammar. In addition, when subjects are asked to convey information through nonlinguistic gesture, their gestures make use of semantically based principles of linear ordering. Finally, some pockets of English grammar, notably compounds, can be characterized in terms of linear grammar. We conclude that linear grammar is a plausible evolutionary precursor of modern fully syntactic grammar, one that is still active in the human mind.

  2. The parental antagonism theory of language evolution: preliminary evidence for the proposal.

    PubMed

    Brown, William M

    2011-04-01

    not maternally silenced Alu elements are positively correlated with language diversity. Furthermore, there is a much higher than expected frequency of Alu elements inserted into the protein-coding machinery of imprinted and X-chromosomal language loci compared with nonimprinted language loci. Taken together these findings provide some support for parental antagonism theory. Unlike previous theories for language evolution, parental antagonism theory generates testable predictions at the proximate (e.g., neurocognitive areas important for social transmission and language capacities), ontogenetic (e.g., the function of language at different points of development), ultimate (e.g., inclusive fitness), and phylogenetic levels (e.g., the spread of maternally derived brain components in mammals, particularly in the hominin lineage), thus making human capacities for culture more tractable than previously thought.

  3. The evolution of hyperactivity, impulsivity and cognitive diversity.

    PubMed

    Williams, Jonathan; Taylor, Eric

    2006-06-22

    The evolutionary status of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is central to assessments of whether modern society has created it, either physically or socially; and is potentially useful in understanding its neurobiological basis and treatment. The high prevalence of ADHD (5-10%) and its association with the seven-repeat allele of DRD4, which is positively selected in evolution, raise the possibility that ADHD increases the reproductive fitness of the individual, and/or the group. However, previous suggestions of evolutionary roles for ADHD have not accounted for its confinement to a substantial minority. Because one of the key features of ADHD is its diversity, and many benefits of population diversity are well recognized (as in immunity), we study the impact of groups' behavioural diversity on their fitness. Diversity occurs along many dimensions, and for simplicity we choose unpredictability (or variability), excess of which is a well-established characteristic of ADHD.Simulations of the Changing Food group task show that unpredictable behaviour by a minority optimizes results for the group. Characteristics of such group exploration tasks are risk-taking, in which costs are borne mainly by the individual; and information-sharing, in which benefits accrue to the entire group. Hence, this work is closely linked to previous studies of evolved altruism.We conclude that even individually impairing combinations of genes, such as ADHD, can carry specific benefits for society, which can be selected for at that level, rather than being merely genetic coincidences with effects confined to the individual. The social benefits conferred by diversity occur both inside and outside the 'normal' range, and these may be distinct. This view has the additional merit of offering explanations for the prevalence, sex and age distribution, severity distribution and heterogeneity of ADHD.

  4. Impact of cognitive function and dysarthria on spoken language and perceived speech severity in multiple sclerosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feenaughty, Lynda

    Purpose: The current study sought to investigate the separate effects of dysarthria and cognitive status on global speech timing, speech hesitation, and linguistic complexity characteristics and how these speech behaviors impose on listener impressions for three connected speech tasks presumed to differ in cognitive-linguistic demand for four carefully defined speaker groups; 1) MS with cognitive deficits (MSCI), 2) MS with clinically diagnosed dysarthria and intact cognition (MSDYS), 3) MS without dysarthria or cognitive deficits (MS), and 4) healthy talkers (CON). The relationship between neuropsychological test scores and speech-language production and perceptual variables for speakers with cognitive deficits was also explored. Methods: 48 speakers, including 36 individuals reporting a neurological diagnosis of MS and 12 healthy talkers participated. The three MS groups and control group each contained 12 speakers (8 women and 4 men). Cognitive function was quantified using standard clinical tests of memory, information processing speed, and executive function. A standard z-score of ≤ -1.50 indicated deficits in a given cognitive domain. Three certified speech-language pathologists determined the clinical diagnosis of dysarthria for speakers with MS. Experimental speech tasks of interest included audio-recordings of an oral reading of the Grandfather passage and two spontaneous speech samples in the form of Familiar and Unfamiliar descriptive discourse. Various measures of spoken language were of interest. Suprasegmental acoustic measures included speech and articulatory rate. Linguistic speech hesitation measures included pause frequency (i.e., silent and filled pauses), mean silent pause duration, grammatical appropriateness of pauses, and interjection frequency. For the two discourse samples, three standard measures of language complexity were obtained including subordination index, inter-sentence cohesion adequacy, and lexical diversity. Ten listeners

  5. Modeling Coevolution between Language and Memory Capacity during Language Origin.

    PubMed

    Gong, Tao; Shuai, Lan

    2015-01-01

    Memory is essential to many cognitive tasks including language. Apart from empirical studies of memory effects on language acquisition and use, there lack sufficient evolutionary explorations on whether a high level of memory capacity is prerequisite for language and whether language origin could influence memory capacity. In line with evolutionary theories that natural selection refined language-related cognitive abilities, we advocated a coevolution scenario between language and memory capacity, which incorporated the genetic transmission of individual memory capacity, cultural transmission of idiolects, and natural and cultural selections on individual reproduction and language teaching. To illustrate the coevolution dynamics, we adopted a multi-agent computational model simulating the emergence of lexical items and simple syntax through iterated communications. Simulations showed that: along with the origin of a communal language, an initially-low memory capacity for acquired linguistic knowledge was boosted; and such coherent increase in linguistic understandability and memory capacities reflected a language-memory coevolution; and such coevolution stopped till memory capacities became sufficient for language communications. Statistical analyses revealed that the coevolution was realized mainly by natural selection based on individual communicative success in cultural transmissions. This work elaborated the biology-culture parallelism of language evolution, demonstrated the driving force of culturally-constituted factors for natural selection of individual cognitive abilities, and suggested that the degree difference in language-related cognitive abilities between humans and nonhuman animals could result from a coevolution with language.

  6. Modeling Coevolution between Language and Memory Capacity during Language Origin

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Tao; Shuai, Lan

    2015-01-01

    Memory is essential to many cognitive tasks including language. Apart from empirical studies of memory effects on language acquisition and use, there lack sufficient evolutionary explorations on whether a high level of memory capacity is prerequisite for language and whether language origin could influence memory capacity. In line with evolutionary theories that natural selection refined language-related cognitive abilities, we advocated a coevolution scenario between language and memory capacity, which incorporated the genetic transmission of individual memory capacity, cultural transmission of idiolects, and natural and cultural selections on individual reproduction and language teaching. To illustrate the coevolution dynamics, we adopted a multi-agent computational model simulating the emergence of lexical items and simple syntax through iterated communications. Simulations showed that: along with the origin of a communal language, an initially-low memory capacity for acquired linguistic knowledge was boosted; and such coherent increase in linguistic understandability and memory capacities reflected a language-memory coevolution; and such coevolution stopped till memory capacities became sufficient for language communications. Statistical analyses revealed that the coevolution was realized mainly by natural selection based on individual communicative success in cultural transmissions. This work elaborated the biology-culture parallelism of language evolution, demonstrated the driving force of culturally-constituted factors for natural selection of individual cognitive abilities, and suggested that the degree difference in language-related cognitive abilities between humans and nonhuman animals could result from a coevolution with language. PMID:26544876

  7. Lateral preference in Williams-Beuren syndrome is associated with cognition and language.

    PubMed

    Pérez-García, D; Flores, R; Brun-Gasca, C; Pérez-Jurado, L A

    2015-09-01

    Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) is a genetically defined neurodevelopmental disorder presenting with intellectual disability associated with a specific neurocognitive profile characterized by anxiety, hypersociability, poor visuospatial skills and relatively preserved language. We have defined the lateral preference in 69 individuals (40 males and 29 females, age range 5-47 years) with WBS confirmed by molecular testing, and explored its correlation with cognition, behavior problems, the main aspects of the behavioral phenotype, and specific molecular variants (parental origin and size of the 7q11.23 deletion). Lateral preference (hand, foot, eye and ear) and neurobehavioral features [intelligence quotient (IQ), sociability, visuospatial construction, narrative skills and behavior] were assessed by a battery of tests and parental interviews. A large proportion of WBS individuals showed either left or mixed handedness (26 and 19%, respectively). Hand, foot and ear lateral preference showed significant association with IQ, with individuals with mixed lateral preference presenting lower general IQ, especially verbal IQ, with respect to subjects with well-defined laterality. Approachability, visuospatial ability, behavior problems or molecular variants were not associated with lateral preference. Our results indicate that, as in other neurodevelopmental disorders, laterality is poorly defined in a significant proportion of WBS individuals, and reinforces the idea that a correct definition of lateral preference is important for cognition and language.

  8. The Role of Individual Differences in the Study Abroad Context: Cognitive Capacity and Language Development during Short-Term Intensive Language Exposure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grey, Sarah; Cox, Jessica G.; Serafini, Ellen J.; Sanz, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    While research suggests that study abroad (SA) benefits second language (L2) oral fluency, its benefits for other domains are less clear, especially for shorterterm programs, which are becoming more common. Additionally, studies investigating the relationship between cognitive capacity and benefits of SA report inconsistent patterns. In light of…

  9. A cognitive neuroscience perspective on embodied language for human-robot cooperation.

    PubMed

    Madden, Carol; Hoen, Michel; Dominey, Peter Ford

    2010-03-01

    This article addresses issues in embodied sentence processing from a "cognitive neural systems" approach that combines analysis of the behavior in question, analysis of the known neurophysiological bases of this behavior, and the synthesis of a neuro-computational model of embodied sentence processing that can be applied to and tested in the context of human-robot cooperative interaction. We propose a Hybrid Comprehension Model that links compact propositional representations of sentences and discourse with their temporal unfolding in situated simulations, under the control of grammar. The starting point is a model of grammatical construction processing which specifies the neural mechanisms by which language is a structured inventory of mappings from sentence to meaning. This model is then "embodied" in a perceptual-motor system (robot) which allows it access to sentence-perceptual representation pairs, and interaction with the world providing the basis for language acquisition. We then introduce a "simulation" capability, such that the robot has an internal representation of its interaction with the world. The control of this simulator and the associated representations present a number of interesting "neuro-technical" issues. First, the "simulator" has been liberated from real-time. It can run without being connected to current sensory motor experience. Second, "simulations" appear to be represented at different levels of detail. Our paper provides a framework for beginning to address the questions: how does language and its grammar control these aspects of simulation, what are the neurophysiological bases, and how can this be demonstrated in an artificial yet embodied cognitive system.

  10. Time, space, and events in language and cognition: a comparative view.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Chris; Gärdenfors, Peter

    2014-10-01

    We propose an event-based account of the cognitive and linguistic representation of time and temporal relations. Human beings differ from nonhuman animals in entertaining and communicating elaborate detached (as opposed to cued) event representations and temporal relational schemas. We distinguish deictically based (D-time) from sequentially based (S-time) representations, identifying these with the philosophical categories of A-series and B-series time. On the basis of cross-linguistic data, we claim that all cultures employ both D-time and S-time representations. We outline a cognitive model of event structure, emphasizing that this does not entail an explicit, separate representation of a time dimension. We propose that the notion of an event-independent, metric "time as such" is not universal, but a cultural and historical construction based on cognitive technologies for measuring time intervals. We critically examine claims that time is universally conceptualized in terms of spatial metaphors, and hypothesize that systematic space-time metaphor is only found in languages and cultures that have constructed the notion of time as a separate dimension. We emphasize the importance of distinguishing what is universal from what is variable in cultural and linguistic representations of time, and speculate on the general implications of an event-based understanding of time.

  11. Language skills and nonverbal cognitive processes associated with reading comprehension in deaf children.

    PubMed

    Daza, María Teresa; Phillips-Silver, Jessica; Ruiz-Cuadra, María del Mar; López-López, Francisco

    2014-12-01

    The main aim of this study was to examine the relationship between language skills (vocabulary knowledge and phonological awareness), nonverbal cognitive processes (attention, memory and executive functions) and reading comprehension in deaf children. Participants were thirty prelingually deaf children (10.7 ± 1.6 years old; 18 boys, 12 girls), who were classified as either good readers or poor readers by their scores on two reading comprehension tasks. The children were administered a rhyme judgment task and seven computerized neuropsychological tasks specifically designed and adapted for deaf children to evaluate vocabulary knowledge, attention, memory and executive functions in deaf children. A correlational approach was also used to assess the association between variables. Although the two groups did not show differences in phonological awareness, good readers showed better vocabulary and performed significantly better than poor readers on attention, memory and executive functions measures. Significant correlations were found between better scores in reading comprehension and better scores on tasks of vocabulary and non-verbal cognitive processes. The results suggest that in deaf children, vocabulary knowledge and nonverbal cognitive processes such as selective attention, visuo-spatial memory, abstract reasoning and sequential processing may be especially relevant for the development of reading comprehension.

  12. Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language.

    PubMed

    Morgan, T J H; Uomini, N T; Rendell, L E; Chouinard-Thuly, L; Street, S E; Lewis, H M; Cross, C P; Evans, C; Kearney, R; de la Torre, I; Whiten, A; Laland, K N

    2015-01-13

    Hominin reliance on Oldowan stone tools-which appear from 2.5 mya and are believed to have been socially transmitted-has been hypothesized to have led to the evolution of teaching and language. Here we present an experiment investigating the efficacy of transmission of Oldowan tool-making skills along chains of adult human participants (N=184) using five different transmission mechanisms. Across six measures, transmission improves with teaching, and particularly with language, but not with imitation or emulation. Our results support the hypothesis that hominin reliance on stone tool-making generated selection for teaching and language, and imply that (i) low-fidelity social transmission, such as imitation/emulation, may have contributed to the ~700,000 year stasis of the Oldowan technocomplex, and (ii) teaching or proto-language may have been pre-requisites for the appearance of Acheulean technology. This work supports a gradual evolution of language, with simple symbolic communication preceding behavioural modernity by hundreds of thousands of years.

  13. Experimental Evidence for the Co-Evolution of Hominin Tool-Making Teaching and Language

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, T.J.H.; Uomini, N. T.; Rendell, L.E.; Chouinard-Thuly, L.; Street, S. E.; Lewis, H. M.; Cross, C. P.; Evans, C.; Kearney, R.; De la Torre, I.; Whiten, A.; Laland, K.N.

    2014-01-01

    Hominin reliance on Oldowan stone tools – which appear from 2.5mya and are believed to have been socially transmitted – has been hypothesised to have led to the evolution of teaching and language. Here we present an experiment investigating the efficacy of transmission of Oldowan tool-making skills along chains of adult human participants (N=184) using 5 different transmission mechanisms. Across six measures, transmission improves with teaching, and particularly with language, but not with imitation or emulation. Our results support the hypothesis that hominin reliance on stone tool-making generated selection for teaching and language and imply that (i) low-fidelity social transmission, such as imitation/emulation, may have contributed to the ~700,000 year stasis of the Oldowan technocomplex, and (ii) teaching or proto-language may have been pre-requisites for the appearance of Acheulean technology. This work supports a gradual evolution of language, with simple symbolic communication preceding behavioural modernity by hundreds of thousands of years. PMID:25585382

  14. Conceptual and empirical problems with game theoretic approaches to language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Watumull, Jeffrey; Hauser, Marc D.

    2014-01-01

    The importance of game theoretic models to evolutionary theory has been in formulating elegant equations that specify the strategies to be played and the conditions to be satisfied for particular traits to evolve. These models, in conjunction with experimental tests of their predictions, have successfully described and explained the costs and benefits of varying strategies and the dynamics for establishing equilibria in a number of evolutionary scenarios, including especially cooperation, mating, and aggression. Over the past decade or so, game theory has been applied to model the evolution of language. In contrast to the aforementioned scenarios, however, we argue that these models are problematic due to conceptual confusions and empirical difficiences. In particular, these models conflate the comptutations and representations of our language faculty (mechanism) with its utility in communication (function); model languages as having different fitness functions for which there is no evidence; depend on assumptions for the starting state of the system, thereby begging the question of how these systems evolved; and to date, have generated no empirical studies at all. Game theoretic models of language evolution have therefore failed to advance how or why language evolved, or why it has the particular representations and computations that it does. We conclude with some brief suggestions for how this situation might be ameliorated, enabling this important theoretical tool to make substantive empirical contributions. PMID:24678305

  15. The origins of language and the evolution of music: A comparative perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masataka, Nobuo

    2009-03-01

    According to Darwin [Darwin, CR. The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray; 1871], the human musical faculty ‘must be ranked amongst the most mysterious with which he is endowed’. Music is a human cultural universal that serves no obvious adaptive purpose, making its evolution a puzzle for evolutionary biologists. This review examines Darwin's hypothesis of similarities between language and music indicating a shared evolutionary history. In particular, the fact that both are human universals, have phrase structure, and entail learning and cultural transmission, suggests that any theory of the evolution of language will have implications for the evolution of music, and vice versa. The argument starts by describing variable predispositional musical capabilities and the ontogeny of prosodic communication in human infants and young children, presenting comparative data regarding communication systems commonly present in living nonhuman primate species. Like language, the human music faculty is based on a suite of abilities, some of which are shared with other primates and some of which appear to be uniquely human. Each of these subcomponents may have a different evolutionary history, and should be discussed separately. After briefly considering possible functions of human music for language acquisition, the review ends by discussing the phylogenetic history of music. It concludes that many strands of evidence support Darwin's hypothesis of an intermediate stage of human evolutionary history, characterized by a communication system that resembled music more closely than language, but was identical to neither. This pre-linguistic system, which could probably referred to as “prosodic protolanguage”, provided a precursor for both modern language and music.

  16. The origins of language and the evolution of music: A comparative perspective.

    PubMed

    Masataka, Nobuo

    2009-03-01

    According to Darwin [Darwin, CR. The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray; 1871], the human musical faculty 'must be ranked amongst the most mysterious with which he is endowed'. Music is a human cultural universal that serves no obvious adaptive purpose, making its evolution a puzzle for evolutionary biologists. This review examines Darwin's hypothesis of similarities between language and music indicating a shared evolutionary history. In particular, the fact that both are human universals, have phrase structure, and entail learning and cultural transmission, suggests that any theory of the evolution of language will have implications for the evolution of music, and vice versa. The argument starts by describing variable predispositional musical capabilities and the ontogeny of prosodic communication in human infants and young children, presenting comparative data regarding communication systems commonly present in living nonhuman primate species. Like language, the human music faculty is based on a suite of abilities, some of which are shared with other primates and some of which appear to be uniquely human. Each of these subcomponents may have a different evolutionary history, and should be discussed separately. After briefly considering possible functions of human music for language acquisition, the review ends by discussing the phylogenetic history of music. It concludes that many strands of evidence support Darwin's hypothesis of an intermediate stage of human evolutionary history, characterized by a communication system that resembled music more closely than language, but was identical to neither. This pre-linguistic system, which could probably referred to as "prosodic protolanguage", provided a precursor for both modern language and music.

  17. Evolution of Climate Science Modelling Language within international standards frameworks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowe, Dominic; Woolf, Andrew

    2010-05-01

    The Climate Science Modelling Language (CSML) was originally developed as part of the NERC Data Grid (NDG) project in the UK. It was one of the first Geography Markup Language (GML) application schemas describing complex feature types for the metocean domain. CSML feature types can be used to describe typical climate products such as model runs or atmospheric profiles. CSML has been successfully used within NDG to provide harmonised access to a number of different data sources. For example, meteorological observations held in heterogeneous databases by the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) were served uniformly as CSML features via Web Feature Service. CSML has now been substantially revised to harmonise it with the latest developments in OGC and ISO conceptual modelling for geographic information. In particular, CSML is now aligned with the near-final ISO 19156 Observations & Measurements (O&M) standard. CSML combines the O&M concept of 'sampling features' together with an observation result based on the coverage model (ISO 19123). This general pattern is specialised for particular data types of interest, classified on the basis of sampling geometry and topology. In parallel work, the OGC Met Ocean Domain Working Group has established a conceptual modelling activity. This is a cross-organisational effort aimed at reaching consensus on a common core data model that could be re-used in a number of met-related application areas: operational meteorology, aviation meteorology, climate studies, and the research community. It is significant to note that this group has also identified sampling geometry and topology as a key classification axis for data types. Using the Model Driven Architecture (MDA) approach as adopted by INSPIRE we demonstrate how the CSML application schema is derived from a formal UML conceptual model based on the ISO TC211 framework. By employing MDA tools which map consistently between UML and GML we

  18. Assessment of Cognition and Language in the Early Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Usefulness of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Torras-Mañá, M.; Gómez-Morales, A.; González-Gimeno, I.; Fornieles-Deu, A.; Brun-Gasca, C.

    2016-01-01

    Background: The aim of this study was to test the usefulness of the Cognitive and Language scales Bayley-III in the early assessment of cognitive and language functions in the context of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis. This paper focuses on the application of the Bayley-III and studies the predictive value of the test result in…

  19. Reconsidering the evolution of brain, cognition, and behavior in birds and mammals

    PubMed Central

    Willemet, Romain

    2013-01-01

    Despite decades of research, some of the most basic issues concerning the extraordinarily complex brains and behavior of birds and mammals, such as the factors responsible for the diversity of brain size and composition, are still unclear. This is partly due to a number of conceptual and methodological issues. Determining species and group differences in brain composition requires accounting for the presence of taxon-cerebrotypes and the use of precise statistical methods. The role of allometry in determining brain variables should be revised. In particular, bird and mammalian brains appear to have evolved in response to a variety of selective pressures influencing both brain size and composition. “Brain” and “cognition” are indeed meta-variables, made up of the variables that are ecologically relevant and evolutionarily selected. External indicators of species differences in cognition and behavior are limited by the complexity of these differences. Indeed, behavioral differences between species and individuals are caused by cognitive and affective components. Although intra-species variability forms the basis of species evolution, some of the mechanisms underlying individual differences in brain and behavior appear to differ from those between species. While many issues have persisted over the years because of a lack of appropriate data or methods to test them; several fallacies, particularly those related to the human brain, reflect scientists' preconceptions. The theoretical framework on the evolution of brain, cognition, and behavior in birds and mammals should be reconsidered with these biases in mind. PMID:23847570

  20. Primate vocal communication: a useful tool for understanding human speech and language evolution?

    PubMed

    Fedurek, Pawel; Slocombe, Katie E

    2011-04-01

    Language is a uniquely human trait, and questions of how and why it evolved have been intriguing scientists for years. Nonhuman primates (primates) are our closest living relatives, and their behavior can be used to estimate the capacities of our extinct ancestors. As humans and many primate species rely on vocalizations as their primary mode of communication, the vocal behavior of primates has been an obvious target for studies investigating the evolutionary roots of human speech and language. By studying the similarities and differences between human and primate vocalizations, comparative research has the potential to clarify the evolutionary processes that shaped human speech and language. This review examines some of the seminal and recent studies that contribute to our knowledge regarding the link between primate calls and human language and speech. We focus on three main aspects of primate vocal behavior: functional reference, call combinations, and vocal learning. Studies in these areas indicate that despite important differences, primate vocal communication exhibits some key features characterizing human language. They also indicate, however, that some critical aspects of speech, such as vocal plasticity, are not shared with our primate cousins. We conclude that comparative research on primate vocal behavior is a very promising tool for deepening our understanding of the evolution of human speech and language, but much is still to be done as many aspects of monkey and ape vocalizations remain largely unexplored.

  1. Language, Culture and Cognition: A Collection of Studies in First and Second Language Acquisition. Multilingual Matters 69.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malave, Lilliam M., Ed.; Duquette, Georges, Ed.

    Papers on language processing, culture, and language learning and teaching include: "A Theory of Intelligence as Semiosis: With a Couple of Comments on Interlanguage Development" (John W. Oller, Jr.); "Along the Way: Interlanguage Systems in Second Language Acquisition" (Larry Selinker); "Strategy and Tactics in Second Language Acquisition"…

  2. The modern era of research on language evolution: Moving forward. Comment on "Towards a computational comparative neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, Dietrich

    2016-03-01

    Twenty-five years ago, Pinker and Bloom [1] helped reinvigorate research on language evolution by arguing that language "shows signs of complex design for the communication of propositional structures, and the only explanation for the origin of organs with complex design is the process of natural selection." Since then, empirical research has tested the assertions of (cross-cultural) universality, (cross-species) uniqueness, and (cross-domain) specificity underpinning this argument from design. Appearances aside, points of consensus have emerged. The existence of a core computational and neural substrate unique to language and/or humans is still debated, but it is widely agreed that: 1) human language performance overlaps with behaviors in other domains and species, and 2) such general, pre-existing capacities provided the context for language-specific evolution (e.g. [2]).

  3. Social cognitive evolution in captive foxes is a correlated by-product of experimental domestication.

    PubMed

    Hare, Brian; Plyusnina, Irene; Ignacio, Natalie; Schepina, Olesya; Stepika, Anna; Wrangham, Richard; Trut, Lyudmila

    2005-02-08

    Dogs have an unusual ability for reading human communicative gestures (e.g., pointing) in comparison to either nonhuman primates (including chimpanzees) or wolves . Although this unusual communicative ability seems to have evolved during domestication , it is unclear whether this evolution occurred as a result of direct selection for this ability, as previously hypothesized , or as a correlated by-product of selection against fear and aggression toward humans--as is the case with a number of morphological and physiological changes associated with domestication . We show here that fox kits from an experimental population selectively bred over 45 years to approach humans fearlessly and nonaggressively (i.e., experimentally domesticated) are not only as skillful as dog puppies in using human gestures but are also more skilled than fox kits from a second, control population not bred for tame behavior (critically, neither population of foxes was ever bred or tested for their ability to use human gestures) . These results suggest that sociocognitive evolution has occurred in the experimental foxes, and possibly domestic dogs, as a correlated by-product of selection on systems mediating fear and aggression, and it is likely the observed social cognitive evolution did not require direct selection for improved social cognitive ability.

  4. Collective Dynamics of Belief Evolution under Cognitive Coherence and Social Conformity.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Nathaniel; Bollen, Johan; Ahn, Yong-Yeol

    2016-01-01

    Human history has been marked by social instability and conflict, often driven by the irreconcilability of opposing sets of beliefs, ideologies, and religious dogmas. The dynamics of belief systems has been studied mainly from two distinct perspectives, namely how cognitive biases lead to individual belief rigidity and how social influence leads to social conformity. Here we propose a unifying framework that connects cognitive and social forces together in order to study the dynamics of societal belief evolution. Each individual is endowed with a network of interacting beliefs that evolves through interaction with other individuals in a social network. The adoption of beliefs is affected by both internal coherence and social conformity. Our framework may offer explanations for how social transitions can arise in otherwise homogeneous populations, how small numbers of zealots with highly coherent beliefs can overturn societal consensus, and how belief rigidity protects fringe groups and cults against invasion from mainstream beliefs, allowing them to persist and even thrive in larger societies. Our results suggest that strong consensus may be insufficient to guarantee social stability, that the cognitive coherence of belief-systems is vital in determining their ability to spread, and that coherent belief-systems may pose a serious problem for resolving social polarization, due to their ability to prevent consensus even under high levels of social exposure. We argue that the inclusion of cognitive factors into a social model could provide a more complete picture of collective human dynamics.

  5. Collective Dynamics of Belief Evolution under Cognitive Coherence and Social Conformity

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez, Nathaniel; Bollen, Johan

    2016-01-01

    Human history has been marked by social instability and conflict, often driven by the irreconcilability of opposing sets of beliefs, ideologies, and religious dogmas. The dynamics of belief systems has been studied mainly from two distinct perspectives, namely how cognitive biases lead to individual belief rigidity and how social influence leads to social conformity. Here we propose a unifying framework that connects cognitive and social forces together in order to study the dynamics of societal belief evolution. Each individual is endowed with a network of interacting beliefs that evolves through interaction with other individuals in a social network. The adoption of beliefs is affected by both internal coherence and social conformity. Our framework may offer explanations for how social transitions can arise in otherwise homogeneous populations, how small numbers of zealots with highly coherent beliefs can overturn societal consensus, and how belief rigidity protects fringe groups and cults against invasion from mainstream beliefs, allowing them to persist and even thrive in larger societies. Our results suggest that strong consensus may be insufficient to guarantee social stability, that the cognitive coherence of belief-systems is vital in determining their ability to spread, and that coherent belief-systems may pose a serious problem for resolving social polarization, due to their ability to prevent consensus even under high levels of social exposure. We argue that the inclusion of cognitive factors into a social model could provide a more complete picture of collective human dynamics. PMID:27812210

  6. Parental selection of vocal behavior : Crying, cooing, babbling, and the evolution of language.

    PubMed

    Locke, John L

    2006-06-01

    Although all natural languages are spoken, there is no accepted account of the evolution of a skill prerequisite to language-control of the movements of speech. If selection applied at sexual maturity, individuals achieving some command of articulate vocal behavior in previous stages would have enjoyed unusual advantages in adulthood. I offer a parental selection hypothesis, according to which hominin parents apportioned care, in part, on the basis of their infants' vocal behavior. Specifically, it is suggested that persistent or noxious crying reduced care to individuals who would have had difficulty learning complex behaviors, and that cooing and babbling increased social interaction and care as well as control over complex oralmotor activity of the sort required by spoken language. Several different tests of the hypothesis are suggested.

  7. On Religion and Language Evolutions Seen Through Mathematical and Agent Based Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ausloos, M.

    Religions and languages are social variables, like age, sex, wealth or political opinions, to be studied like any other organizational parameter. In fact, religiosity is one of the most important sociological aspects of populations. Languages are also obvious characteristics of the human species. Religions, languages appear though also disappear. All religions and languages evolve and survive when they adapt to the society developments. On the other hand, the number of adherents of a given religion, or the number of persons speaking a language is not fixed in time, - nor space. Several questions can be raised. E.g. from a oscopic point of view : How many religions/languages exist at a given time? What is their distribution? What is their life time? How do they evolve? From a "microscopic" view point: can one invent agent based models to describe oscopic aspects? Do simple evolution equations exist? How complicated must be a model? These aspects are considered in the present note. Basic evolution equations are outlined and critically, though briefly, discussed. Similarities and differences between religions and languages are summarized. Cases can be illustrated with historical facts and data. It is stressed that characteristic time scales are different. It is emphasized that "external fields" are historically very relevant in the case of religions, rending the study more " interesting" within a mechanistic approach based on parity and symmetry of clusters concepts. Yet the modern description of human societies through networks in reported simulations is still lacking some mandatory ingredients, i.e. the non scalar nature of the nodes, and the non binary aspects of nodes and links, though for the latter this is already often taken into account, including directions. From an analytical point of view one can consider a population independently of the others. It is intuitively accepted, but also found from the statistical analysis of the frequency distribution that an

  8. Sentence Comprehension in Specific Language Impairment: A Task Designed to Distinguish between Cognitive Capacity and Syntactic Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leonard, Laurence B.; Deevy, Patricia; Fey, Marc E.; Bredin-Oja, Shelley L.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined sentence comprehension in children with specific language impairment (SLI) in a manner designed to separate the contribution of cognitive capacity from the effects of syntactic structure. Method: Nineteen children with SLI, 19 typically developing children matched for age (TD-A), and 19 younger typically developing…

  9. C[superscript 4] (C Quad): Development of the Application for Language Learning Based on Social and Cognitive Presences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yamada, Masanori; Goda, Yoshiko; Matsukawa, Hideya; Hata, Kojiro; Yasunami, Seisuke

    2013-01-01

    This research aims to develop collaborative language learning systems based on social and cognitive presence for learning settings out of class, and evaluate their effects on learning attitude and performance. The main purpose of this system is focusing on the building of a learning community, therefore the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework…

  10. At the Intersection of Cognition and Grammar: Deficits Comprehending Counterfactuals in Turkish Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duman, Tuba Yarbay; Blom, Elma; Topbas, Seyhun

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated the comprehension of counterfactual conditionals in monolingual Turkish children with specific language impairment (SLI) and typically developing (TD) children. Comprehending counterfactuals requires a well-developed cognitive system (Beck, Riggs, & Gorniak, 2009). Children with SLI have impaired cognitive…

  11. The Uses of Longitudinal Data and Person-Centered Analyses in the Study of Cognitive and Language Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoff, Erika

    2006-01-01

    Researchers in the fields of cognitive and language development have made less use of large-scale longitudinal designs and of person-centered approaches to data analysis than have researchers in the fields of social and personality development. It is argued that differences among domains of developmental psychology in the research methods employed…

  12. Direct and mediated effects of language and cognitive skills on comprehension of oral narrative texts (listening comprehension) for children.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young-Suk Grace

    2016-01-01

    We investigated component language and cognitive skills of oral language comprehension of narrative texts (i.e., listening comprehension). Using the construction-integration model of text comprehension as an overarching theoretical framework, we examined direct and mediated relations of foundational cognitive skills (working memory and attention), foundational language skills (vocabulary and grammatical knowledge), and higher-order cognitive skills (inference, theory of mind, and comprehension monitoring) to listening comprehension. A total of 201 first grade children in South Korea participated in the study. Structural equation modeling results showed that listening comprehension is directly predicted by working memory, grammatical knowledge, inference, and theory of mind and is indirectly predicted by attention, vocabulary, and comprehension monitoring. The total effects were .46 for working memory, .07 for attention, .30 for vocabulary, .49 for grammatical knowledge, .31 for inference, .52 for theory of mind, and .18 for comprehension monitoring. These results suggest that multiple language and cognitive skills make contributions to listening comprehension, and their contributions are both direct and indirect.

  13. Cognitive Advantage in Children Enrolled in a Second-Language Immersion Elementary School Program for Three Years

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicolay, Anne-Catherine; Poncelet, Martine

    2013-01-01

    Early bilingualism acquired from home or community is generally considered to positively influence cognitive development. The purpose of the present study was to determine to what extent bilingualism acquired through a second-language immersion education has a similar effect. Participants included a total of 106 French-speaking eight-year-old…

  14. The Effect of Strategy Instruction Based on the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach over Reading Comprehension and Strategy Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gurses, Meral Ozkan; Adiguzel, Oktay Cem

    2013-01-01

    This study investigates the effects of reading strategies instruction based on the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach over students' skill to comprehend what they read in French and their use of reading strategies. It has an action research design. Eighteen students studying at French Preparatory Program at Eskisehir Osmangazi…

  15. Reading English as a Second Language with Vocabulary Definitions: Cognitive Load Effects on Comprehension and Vocabulary Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeung, Alexander Seeshing

    Two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of cognitive load management using vocabulary definitions in reading passages for readers of English as a second language (ESL) with different levels of expertise who were attending school in Hong Kong. Experiment 1 found that vocabulary definitions integrated within a passage (integrated…

  16. The maps problem and the mapping problem: Two challenges for a cognitive neuroscience of speech and language

    PubMed Central

    Poeppel, David

    2012-01-01

    Research on the brain basis of speech and language faces theoretical and empirical challenges. The majority of current research, dominated by imaging, deficit-lesion, and electrophysiological techniques, seeks to identify regions that underpin aspects of language processing such as phonology, syntax, or semantics. The emphasis lies on localization and spatial characterization of function. The first part of the paper deals with a practical challenge that arises in the context of such a research program. This maps problem concerns the extent to which spatial information and localization can satisfy the explanatory needs for perception and cognition. Several areas of investigation exemplify how the neural basis of speech and language is discussed in those terms (regions, streams, hemispheres, networks). The second part of the paper turns to a more troublesome challenge, namely how to formulate the formal links between neurobiology and cognition. This principled problem thus addresses the relation between the primitives of cognition (here speech, language) and neurobiology. Dealing with this mapping problem invites the development of linking hypotheses between the domains. The cognitive sciences provide granular, theoretically motivated claims about the structure of various domains (the ‘cognome’); neurobiology, similarly, provides a list of the available neural structures. However, explanatory connections will require crafting computationally explicit linking hypotheses at the right level of abstraction. For both the practical maps problem and the principled mapping problem, developmental approaches and evidence can play a central role in the resolution. PMID:23017085

  17. Exploring Teachers' Knowledge of Second Language Pronunciation Techniques: Teacher Cognitions, Observed Classroom Practices, and Student Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Amanda

    2014-01-01

    This study explored some of the intricate connections between the cognitions (beliefs, knowledge, perceptions, attitudes) and pedagogical practices of five English language teachers, specifically in relation to pronunciation-oriented techniques. Integral to the study was the use of semistructured interviews, classroom observations, and stimulated…

  18. Concept-Based Approach to Second Language Teaching and Learning: Cognitive Lingusitics-Inspired Instruction of English Phrasal Verbs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Hyewon

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, L2 researchers from the sociocultural and cognitive linguistic perspectives have emphasized the importance of properly organized explicit and in-depth grammar instruction for second or foreign language learning. Such instruction is believed to lead learners to systematic understanding of the target features faster and more…

  19. Awake surgery between art and science. Part II: language and cognitive mapping

    PubMed Central

    Talacchi, Andrea; Santini, Barbara; Casartelli, Marilena; Monti, Alessia; Capasso, Rita; Miceli, Gabriele

    Summary Direct cortical and subcortical stimulation has been claimed to be the gold standard for exploring brain function. In this field, efforts are now being made to move from intraoperative naming-assisted surgical resection towards the use of other language and cognitive tasks. However, before relying on new protocols and new techniques, we need a multi-staged system of evidence (low and high) relating to each step of functional mapping and its clinical validity. In this article we examine the possibilities and limits of brain mapping with the aid of a visual object naming task and various other tasks used to date. The methodological aspects of intraoperative brain mapping, as well as the clinical and operative settings, were discussed in Part I of this review. PMID:24139658

  20. A nonlinear model with latent process for cognitive evolution using multivariate longitudinal data

    PubMed Central

    Proust, Cécile; Jacqmin-Gadda, Hélène; Taylor, Jérémy M.G.; Ganiayre, Julien; Commenges, Daniel

    2006-01-01

    Summary Cognition is not directly measurable. It is assessed using psychometric tests which can be viewed as quantitative measures of cognition with error. The aim of this paper is to propose a model to describe the evolution in continuous time of unobserved cognition in the elderly and assess the impact of covariates directly on it. The latent cognitive process is defined using a linear mixed model including a Brownian motion and time-dependent covariates. The observed psychometric tests are considered as the results of parametrized nonlinear transformations of it at discrete occasions. Estimation of the parameters contained both in the transformations and in the linear mixed model is achieved by maximizing the observed likelihood and graphical methods are performed to assess the goodness-of-fit of the model. The method is applied to data from PAQUID, a French prospective cohort study of ageing. La cognition n’est pas directement mesurable. Elle est évaluée à l’aide d’une batterie de tests psychométriques qui peuvent être considérés comme des mesures quantitatives bruitées de la cognition. L’objectif de cet article est de proposer un modèle permettant de décrire la cognition non observée chez les personnes âgées et d’évaluer l’impact de variables explicatives directement dessus. Le processus latent défini en temps continu et représentant la cognition est modélisé par un modèle linéaire mixte prenant en compte des variables dépendantes du temps et les tests psychométriques sont ensuite définis comme des transformations nonlinéaires paramétrées du processus latent. L’estimation des paramètres à la fois dans le modèles mixte et dans les transformations nonlinéaires est obtenue en maximisant la vraisemblance observée et des méthodes graphiques sont utilisées pour évaluer l’adéquation du modèle. La méthode est appliquée aux données de la cohorte prospective française PAQUID. PMID:17156275

  1. The interpersonal context of client motivational language in cognitive-behavioral therapy.

    PubMed

    Sijercic, Iris; Button, Melissa L; Westra, Henny A; Hara, Kimberley M

    2016-03-01

    Previous research has found that client motivational language (especially arguments against change or counterchange talk; CCT) in early therapy sessions is a reliable predictor of therapy process and outcomes across a broad range of treatments including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Existing studies have considered the general occurrence of CCT, but the present study differentiated 2 types of CCT in early CBT sessions for 37 clients with generalized anxiety disorder: (a) statements that are uttered to express ambivalence regarding change versus (b) statements that are intended to oppose the therapist or therapy. Two process coding systems were used to accomplish this differentiation. Findings indicated that a higher number of CCT statements that occurred in the presence of resistance (opposition to the therapist or therapy) were a substantive and consistent predictor of lower homework compliance and poorer outcomes, up to 1 year posttreatment. Moreover, when both types of CCT were considered together, only opposition CCT was related to outcomes, and ambivalent CCT was not significantly predictive of proximal and distal outcomes. These findings suggest that the interpersonal context in which CCT statements occur may be critically important to their predictive capacity. More broadly, the findings of this study have implications for the future study of client motivational language and underscore the clinical importance of detecting opposition CCT.

  2. Speech and gesture in spatial language and cognition among the Yucatec Mayas.

    PubMed

    Le Guen, Olivier

    2011-07-01

    In previous analyses of the influence of language on cognition, speech has been the main channel examined. In studies conducted among Yucatec Mayas, efforts to determine the preferred frame of reference in use in this community have failed to reach an agreement (Bohnemeyer & Stolz, 2006; Levinson, 2003 vs. Le Guen, 2006, 2009). This paper argues for a multimodal analysis of language that encompasses gesture as well as speech, and shows that the preferred frame of reference in Yucatec Maya is only detectable through the analysis of co-speech gesture and not through speech alone. A series of experiments compares knowledge of the semantics of spatial terms, performance on nonlinguistic tasks and gestures produced by men and women. The results show a striking gender difference in the knowledge of the semantics of spatial terms, but an equal preference for a geocentric frame of reference in nonverbal tasks. In a localization task, participants used a variety of strategies in their speech, but they all exhibited a systematic preference for a geocentric frame of reference in their gestures.

  3. Relating numeric cognition and language processing: do numbers and words share a common representational platform?

    PubMed

    Lachmair, Martin; Dudschig, Carolin; de la Vega, Irmgard; Kaup, Barbara

    2014-05-01

    Numerical processing and language processing are both grounded in space. In the present study we investigated whether these are fully independent phenomena, or whether they share a common basis. If number processing activates spatial dimensions that are also relevant for understanding words, then we can expect that processing numbers may influence subsequent lexical access to words. Specifically, if high numbers relate to upper space, then they can be expected to facilitate understanding of words such as bird that are having referents typically found in the upper vertical space. The opposite should hold for low numbers. These should facilitate the understanding of words such as ground referring to entities with referents in the lower vertical space. Indeed, in two experiments we found evidence for such an interaction between number and word processing. By eliminating a contribution of linguistic factors gained from additional investigations on large text corpora, this strongly suggests that understanding numbers and language is based on similar modal representations in the brain. The implications of these findings for a broader perspective on grounded cognition will be discussed.

  4. Learning the Language of Evolution: Lexical Ambiguity and Word Meaning in Student Explanations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rector, Meghan A.; Nehm, Ross H.; Pearl, Dennis

    2013-06-01

    Our study investigates the challenges introduced by students' use of lexically ambiguous language in evolutionary explanations. Specifically, we examined students' meaning of five key terms incorporated into their written evolutionary explanations: pressure, select, adapt, need, and must. We utilized a new technological tool known as the Assessment Cascade System (ACS) to investigate the frequency with which biology majors spontaneously used lexically ambiguous language in evolutionary explanations, as well as their definitions and explanations of what they meant when they used such terms. Three categories of language were identified and examined in this study: terms with Dual Ambiguity, Incompatible Ambiguity, and Unintended Ambiguity. In the sample of 1282 initial evolutionary explanations, 81 % of students spontaneously incorporated lexically ambiguous language at least once. Furthermore, the majority of these initial responses were judged to be inaccurate from a scientific point of view. While not significantly related to gender, age, or reading/writing ability, students' use of contextually appropriate evolutionary language ( pressure and adapt) was significantly associated with academic performance in biology. Comparisons of initial responses to follow-up responses demonstrated that the majority of student explanations were not reinterpreted after consideration of the follow-up response; nevertheless, a sizeable minority was interpreted differently. Most cases of interpretation change were a consequence of resolving initially ambiguous responses, rather than a change of accuracy, resulting in an increased understanding of students' evolutionary explanations. We discuss a series of implications of lexical ambiguity for evolution education.

  5. Electrocorticographic Activation within Human Auditory Cortex during Dialog-Based Language and Cognitive Testing

    PubMed Central

    Nourski, Kirill V.; Steinschneider, Mitchell; Rhone, Ariane E.

    2016-01-01

    Current models of cortical speech and language processing include multiple regions within the temporal lobe of both hemispheres. Human communication, by necessity, involves complex interactions between regions subserving speech and language processing with those involved in more general cognitive functions. To assess these interactions, we utilized an ecologically salient conversation-based approach. This approach mandates that we first clarify activity patterns at the earliest stages of cortical speech processing. Therefore, we examined high gamma (70–150 Hz) responses within the electrocorticogram (ECoG) recorded simultaneously from Heschl’s gyrus (HG) and lateral surface of the superior temporal gyrus (STG). Subjects were neurosurgical patients undergoing evaluation for treatment of medically intractable epilepsy. They performed an expanded version of the Mini-mental state examination (MMSE), which included additional spelling, naming, and memory-based tasks. ECoG was recorded from HG and the STG using multicontact depth and subdural electrode arrays, respectively. Differences in high gamma activity during listening to the interviewer and the subject’s self-generated verbal responses were quantified for each recording site and across sites within HG and STG. The expanded MMSE produced widespread activation in auditory cortex of both hemispheres. No significant difference was found between activity during listening to the interviewer’s questions and the subject’s answers in posteromedial HG (auditory core cortex). A different pattern was observed throughout anterolateral HG and posterior and middle portions of lateral STG (non-core auditory cortical areas), where activity was significantly greater during listening compared to speaking. No systematic task-specific differences in the degree of suppression during speaking relative to listening were found in posterior and middle STG. Individual sites could, however, exhibit task-related variability in the

  6. Social and Cognitive Factors in Second Language Acquisition: Selected Proceedings of the 1999 Second Language Research Forum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swierzbin, Bonnie, Ed.; Morris, Frank, Ed.; Anderson, Michael E., Ed.; Klee, Carol A., Ed.; Tarone, Elaine, Ed.

    This edited volume includes the following chapters: "Three Kinds of Sociolinguistics and SLA: A Psycholinguistic Perspective" (Dennis R. Preston); "Getting Serious about Language Play: Language Play, Interlanguage Variation, and Second Language Acquisition" (Elaine Tarone); "Oppositional Talk and the Acquisition of Modality in L2 English" (Tom…

  7. Situating Language Production within the Matrix of Human Cognition: The State of the Art in Language Production Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldrick, Matthew; Costa, Albert; Schiller, Niels O.

    2008-01-01

    A summary of recent work in language production is presented, focusing on the "Third International Workshop on Language Production" (Chicago, USA, August 2006). The articles included in this special issue focus on three overlapping themes: language production in dialogue (Arnold; Costa, Pickering, & Sorace); multilingual language…

  8. Adopting a Cultural Portfolio Project in Teaching German as a Foreign Language: Language Teacher Cognition as a Dynamic System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feryok, Anne; Oranje, Jo

    2015-01-01

    Intercultural language teaching and learning has increasingly been adopted in state school systems, yet studies have shown that language teachers struggle to include it in their practice. The aim of this study is to use dynamic systems theory to examine how a German as a foreign language teacher in a New Zealand secondary school adopted a project…

  9. Effect of ethnicity and race on cognitive and language testing at 18 – 22 months in extremely preterm infants

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Andrea Freeman; Watterberg, Kristi L.; Nolen, Tracy L.; Vohr, Betty R.; Adams-Chapman, Ira; Das, Abhik; Lowe, Jean

    2011-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the relationship of race/ethnicity to cognitive and language scores on the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development 3rd edition (BSID-III) in extremely preterm toddlers (<28+0 weeks’ estimated gestational age). Study design Extremely preterm toddlers at NICHD Neonatal Research Network Centers evaluated at 18–22 months adjusted age from 3 race/ethnic groups (White, Black, and Hispanic-White) were included in this cohort study. Multivariable regression modeling was used to identify race/ethnic differences adjusting for medical and psychosocial factors. Results Children included 369 Whites, 352 Blacks and 144 Hispanic-Whites. Cognitive scores differed between groups in unadjusted analysis (p=<0.001), but not after adjusting for medical and psychosocial factors (p=0.13). Language scores differed in adjusted and unadjusted analyses. Whites scored higher than Blacks or Hispanic-Whites, and Blacks scored higher than Hispanic-Whites. Conclusions A combination of medical variables and primary caretaker education accounted for differences in BSID-III cognitive scores between groups. Black and Hispanic-White toddlers had lower language scores than Whites, even after adjustment. Early intervention should be targeted to these identified risk factors. Assessment of early language development among minority groups may be warranted. PMID:22269248

  10. 15-month-olds' transfer of learning between touch screen and real-world displays: language cues and cognitive loads.

    PubMed

    Zack, Elizabeth; Gerhardstein, Peter; Meltzoff, Andrew N; Barr, Rachel

    2013-02-01

    Infants have difficulty transferring information between 2D and 3D sources. The current study extends Zack, Barr, Gerhardstein, Dickerson & Meltzoff's (2009) touch screen imitation task to examine whether the addition of specific language cues significantly facilitates 15-month-olds' transfer of learning between touch screens and real-world 3D objects. The addition of two kinds of linguistic cues (object label plus verb or nonsense name) did not elevate action imitation significantly above levels observed when such language cues were not used. Language cues hindered infants' performance in the 3D→2D direction of transfer, but only for the object label plus verb condition. The lack of a facilitative effect of language is discussed in terms of competing cognitive loads imposed by conjointly transferring information across dimensions and processing linguistic cues in an action imitation task at this age.

  11. How evolution generates complexity without design: language as an instructional metaphor.

    PubMed

    Gillings, Michael R

    2012-03-01

    One of the major stumbling blocks to understanding evolution is the difficulty in reconciling the emergence of complexity with the apparently undirected forces that drive evolutionary processes. This difficulty was originally framed as the "Watch and Watchmaker" argument and more recently revived by proponents of "intelligent design." Undergraduates in particular often attribute purpose and forethought as the driving force behind biological phenomena, and have difficulty understanding evolutionary processes. To demonstrate that complexity can arise solely through mutations that fix in populations via natural selection or drift, we can use analogies where processes can be observed across short time frames and where the key data are accessible to those without specialized biological knowledge. The evolution of language provides such an example. Processes of natural selection, mutation, genetic drift, acquisition of new functions, punctuated equilibria, and lateral gene transfer can be illustrated using examples of changing spellings, neologism, and acquisition of words from other languages. The examples presented in this article are readily accessible, and demonstrate to students that languages have dynamically increased in complexity, simply driven by the usage patterns of their speakers.

  12. Cognitive Style: Field Dependence-Independence. Lektos: Interdisciplinary Working Papers in Language Sciences, Vol. 2, No. 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huteau, Michel

    The nature of the cognitive style of field articulation and its relationship to differentiation of personality are discussed. A short historical summary of research on field dependence-independence is presented, and problems of measurement, stability, and evolution of the dimension of field articulation are discussed. The connections between field…

  13. A natural language-based presentation of cognitive stimulation to people with dementia in assistive technology: A pilot study.

    PubMed

    Dethlefs, Nina; Milders, Maarten; Cuayáhuitl, Heriberto; Al-Salkini, Turkey; Douglas, Lorraine

    2017-01-09

    Currently, an estimated 36 million people worldwide are affected by Alzheimer's disease or related dementias. In the absence of a cure, non-pharmacological interventions, such as cognitive stimulation, which slow down the rate of deterioration can benefit people with dementia and their caregivers. Such interventions have shown to improve well-being and slow down the rate of cognitive decline. It has further been shown that cognitive stimulation in interaction with a computer is as effective as with a human. However, the need to operate a computer often represents a difficulty for the elderly and stands in the way of widespread adoption. A possible solution to this obstacle is to provide a spoken natural language interface that allows people with dementia to interact with the cognitive stimulation software in the same way as they would interact with a human caregiver. This makes the assistive technology accessible to users regardless of their technical skills and provides a fully intuitive user experience. This article describes a pilot study that evaluated the feasibility of computer-based cognitive stimulation through a spoken natural language interface. Prototype software was evaluated with 23 users, including healthy elderly people and people with dementia. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

  14. Cognitive evolution in hypertensive patients: a six-year follow-up

    PubMed Central

    Vicario, Augusto; del Sueldo, Mildren A; Zilberman, Judith M; Cerezo, Gustavo H

    2011-01-01

    Background: Several studies have examined the links between hypertension, vascular damage, and cognitive impairment. The functions most commonly involved seem to be those associated with memory and executive function. Aims: 1) to report the cognitive evolution in a cohort of hypertensive patients, 2) to identify the affected domains, and 3) to correlate the results obtained with blood pressure measurements. Materials and Methods: Observational 6-year follow-up cohort study including both males and females aged ≥65 and ≤80 years, and hypertensive patients under treatment. Patients with a history of any of the following conditions were excluded: stroke, transient ischemic attack, diabetes mellitus, atrial fibrillation, cardiac surgery, dementia, or depression. Four neurocognitive evaluations were performed (at baseline and every 2 years). The tests used evaluated memory and executive function domain. Blood pressure was measured on every cognitive evaluation. Results: Sixty patients were followed for 76.4 ± 2.8 months. The average age at baseline was 72.5 ± 4.2 and 77.9 ± 4.6 at 6 years (65% were women). Two patients were lost to follow up (3.3%) and 8 patients died (13.3%).The density incidence for dementia was 0.6% patients per year (pt/y) (n = 3) and for depression was 1.6% pt/y (n = 12). No changes were observed in either memory impairment or the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) results (p = ns) during follow-up. A progressive impairment of the executive function was shown regardless of the blood pressure measurements. Conclusion: 1) the incidence of dementia doubled to general population, 2) the initial memory impairment did not change during the evaluation period, 3) cognitive impairment worsened in the areas related to executive function (prefrontal cortex) regardless of the adequacy of anti-hypertensive treatment and blood pressure values. PMID:21603597

  15. Exploring the effect of power law social popularity on language evolution.

    PubMed

    Gong, Tao; Shuai, Lan

    2014-01-01

    We evaluate the effect of a power-law-distributed social popularity on the origin and change of language, based on three artificial life models meticulously tracing the evolution of linguistic conventions including lexical items, categories, and simple syntax. A cross-model analysis reveals an optimal social popularity, in which the λ value of the power law distribution is around 1.0. Under this scaling, linguistic conventions can efficiently emerge and widely diffuse among individuals, thus maintaining a useful level of mutual understandability even in a big population. From an evolutionary perspective, we regard this social optimality as a tradeoff among social scaling, mutual understandability, and population growth. Empirical evidence confirms that such optimal power laws exist in many large-scale social systems that are constructed primarily via language-related interactions. This study contributes to the empirical explorations and theoretical discussions of the evolutionary relations between ubiquitous power laws in social systems and relevant individual behaviors.

  16. Cognitive algorithms: dynamic logic, working of the mind, evolution of consciousness and cultures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perlovsky, Leonid I.

    2007-04-01

    The paper discusses evolution of consciousness driven by the knowledge instinct, a fundamental mechanism of the mind which determines its higher cognitive functions. Dynamic logic mathematically describes the knowledge instinct. It overcomes past mathematical difficulties encountered in modeling intelligence and relates it to mechanisms of concepts, emotions, instincts, consciousness and unconscious. The two main aspects of the knowledge instinct are differentiation and synthesis. Differentiation is driven by dynamic logic and proceeds from vague and unconscious states to more crisp and conscious states, from less knowledge to more knowledge at each hierarchical level of the mind. Synthesis is driven by dynamic logic operating in a hierarchical organization of the mind; it strives to achieve unity and meaning of knowledge: every concept finds its deeper and more general meaning at a higher level. These mechanisms are in complex relationship of symbiosis and opposition, which leads to complex dynamics of evolution of consciousness and cultures. Modeling this dynamics in a population leads to predictions for the evolution of consciousness, and cultures. Cultural predictive models can be compared to experimental data and used for improvement of human conditions. We discuss existing evidence and future research directions.

  17. The Cognitive Neuroscience of Sign Language: Engaging Undergraduate Students’ Critical Thinking Skills Using the Primary Literature

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Courtney

    2015-01-01

    This article presents a modular activity on the neurobiology of sign language that engages undergraduate students in reading and analyzing the primary functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature. Drawing on a seed empirical article and subsequently published critique and rebuttal, students are introduced to a scientific debate concerning the functional significance of right-hemisphere recruitment observed in some fMRI studies of sign language processing. The activity requires minimal background knowledge and is not designed to provide students with a specific conclusion regarding the debate. Instead, the activity and set of articles allow students to consider key issues in experimental design and analysis of the primary literature, including critical thinking regarding the cognitive subtractions used in blocked-design fMRI studies, as well as possible confounds in comparing results across different experimental tasks. By presenting articles representing different perspectives, each cogently argued by leading scientists, the readings and activity also model the type of debate and dialogue critical to science, but often invisible to undergraduate science students. Student self-report data indicate that undergraduates find the readings interesting and that the activity enhances their ability to read and interpret primary fMRI articles, including evaluating research design and considering alternate explanations of study results. As a stand-alone activity completed primarily in one 60-minute class block, the activity can be easily incorporated into existing courses, providing students with an introduction both to the analysis of empirical fMRI articles and to the role of debate and critique in the field of neuroscience. PMID:26557797

  18. The Cognitive Neuroscience of Sign Language: Engaging Undergraduate Students' Critical Thinking Skills Using the Primary Literature.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Courtney

    2015-01-01

    This article presents a modular activity on the neurobiology of sign language that engages undergraduate students in reading and analyzing the primary functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature. Drawing on a seed empirical article and subsequently published critique and rebuttal, students are introduced to a scientific debate concerning the functional significance of right-hemisphere recruitment observed in some fMRI studies of sign language processing. The activity requires minimal background knowledge and is not designed to provide students with a specific conclusion regarding the debate. Instead, the activity and set of articles allow students to consider key issues in experimental design and analysis of the primary literature, including critical thinking regarding the cognitive subtractions used in blocked-design fMRI studies, as well as possible confounds in comparing results across different experimental tasks. By presenting articles representing different perspectives, each cogently argued by leading scientists, the readings and activity also model the type of debate and dialogue critical to science, but often invisible to undergraduate science students. Student self-report data indicate that undergraduates find the readings interesting and that the activity enhances their ability to read and interpret primary fMRI articles, including evaluating research design and considering alternate explanations of study results. As a stand-alone activity completed primarily in one 60-minute class block, the activity can be easily incorporated into existing courses, providing students with an introduction both to the analysis of empirical fMRI articles and to the role of debate and critique in the field of neuroscience.

  19. Does formal complexity reflect cognitive complexity? Investigating aspects of the Chomsky Hierarchy in an artificial language learning study.

    PubMed

    Öttl, Birgit; Jäger, Gerhard; Kaup, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether formal complexity, as described by the Chomsky Hierarchy, corresponds to cognitive complexity during language learning. According to the Chomsky Hierarchy, nested dependencies (context-free) are less complex than cross-serial dependencies (mildly context-sensitive). In two artificial grammar learning (AGL) experiments participants were presented with a language containing either nested or cross-serial dependencies. A learning effect for both types of dependencies could be observed, but no difference between dependency types emerged. These behavioral findings do not seem to reflect complexity differences as described in the Chomsky Hierarchy. This study extends previous findings in demonstrating learning effects for nested and cross-serial dependencies with more natural stimulus materials in a classical AGL paradigm after only one hour of exposure. The current findings can be taken as a starting point for further exploring the degree to which the Chomsky Hierarchy reflects cognitive processes.

  20. Does Formal Complexity Reflect Cognitive Complexity? Investigating Aspects of the Chomsky Hierarchy in an Artificial Language Learning Study

    PubMed Central

    Öttl, Birgit; Jäger, Gerhard; Kaup, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether formal complexity, as described by the Chomsky Hierarchy, corresponds to cognitive complexity during language learning. According to the Chomsky Hierarchy, nested dependencies (context-free) are less complex than cross-serial dependencies (mildly context-sensitive). In two artificial grammar learning (AGL) experiments participants were presented with a language containing either nested or cross-serial dependencies. A learning effect for both types of dependencies could be observed, but no difference between dependency types emerged. These behavioral findings do not seem to reflect complexity differences as described in the Chomsky Hierarchy. This study extends previous findings in demonstrating learning effects for nested and cross-serial dependencies with more natural stimulus materials in a classical AGL paradigm after only one hour of exposure. The current findings can be taken as a starting point for further exploring the degree to which the Chomsky Hierarchy reflects cognitive processes. PMID:25885790

  1. Language for Learning: Oral Language and Cognitive Development, Pre-K, K, Grade 1. Section 1, Teacher's Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flinton, Doris Holt

    This handbook for teachers contains language lessons for young children. Through sequencing and feedback, the program uses a direct method of teaching and learning standard English. It is an expository approach, in which progress is based on performance, rather than on the knowledge of rules. Each unit is organized so that language development and…

  2. Early experiences matter: lasting effect of concentrated disadvantage on children's language and cognitive outcomes.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Jennifer E V; Li, Leah; Hertzman, Clyde

    2010-03-01

    A small but provocative literature suggests that neighbourhood socioeconomic conditions experienced by children early in life influence a variety of health and developmental outcomes later in life. We contribute to this literature by testing the degree to which neighbourhood socioeconomic conditions that children experience in Kindergarten influence their later language and cognitive outcomes in early adolescence, over and above current neighbourhood context and various child-level covariates including scores on a Kindergarten measure of school readiness. Cross-classified random effects modelling (CCREM) analyses were performed on a study population of 2648 urban children residing throughout the province of British Columbia, Canada, who were followed longitudinally from Kindergarten (age 5/6) to Grade 7 (age 12/13). Findings demonstrate that neighbourhood concentrated disadvantage experienced during Kindergarten has a durable, negative effect on children's reading comprehension outcomes seven years later-providing evidence that early social contextual experiences play a critical role in the lives of children. Possible explanations and future directions are discussed.

  3. [The progression of a case in the cri-du-chat syndrome: otolaryngological, cognitive and language characteristics].

    PubMed

    Piérart, B; Remacle, M

    1996-01-01

    This article presents the results of the ORL, cognitive and speech examinations of a boy aged 12 years, 9 months with cat cry syndrome. The laryngeal function has normalized but a small mandibular deficiency persists. The cognitive function corresponds to a mental age of less than 3 years with a complete blockade for abstraction but a good adaptation for concrete and practical situations. The linguistic examination was performed in two complementary pragmatic contexts: standard testing and semi-induced play. The referential and expressive functions are relatively good but with a poor adaptation to the interlocutors. The cognitive-semantic function of J.M. in naming and for space relation markers corresponds to about 4 1/2 years, which is better than what could be expected based on his cognitive level on the intelligence scales. Nevertheless, the child's syntactic characteristics are those of a 3-year-old child. Therefore the disparity between the cognitive-semantic, the syntactic and the nonlinguistic cognitive functions is negligible. Only the pragmatic function of the child remains much weaker than that achieved for the other facets of his language. The linguistic results of this case of cat cry syndrome are compared with those of children of the same age and mental level with trisomy 21 or other moderate mental handicaps.

  4. On the role of context in language evolution. Comment on "Towards a computational comparative neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by M.A. Arbib

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heine, Bernd

    2016-03-01

    Work on the evolution of human languages is associated mainly with two kinds of approaches. On the one hand, there are discipline-based approaches, which exploit the methodology of a particular scientific discipline to gain methodologically coherent access to at least part of language evolution (e.g., [11]). On the other hand, there are what may be called integrating approaches, which combine observations made in different scientific disciplines within one general analytic framework (e.g., [2,5,13]). Each of these approaches has its advantages and disadvantages (see [11]). In discipline-based approaches using linguistics as a tool of reconstruction, one salient goal is to search for elements in modern languages that can be interpreted as fossils of earlier forms of human language or languages [13,14]. An alternative goal is to extrapolate from findings on more recent linguistic changes to reconstruct earlier phases of language development, that is, phases that are not within the scope of the established methodology of historical linguistics.

  5. The effects of cognitive: linguistic variables and language experience on behavioural and kinematic performances in nonword learning.

    PubMed

    Sasisekaran, Jayanthi; Weisberg, Sanford

    2013-04-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of cognitive-linguistic variables and language experience on behavioral and kinematic measures of nonword learning in young adults. Group 1 consisted of thirteen participants who spoke American English as the first and only language. Group 2 consisted of seven participants with varying levels of proficiency in a second language. Logistic regression of the percent of correct productions revealed short-term memory to be a significant contributor. The bilingual group showed better performance compared to the monolinguals. Linear regression of the kinematic data revealed that the short-term memory variable contributed significantly to movement coordination. Differences were not observed between the bilingual and the monolingual speakers in kinematic performance. Nonword properties including syllable length and complexity influenced both behavioral and kinematic performance. The findings supported the observation that nonword repetition is multiply determined in adults.

  6. Cumulative cultural evolution in the laboratory: An experimental approach to the origins of structure in human language

    PubMed Central

    Kirby, Simon; Cornish, Hannah; Smith, Kenny

    2008-01-01

    We introduce an experimental paradigm for studying the cumulative cultural evolution of language. In doing so we provide the first experimental validation for the idea that cultural transmission can lead to the appearance of design without a designer. Our experiments involve the iterated learning of artificial languages by human participants. We show that languages transmitted culturally evolve in such a way as to maximize their own transmissibility: over time, the languages in our experiments become easier to learn and increasingly structured. Furthermore, this structure emerges purely as a consequence of the transmission of language over generations, without any intentional design on the part of individual language learners. Previous computational and mathematical models suggest that iterated learning provides an explanation for the structure of human language and link particular aspects of linguistic structure with particular constraints acting on language during its transmission. The experimental work presented here shows that the predictions of these models, and models of cultural evolution more generally, can be tested in the laboratory. PMID:18667697

  7. Gestural and symbolic development among apes and humans: support for a multimodal theory of language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Gillespie-Lynch, Kristen; Greenfield, Patricia M.; Lyn, Heidi; Savage-Rumbaugh, Sue

    2014-01-01

    What are the implications of similarities and differences in the gestural and symbolic development of apes and humans?This focused review uses as a starting point our recent study that provided evidence that gesture supported the symbolic development of a chimpanzee, a bonobo, and a human child reared in language-enriched environments at comparable stages of communicative development. These three species constitute a complete clade, species possessing a common immediate ancestor. Communicative behaviors observed among all species in a clade are likely to have been present in the common ancestor. Similarities in the form and function of many gestures produced by the chimpanzee, bonobo, and human child suggest that shared non-verbal skills may underlie shared symbolic capacities. Indeed, an ontogenetic sequence from gesture to symbol was present across the clade but more pronounced in child than ape. Multimodal expressions of communicative intent (e.g., vocalization plus persistence or eye-contact) were normative for the child, but less common for the apes. These findings suggest that increasing multimodal expression of communicative intent may have supported the emergence of language among the ancestors of humans. Therefore, this focused review includes new studies, since our 2013 article, that support a multimodal theory of language evolution. PMID:25400607

  8. Preschool Participation and the Cognitive and Social Development of Language-Minority Students. CSE Technical Report 674. UC LMRI Technical Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rumberger, Russell W.; Tran, Loan

    2006-01-01

    This study examined participation in preschool and its relationship with the cognitive and social development of language-minority students. Although there is a large body of research that demonstrates the cognitive and social benefits of attending preschool (Barnett, 1995; Gorey, 2001; National Research Council, Committee on Early Childhood…

  9. Cognition and Comprehension: A Study of the Need for Incorporation of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives in English as a Second Language Remedial Reading Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Costin, Barbara Wei-hao Shen

    A survey conducted at the Hong Kong Baptist College gathered information about first-year remedial reading instruction in English as a second language (ESL). The study focused on the kinds and purposes of reading assignments, the levels of cognitive processes related to reading assignments, the cognitive ability levels of weak students, the…

  10. Creationism as a Misconception: Socio-cognitive conflict in the teaching of evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, Colin

    2012-09-01

    This position paper argues that students' understanding and acceptance of evolution may be supported, rather than hindered, by classroom discussion of creationism. Parallels are drawn between creationism and other scientific misconceptions, both of the scientific community in the past and of students in the present. Science teachers frequently handle their students' misconceptions as they arise by offering appropriate socio-cognitive conflict, which highlights reasons to disbelieve one idea and to believe another. It is argued that this way of working, rather than outlawing discussion, is more scientific and more honest. Scientific truth does not win the day by attempting to deny its opponents a voice but by engaging them with evidence. Teachers can be confident that evolution has nothing to fear from a free and frank discussion in which claims can be rebutted with evidence. Such an approach is accessible to children of all ages and is ultimately more likely to drive out pre-scientific superstitions. It also models the scientific process more authentically and develops students' ability to think critically.

  11. Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (Project CALLA), Community School District 2 Special Alternative Instruction Program. Final Evaluation Report, 1992-93. OREA Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lynch, Joanne

    Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (Project CALLA) was a federally funded program serving 960 limited-English-proficient students in 10 Manhattan (New York) elementary schools in 1992-93 its third year of operation. The project provided instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL), mathematics, science, and social studies in…

  12. The Evolution of the Exponent of Zipf's Law in Language Ontogeny

    PubMed Central

    Baixeries, Jaume; Elvevåg, Brita; Ferrer-i-Cancho, Ramon

    2013-01-01

    It is well-known that word frequencies arrange themselves according to Zipf's law. However, little is known about the dependency of the parameters of the law and the complexity of a communication system. Many models of the evolution of language assume that the exponent of the law remains constant as the complexity of a communication systems increases. Using longitudinal studies of child language, we analysed the word rank distribution for the speech of children and adults participating in conversations. The adults typically included family members (e.g., parents) or the investigators conducting the research. Our analysis of the evolution of Zipf's law yields two main unexpected results. First, in children the exponent of the law tends to decrease over time while this tendency is weaker in adults, thus suggesting this is not a mere mirror effect of adult speech. Second, although the exponent of the law is more stable in adults, their exponents fall below 1 which is the typical value of the exponent assumed in both children and adults. Our analysis also shows a tendency of the mean length of utterances (MLU), a simple estimate of syntactic complexity, to increase as the exponent decreases. The parallel evolution of the exponent and a simple indicator of syntactic complexity (MLU) supports the hypothesis that the exponent of Zipf's law and linguistic complexity are inter-related. The assumption that Zipf's law for word ranks is a power-law with a constant exponent of one in both adults and children needs to be revised. PMID:23516390

  13. A Gradualist Scenario for Language Evolution: Precise Linguistic Reconstruction of Early Human (and Neandertal) Grammars.

    PubMed

    Progovac, Ljiljana

    2016-01-01

    In making an argument for the antiquity of language, based on comparative evidence, Dediu and Levinson (2013) express hope that some combinations of structural features will prove so conservative that they will allow deep linguistic reconstruction. I propose that the earliest stages of syntax/grammar as reconstructed in Progovac (2015a), based on a theoretical and data-driven linguistic analysis, provide just such a conservative platform, which would have been commanded also by Neandertals and the common ancestor. I provide a fragment of this proto-grammar, which includes flat verb-noun compounds used for naming and insult (e.g., rattle-snake, cry-baby, scatter-brain), and paratactic (loose) combinations of such flat structures (e.g., Come one, come all; You seek, you find). This flat, binary, paratactic platform is found in all languages, and can be shown to serve as foundation for any further structure building. However, given the degree and nature of variation across languages in elaborating syntax beyond this proto-stage, I propose that hierarchical syntax did not emerge once and uniformly in all its complexity, but rather multiple times, either within Africa, or after dispersion from Africa. If so, then, under the uniregional hypothesis, our common ancestor with Neandertals, H. heidelbergensis, could not have commanded hierarchical syntax, but "only" the proto-grammar. Linguistic reconstructions of this kind are necessary for formulating precise and testable hypotheses regarding language evolution. In addition to the hominin timeline, this reconstruction can also engage, and negotiate between, the fields of neuroscience and genetics, as I illustrate with one specific scenario involving FOXP2 gene.

  14. A Gradualist Scenario for Language Evolution: Precise Linguistic Reconstruction of Early Human (and Neandertal) Grammars

    PubMed Central

    Progovac, Ljiljana

    2016-01-01

    In making an argument for the antiquity of language, based on comparative evidence, Dediu and Levinson (2013) express hope that some combinations of structural features will prove so conservative that they will allow deep linguistic reconstruction. I propose that the earliest stages of syntax/grammar as reconstructed in Progovac (2015a), based on a theoretical and data-driven linguistic analysis, provide just such a conservative platform, which would have been commanded also by Neandertals and the common ancestor. I provide a fragment of this proto-grammar, which includes flat verb-noun compounds used for naming and insult (e.g., rattle-snake, cry-baby, scatter-brain), and paratactic (loose) combinations of such flat structures (e.g., Come one, come all; You seek, you find). This flat, binary, paratactic platform is found in all languages, and can be shown to serve as foundation for any further structure building. However, given the degree and nature of variation across languages in elaborating syntax beyond this proto-stage, I propose that hierarchical syntax did not emerge once and uniformly in all its complexity, but rather multiple times, either within Africa, or after dispersion from Africa. If so, then, under the uniregional hypothesis, our common ancestor with Neandertals, H. heidelbergensis, could not have commanded hierarchical syntax, but “only” the proto-grammar. Linguistic reconstructions of this kind are necessary for formulating precise and testable hypotheses regarding language evolution. In addition to the hominin timeline, this reconstruction can also engage, and negotiate between, the fields of neuroscience and genetics, as I illustrate with one specific scenario involving FOXP2 gene. PMID:27877146

  15. Language and cognitive outcome for high-risk neonates at the age of 2-3 years - experience from an Arab Country

    PubMed Central

    Abou-Elsaad, Tamer; Abdel-Hady, Hesham; Baz, Hemmat; ElShabrawi, Doaa

    2017-01-01

    AIM To investigate the effect of different neonatal risk factors on different language parameters as well as cognitive abilities among Arabic speaking Egyptian children at the age of two to three years of life and to find out which risk factor(s) had the greatest impact on language and cognitive abilities. METHODS This retrospective cohort study was conducted on 103 children with age range of 2-3 years (median age 31 mo). They were 62 males and 41 females who were exposed to different high-risk factors in the perinatal period, with exclusion of metabolic disorders, sepsis/meningitis, congenital anomalies and chromosomal aberrations. The studied children were subjected to a protocol of language assessment that included history taking, clinical and neurological examination, audiological evaluation, assessment of language using modified preschool language scale-4, IQ and mental age assessment and assessment of social age. RESULTS The studied children had a median gestational age of 37 wk, median birth weight of 2.5 kg. The distribution of the high-risk factors in the affected children were prematurity in 25 children, respiratory distress syndrome in 25 children, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in 15 children, hyperbilirubinemia in 10 children, hypoglycemia in 13 children, mixed risk factors in 15 children. The results revealed that high-risk neonatal complications were associated with impairment of different language parameters and cognitive abilities (P < 0.05). The presence of prematurity, in relation to other risk factors, increases the risk of language and cognitive delay significantly by 3.9 fold. CONCLUSION Arabic-speaking children aged 2-3 years who were exposed to high-risk conditions in the perinatal period are likely to exhibit delays in the development of language and impairments in cognitive abilities. The most significant risk factor associated with language and cognitive impairments was prematurity. PMID:28224092

  16. Embodied experiences for science learning: A cognitive linguistics exploration of middle school students' language in learning about water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salinas Barrios, Ivan Eduardo

    I investigated linguistic patterns in middle school students' writing to understand their relevant embodied experiences for learning science. Embodied experiences are those limited by the perceptual and motor constraints of the human body. Recent research indicates student understanding of science needs embodied experiences. Recent emphases of science education researchers in the practices of science suggest that students' understanding of systems and their structure, scale, size, representations, and causality are crosscutting concepts that unify all scientific disciplinary areas. To discern the relationship between linguistic patterns and embodied experiences, I relied on Cognitive Linguistics, a field within cognitive sciences that pays attention to language organization and use assuming that language reflects the human cognitive system. Particularly, I investigated the embodied experiences that 268 middle school students learning about water brought to understanding: i) systems and system structure; ii) scale, size and representations; and iii) causality. Using content analysis, I explored students' language in search of patterns regarding linguistic phenomena described within cognitive linguistics: image schemas, conceptual metaphors, event schemas, semantical roles, and force-dynamics. I found several common embodied experiences organizing students' understanding of crosscutting concepts. Perception of boundaries and change in location and perception of spatial organization in the vertical axis are relevant embodied experiences for students' understanding of systems and system structure. Direct object manipulation and perception of size with and without locomotion are relevant for understanding scale, size and representations. Direct applications of force and consequential perception of movement or change in form are relevant for understanding of causality. I discuss implications of these findings for research and science teaching.

  17. Autism-related language, personality, and cognition in people with absolute pitch: results of a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Brown, Walter A; Cammuso, Karen; Sachs, Henry; Winklosky, Brian; Mullane, Julie; Bernier, Raphael; Svenson, Sarah; Arin, Deborah; Rosen-Sheidley, Beth; Folstein, Susan E

    2003-04-01

    Reports of a relatively high prevalence of absolute pitch (AP) in autistic disorder suggest that AP is associated with some of the distinctive cognitive and social characteristics seen in autism spectrum disorders. Accordingly we examined cognition, personality, social behavior, and language in 13 musicians with strictly defined AP (APS) and 33 musician controls (MC) without AP using standardized interviews and tests previously applied to identify the broad autism phenotype seen in the relatives of autistic probands. These included the Pragmatic Rating Scale (PRS) (social aspects of language) the Personality Assessment Schedule (PAS) (rigidity, aloofness, anxiety/worry, hypersensitivity), and WAIS performance subtests (PIQ). On the basis of their behavior in the interviews, subjects were classified as socially eccentric, somewhat eccentric, or not eccentric. Forty-six percent of the APS, but only 15% of the MC, were classified as socially eccentric (p < .03). APS but not MC showed higher scores on block design than on the other PIQ tests (p < .06), a PIQ pattern seen in autism spectrum disorders. Although APS and MC did not differ significantly on other measures it is of note that APS mean scores on the PRS and PAS (5.69, 4.92) were almost twice as high as those for the MC (3.03, 2.45). Thus, musicians with AP show some of the personality, language, and cognitive features associated with autism. Piecemeal information processing, of which AP is an extreme and rare example, is characteristic of autism and may be associated as well with subclinical variants in language and behavior. We speculate that the gene or genes that underlie AP may be among the genes that contribute to autism.

  18. Locating Cognition in Second Language Interaction and Learning: Inside the Skull or in Public View?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kasper, Gabriele

    2009-01-01

    A key question in the debate on conversation analysis as an approach to SLA concerns the role of cognition in interaction and learning. Where is cognition located, and how is understanding in interaction achieved? For an empirically grounded answer, I will explore the procedural apparatus that sustains socially shared cognition. Following a brief…

  19. Foreign Language Teaching Methodology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beheydt, L.

    1974-01-01

    This discussion is divided into three parts: (1) [native] language acquisition versus [second] language learning, (2) successful language learning, and (3) teaching strategies (grammar-translation, direct, cognitive and cognitive habit-formation). (KM)

  20. Evidence-Based Milestones for Surveillance of Cognitive, Language, and Motor Development

    PubMed Central

    Sheldrick, R. Christopher; Perrin, Ellen C.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Fewer than half of the nation's pediatricians conduct systematic surveillance of young children's development. Because time and cost are among the barriers, our objective was to create a brief set of parent-report questions about cognitive, motor, and language milestones that is freely available and can be administered and scored quickly. Methods A team of experts developed candidate items after reviewing existing instruments and prior research. We selected final items based on statistical fit to a graded item response model developed and replicated in separate samples enrolled from primary care settings (n = 469 and 308, respectively). We then developed a 10-item form for each visit on the pediatric periodicity schedule. Combining our initial samples with 395 families enrolled from referral clinics, we tested these forms' concurrent validity with respect to the ASQ-3 and parent reports of developmental diagnoses. Results A final set of 54 items displayed adequate fit to our statistical model regardless of race/ethnicity, education level, and child gender. Beginning at 4 months, scores on 10-item forms displayed consistent associations with the ASQ-3, and all but the 60-month form detected parents' reports of developmental delay with adequate sensitivity and specificity. Conclusions The Milestones is one element of the Survey of Well-being of Young Children (SWYC), a brief but comprehensive screening instrument for children under 5 years. The Milestones is a set of evidence-based items with individual normative data that are appropriate for pediatric surveillance. In addition, the scoring of 10-item Milestones forms may provide many advantages of a first level developmental screening instrument. PMID:24238685

  1. Cognitive and language skills of Turkish children in Germany: a comparison of the second and third generation and mixed generational groups.

    PubMed

    Becker, Birgit

    2011-01-01

    The paper compares several generational groups of Turkish children in Germany with respect to cognitive skills and German language skills at an early age. Empirically, children of inter-marriages outperform the other groups of Turkish children in both tests while children with a first generation mother and a second generation father score worse than all others. All group differences regarding children’s cognitive skills can be explained by the families’ socio-economic status and educational resources. In contrast, with respect to children’s language skills also parents’ endowment with receiving country specific resources (e.g., parental German language proficiency) needs to be taken into account.

  2. Motivational beliefs, cognitive engagement, and achievement in language and mathematics in elementary school children.

    PubMed

    Metallidou, Panagiota; Vlachou, Anastasia

    2007-02-01

    The contextual differences in the patterns of relations among various motivational, cognitive, and metacognitive components of self-regulated learning and performance in two key curriculum subject areas, language and mathematics, were examined in a sample of 263 Greek primary school children of fifth- and sixth-grade classrooms. Age and gender differences were also investigated. Students were asked to complete the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (Pintrich & De Groot, 1990 ), which comprised five factors: (a) Self-efficacy, (b) Intrinsic Value, (c) Test Anxiety, (d) Cognitive Strategy Use, and (e) Self-regulation Strategies. They responded to the statements of the questionnaire on a 7-point Likert scale in terms of their behaviour in mathematics and language classes, respectively. Moreover, their teachers were asked to evaluate each of their students' academic achievement in Greek language and mathematics on a 1- to 20-point comparative scale in relation to the rest of the class. The results of the study indicated very few differences in the pattern of relations among self-regulated components within and across the two subject areas and at the same time revealed a context-specific character of self-regulated components at a mean level differences. Further, the current study (a) confirmed the mediatory role of strategies in the motivation-performance relation, (b) stressed the differential role of cognitive and regulatory strategies in predicting performance in subject areas that differ in their structural characteristics of the content, and (c) pointed out the key motivational role of self-efficacy. In fact, self-efficacy proved the most significant predictor not only of performance but of cognitive and regulatory strategy use as well. Gender differences in motivation and strategy use were not reported, while motivation was found to vary mainly with age. The usefulness of these findings for promoting greater clarity among motivational and

  3. Bilingual Language Control and General Purpose Cognitive Control among Individuals with Bilingual Aphasia: Evidence Based on Negative Priming and Flanker Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Dash, Tanya; Kar, Bhoomika R.

    2014-01-01

    Background. Bilingualism results in an added advantage with respect to cognitive control. The interaction between bilingual language control and general purpose cognitive control systems can also be understood by studying executive control among individuals with bilingual aphasia. Objectives. The current study examined the subcomponents of cognitive control in bilingual aphasia. A case study approach was used to investigate whether cognitive control and language control are two separate systems and how factors related to bilingualism interact with control processes. Methods. Four individuals with bilingual aphasia performed a language background questionnaire, picture description task, and two experimental tasks (nonlinguistic negative priming task and linguistic and nonlinguistic versions of flanker task). Results. A descriptive approach was used to analyse the data using reaction time and accuracy measures. The cumulative distribution function plots were used to visualize the variations in performance across conditions. The results highlight the distinction between general purpose cognitive control and bilingual language control mechanisms. Conclusion. All participants showed predominant use of the reactive control mechanism to compensate for the limited resources system. Independent yet interactive systems for bilingual language control and general purpose cognitive control were postulated based on the experimental data derived from individuals with bilingual aphasia. PMID:24982591

  4. Language-Minority Students' Cognitive School Readiness and Success in Elementary School. CSE Technical Report 683

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rutherford, Lindsay Taggart

    2006-01-01

    A significant amount of research treats students who speak a language other than English at home, or language-minority students, as a single demographic group and compares them to students who speak only English at home. If important disparities in early school experiences among language-minority students have been overlooked, then policies aimed…

  5. The Effects of Anxiety on Cognitive Processing in English Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khan, Zaved Ahmed; Zafar, Shahila

    2010-01-01

    Language anxiety is a prevalent phenomenon in second language learning. This experiment examines the arousal of anxiety caused by the introduction of a video camera at various points in a vocabulary learning task. Two hundred sixteen students of 1st-year university English language course were randomly assigned to one of four groups: (a) one group…

  6. Clinical, Cognitive and Anatomical Evolution from Nonfluent Progressive Aphasia to Corticobasal Syndrome: A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Gorno-Tempini, Maria Luisa; Murray, Ryan C.; Rankin, Katherine P.; Weiner, Michael W.; Miller, Bruce L.

    2008-01-01

    Recent clinical and pathological studies have suggested that frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and corticobasal syndrome (CBS) show clinical and pathological overlap. We present four years of longitudinal clinical, cognitive and anatomical data in the case of a 56-year-old woman, AS, whose clinical picture evolved from FTLD to CBS. For the first three years, AS showed a progressive speech and language disorder compatible with a diagnosis of the nonfluent aphasia variant of FTLD. At year four, 10 years after her first symptom, AS developed the classical clinical signs of CBS, including alien limb phenomenon and dystonia. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) applied to AS’s four annual scans showed progression of atrophy from the inferior posterior frontal gyrus, to the left insula and finally to the medial frontal lobe. This case demonstrates the clinical overlap between FTLD and CBS and shows that the two can appear in the same patient at different stages of the disease in relation to the progression of anatomical damage. PMID:15788282

  7. Nondeclarative learning in children with specific language impairment: predicting regularities in the visuomotor, phonological, and cognitive domains.

    PubMed

    Mayor-Dubois, C; Zesiger, P; Van der Linden, M; Roulet-Perez, E

    2014-01-01

    Ullman (2004) suggested that Specific Language Impairment (SLI) results from a general procedural learning deficit. In order to test this hypothesis, we investigated children with SLI via procedural learning tasks exploring the verbal, motor, and cognitive domains. Results showed that compared with a Control Group, the children with SLI (a) were unable to learn a phonotactic learning task, (b) were able but less efficiently to learn a motor learning task and (c) succeeded in a cognitive learning task. Regarding the motor learning task (Serial Reaction Time Task), reaction times were longer and learning slower than in controls. The learning effect was not significant in children with an associated Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), and future studies should consider comorbid motor impairment in order to clarify whether impairments are related to the motor rather than the language disorder. Our results indicate that a phonotactic learning but not a cognitive procedural deficit underlies SLI, thus challenging Ullmans' general procedural deficit hypothesis, like a few other recent studies.

  8. Maintaining Cognitive Functioning in Healthy Seniors with a Technology-Based Foreign Language Program: A Pilot Feasibility Study

    PubMed Central

    Ware, Caitlin; Damnee, Souad; Djabelkhir, Leila; Cristancho, Victoria; Wu, Ya-Huei; Benovici, Judith; Pino, Maribel; Rigaud, Anne-Sophie

    2017-01-01

    Researchers have hypothesized that learning a foreign language could be beneficial for seniors, as language learning requires the use of extensive neural networks. We developed and qualitatively evaluated an English training program for older French adults; our principal objective was to determine whether a program integrating technology is feasible for this population. We conducted a 4-month pilot study (16, 2-h sessions) with 14 French participants, (nine women, five men, average age 75). Questionnaires were administered pre- and post-intervention to measure cognitive level and subjective feelings of loneliness or social isolation; however, these scores did not improve significantly. Post-intervention, semi-directive interviews were carried out with participants, and a content/theme analysis was performed. Five main themes were identified from the interviews: Associations with school, attitudes toward English, motivation for learning English, attitudes toward the program’s organization, and social ties. The program was found to be feasible for this age group, yet perceived as quite difficult for participants who lacked experience with English. Nonetheless, most participants found the program to be stimulating and enjoyable. We discuss different suggestions for future programs and future directions for foreign-language learning as a therapeutic and cognitive intervention. PMID:28298892

  9. Maintaining Cognitive Functioning in Healthy Seniors with a Technology-Based Foreign Language Program: A Pilot Feasibility Study.

    PubMed

    Ware, Caitlin; Damnee, Souad; Djabelkhir, Leila; Cristancho, Victoria; Wu, Ya-Huei; Benovici, Judith; Pino, Maribel; Rigaud, Anne-Sophie

    2017-01-01

    Researchers have hypothesized that learning a foreign language could be beneficial for seniors, as language learning requires the use of extensive neural networks. We developed and qualitatively evaluated an English training program for older French adults; our principal objective was to determine whether a program integrating technology is feasible for this population. We conducted a 4-month pilot study (16, 2-h sessions) with 14 French participants, (nine women, five men, average age 75). Questionnaires were administered pre- and post-intervention to measure cognitive level and subjective feelings of loneliness or social isolation; however, these scores did not improve significantly. Post-intervention, semi-directive interviews were carried out with participants, and a content/theme analysis was performed. Five main themes were identified from the interviews: Associations with school, attitudes toward English, motivation for learning English, attitudes toward the program's organization, and social ties. The program was found to be feasible for this age group, yet perceived as quite difficult for participants who lacked experience with English. Nonetheless, most participants found the program to be stimulating and enjoyable. We discuss different suggestions for future programs and future directions for foreign-language learning as a therapeutic and cognitive intervention.

  10. Assessment of cognition and language in the early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder: usefulness of the Bayley Scales of infant and toddler development, third edition

    PubMed Central

    Gómez‐Morales, A.; González‐Gimeno, I.; Fornieles‐Deu, A.; Brun‐Gasca, C.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The aim of this study was to test the usefulness of the Cognitive and Language scales Bayley‐III in the early assessment of cognitive and language functions in the context of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis. This paper focuses on the application of the Bayley‐III and studies the predictive value of the test result in children with ASD with different levels of verbal ability. Method A sample of 135 children (121 boys, 14 girls) with a confirmed ASD diagnosis at age 4 years were assessed with the Bayley‐III before 42 months of age (m = 36.49, s = 4.46) and later with other rating scales of different psychological and psycholinguistic functions as part of a longitudinal study [McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities (MSCA) (n = 48, 90% boys), Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K‐ABC) (n = 38, 87% boys) or Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA) (n = 44, 89% boys)]. Age assessment in months: MSCA (m = 48.80, s = 3.33), K‐ABC (m = 51.80, s = 7.17) and ITPA (m = 54.48, s = 3.34). Results Lower scores on the cognitive and language Bayley‐III scales before 3.5 years of age predicted lower cognitive and oral language levels at 4 years of age. A significant correlation was found between the Cognitive Bayley‐III Scale and the General Cognitive MSCA Scale, and with the Compound K‐ABC Mental Processing. An association between the nonverbal cognitive level and oral language level acquired at 4 years of age was found. Conclusions The Bayley‐III is a useful instrument in cognitive and language assessment of ASD. PMID:27120991

  11. Language in the aging brain: the network dynamics of cognitive decline and preservation.

    PubMed

    Shafto, Meredith A; Tyler, Lorraine K

    2014-10-31

    Language is a crucial and complex lifelong faculty, underpinned by dynamic interactions within and between specialized brain networks. Whereas normal aging impairs specific aspects of language production, most core language processes are robust to brain aging. We review recent behavioral and neuroimaging evidence showing that language systems remain largely stable across the life span and that both younger and older adults depend on dynamic neural responses to linguistic demands. Although some aspects of network dynamics change with age, there is no consistent evidence that core language processes are underpinned by different neural networks in younger and older adults.

  12. Exploration as a mediator of the relation between the attainment of motor milestones and the development of spatial cognition and spatial language.

    PubMed

    Oudgenoeg-Paz, Ora; Leseman, Paul P M; Volman, M Chiel J M

    2015-09-01

    The embodied-cognition approach views cognition and language as grounded in daily sensorimotor child-environment interactions. Therefore, the attainment of motor milestones is expected to play a role in cognitive-linguistic development. Early attainment of unsupported sitting and independent walking indeed predict better spatial cognition and language at later ages. However, evidence linking these milestones with the development of spatial language and evidence regarding factors that might mediate this relation are scarce. The current study examined whether exploration of spatial-relational object properties (e.g., the possibility of containing or stacking) and exploration of the space through self-locomotion mediate the effect of, respectively, age of sitting and age of walking on spatial cognition and spatial language. Thus, we hypothesized that an earlier age of sitting and walking predicts, respectively, higher levels of spatial-relational object exploration and exploration through self-locomotion, which in turn, predict better spatial cognition and spatial language at later ages. Fifty-nine Dutch children took part in a longitudinal study. A combination of tests, observations, and parental reports was used to measure motor development, exploratory behavior (age 20 months), spatial memory (age 24 months), spatial processing (age 32 months), and spatial language (age 36 months). Results show that attainment of sitting predicted spatial memory and spatial language, but spatial-relational object exploration did not mediate these effects. Attainment of independent walking predicted spatial processing and spatial language, and exploration through self-locomotion (partially) mediated these relations. These findings extend previous work and provide partial support for the hypotheses about the mediating role of exploration.

  13. Analyzing the Rate at Which Languages Lose the Influence of a Common Ancestor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rafferty, Anna N.; Griffiths, Thomas L.; Klein, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Analyzing the rate at which languages change can clarify whether similarities across languages are solely the result of cognitive biases or might be partially due to descent from a common ancestor. To demonstrate this approach, we use a simple model of language evolution to mathematically determine how long it should take for the distribution over…

  14. [Some remarks on the evolution of medical language across the times].

    PubMed

    Ledermann D, Walter

    2011-02-01

    The language employed by the physicians in their communications has been suffering a continuous evolution through the times, from the sober beauty that in their conciseness and accuracy had the Greek and the Latin, to the verbosity and flowery of the Middle Age and posterior centuries, for ended in the poverty and monotony characteristics of the today publications. A brief selection of different papers and book's extracts is presented in order to illustrate these changes, including words of Hippocrates, Celsus, Leonardo, Van Leeunwenhoek, Spallanzani, Jenner, Koch, Laveran, Manson, Grassi and other less conspicuous, ending with the assertion that the scarce time for read adduced by physicians must not serves like an excuse for ignorance and lack of culture.

  15. Developmental Language Disorders--A Follow-Up in Later Adult Life. Cognitive, Language and Psychosocial Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clegg, J.; Hollis, C.; Mawhood, L.; Rutter, M.

    2005-01-01

    Background: Little is known on the adult outcome and longitudinal trajectory of childhood developmental language disorders (DLD) and on the prognostic predictors. Method: Seventeen men with a severe receptive DLD in childhood, reassessed in middle childhood and early adult life, were studied again in their mid-thirties with tests of intelligence…

  16. The Evolutions of Interest and Beliefs about Arabic as a Foreign Language: A Case Study on Three Western Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rashed, Hazem

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this case study was to investigate the evolutions of interest and beliefs about Arabic as a foreign language among three Western faculty members at an education college in United Arab Emirates. The study used four data resources which were: interviews, field notes, reflective journals and an information form. After four months of…

  17. Auditory-Cognitive Training Improves Language Performance in Prelingually Deafened Cochlear Implant Recipients

    PubMed Central

    Ingvalson, Erin M.; Young, Nancy M.; Wong, Patrick C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Phonological and working memory skills have been shown to be important for the development of spoken language. Children who use a cochlear implant (CI) show performance deficits relative to normal hearing (NH) children on all constructs: phonological skills, working memory, and spoken language. Given that phonological skills and working memory have been shown to be important for spoken language development in NH children, we hypothesized that training these foundational skills would result in improved spoken language performance in CI-using children. Design Nineteen prelingually deafened CI-using children aged 4- to 7-years-old participated. All children had been using their implants for at least one year and were matched on pre-implant hearing thresholds, hearing thresholds at study enrollment, and non-verbal IQ. Children were assessed on expressive vocabulary, listening language, spoken language, and composite language. Ten children received four weeks of training on phonological skills including rhyme, sound blending, and sound discrimination and auditory working memory. The remaining nine children continued with their normal classroom activities for four weeks. Language assessments were repeated following the training/control period. Results Children who received combined phonological-working memory training showed significant gains on expressive and composite language scores. Children who did not receive training showed no significant improvements at post-test. On average, trained children had gain scores of 6.35 points on expressive language and gain scores of 6.15 points whereas the untrained children had test-retest gain scores of 2.89 points for expressive language and 2.56 for composite language. Conclusion Our results suggest that training to improve the phonological and working memory skills in CI-using children may lead to improved language performance. PMID:25109453

  18. Cognitive dissonance as an explanation of the genesis, evolution and persistence of Thabo Mbeki's HIV denialism.

    PubMed

    Kenyon, Chris

    2008-05-01

    The ongoing damage that the newer forms of HIV denialism are visiting upon our country is evidenced by the recent firing of Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, the South African Deputy Minister of Health. It is widely believed that the underlying reason for her dismissal was her support of orthodox HIV treatment and prevention strategies and her disdain for HIV denialism. This paper seeks to understand the origins, spread and metamorphosis of President Thabo Mbeki's HIV denialism in South Africa. Using the theory of cognitive dissonance, I argue that, given the structural beliefs of the African National Congress (ANC) and the pattern of emergence of HIV in the 1980s, a degree of scepticism around the putative science of HIV was probable in ANC circles. On assuming the Presidency in 1999, Mbeki tapped into this scepticism to formulate his initial biological version of HIV denialism, which claimed that 'a virus can't cause a syndrome.' The steady erosion of support for this flagrant HIV denialism, together with the rise of neoliberal thinking in the ANC, would lead to the evolution of this biological denialism into a form of treatment denialism. This ideology argued against the widespread provision and use of antiretroviral treatment. Empirical evidence is presented to demonstrate the extent to which ongoing HIV denial in the general population is continuing to fuel the spread of HIV.

  19. The evolution and devolution of cognitive control: The costs of deliberation in a competitive world

    PubMed Central

    Tomlin, Damon; Rand, David G.; Ludvig, Elliot A.; Cohen, Jonathan D.

    2015-01-01

    Dual-system theories of human cognition, under which fast automatic processes can complement or compete with slower deliberative processes, have not typically been incorporated into larger scale population models used in evolutionary biology, macroeconomics, or sociology. However, doing so may reveal important phenomena at the population level. Here, we introduce a novel model of the evolution of dual-system agents using a resource-consumption paradigm. By simulating agents with the capacity for both automatic and controlled processing, we illustrate how controlled processing may not always be selected over rigid, but rapid, automatic processing. Furthermore, even when controlled processing is advantageous, frequency-dependent effects may exist whereby the spread of control within the population undermines this advantage. As a result, the level of controlled processing in the population can oscillate persistently, or even go extinct in the long run. Our model illustrates how dual-system psychology can be incorporated into population-level evolutionary models, and how such a framework can be used to examine the dynamics of interaction between automatic and controlled processing that transpire over an evolutionary time scale. PMID:26078086

  20. Bilingual effects on cognitive and linguistic development: role of language, cultural background, and education.

    PubMed

    Barac, Raluca; Bialystok, Ellen

    2012-01-01

    A total of 104 six-year-old children belonging to 4 groups (English monolinguals, Chinese-English bilinguals, French-English bilinguals, Spanish-English bilinguals) were compared on 3 verbal tasks and 1 nonverbal executive control task to examine the generality of the bilingual effects on development. Bilingual groups differed in degree of similarity between languages, cultural background, and language of schooling. On the executive control task, all bilingual groups performed similarly and exceeded monolinguals; on the language tasks the best performance was achieved by bilingual children whose language of instruction was the same as the language of testing and whose languages had more overlap. Thus, executive control outcomes for bilingual children are general but performance on verbal tasks is specific to factors in the bilingual experience.

  1. Revisiting the role of language in spatial cognition: Categorical perception of spatial relations in English and Korean speakers.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Kevin J; Moty, Kelsey; Regier, Terry

    2017-03-23

    The spatial relation of support has been regarded as universally privileged in nonlinguistic cognition and immune to the influence of language. English, but not Korean, obligatorily distinguishes support from nonsupport via basic spatial terms. Despite this linguistic difference, previous research suggests that English and Korean speakers show comparable nonlinguistic sensitivity to the support/nonsupport distinction. Here, using a paradigm previously found to elicit cross-language differences in color discrimination, we provide evidence for a difference in sensitivity to support/nonsupport between native English speakers and native Korean speakers who were late English learners and tested in a context that privileged Korean. Whereas the former group showed categorical perception (CP) when discriminating spatial scenes capturing the support/nonsupport distinction, the latter did not. An additional group of native Korean speakers-relatively early English learners tested in an English-salient context-patterned with the native English speakers in showing CP for support/nonsupport. These findings suggest that obligatory marking of support/nonsupport in one's native language can affect nonlinguistic sensitivity to this distinction, contra earlier findings, but that such sensitivity may also depend on aspects of language background and the immediate linguistic context.

  2. Widening the lens: what the manual modality reveals about language, learning and cognition.

    PubMed

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2014-09-19

    The goal of this paper is to widen the lens on language to include the manual modality. We look first at hearing children who are acquiring language from a spoken language model and find that even before they use speech to communicate, they use gesture. Moreover, those gestures precede, and predict, the acquisition of structures in speech. We look next at deaf children whose hearing losses prevent them from using the oral modality, and whose hearing parents have not presented them with a language model in the manual modality. These children fall back on the manual modality to communicate and use gestures, which take on many of the forms and functions of natural language. These homemade gesture systems constitute the first step in the emergence of manual sign systems that are shared within deaf communities and are full-fledged languages. We end by widening the lens on sign language to include gesture and find that signers not only gesture, but they also use gesture in learning contexts just as speakers do. These findings suggest that what is key in gesture's ability to predict learning is its ability to add a second representational format to communication, rather than a second modality. Gesture can thus be language, assuming linguistic forms and functions, when other vehicles are not available; but when speech or sign is possible, gesture works along with language, providing an additional representational format that can promote learning.

  3. Widening the lens: what the manual modality reveals about language, learning and cognition

    PubMed Central

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2014-01-01

    The goal of this paper is to widen the lens on language to include the manual modality. We look first at hearing children who are acquiring language from a spoken language model and find that even before they use speech to communicate, they use gesture. Moreover, those gestures precede, and predict, the acquisition of structures in speech. We look next at deaf children whose hearing losses prevent them from using the oral modality, and whose hearing parents have not presented them with a language model in the manual modality. These children fall back on the manual modality to communicate and use gestures, which take on many of the forms and functions of natural language. These homemade gesture systems constitute the first step in the emergence of manual sign systems that are shared within deaf communities and are full-fledged languages. We end by widening the lens on sign language to include gesture and find that signers not only gesture, but they also use gesture in learning contexts just as speakers do. These findings suggest that what is key in gesture's ability to predict learning is its ability to add a second representational format to communication, rather than a second modality. Gesture can thus be language, assuming linguistic forms and functions, when other vehicles are not available; but when speech or sign is possible, gesture works along with language, providing an additional representational format that can promote learning. PMID:25092663

  4. Cognitive Task Complexity and Written Output in Italian and French as a Foreign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuiken, Folkert; Vedder, Ineke

    2008-01-01

    This paper reports on a study on the relationship between cognitive task complexity and linguistic performance in L2 writing. In the study, two models proposed to explain the influence of cognitive task complexity on linguistic performance in L2 are tested and compared: Skehan and Foster's Limited Attentional Capacity Model (Skehan, 1998; Skehan…

  5. Cognitive Complexity and Task Sequencing: Studies in a Componential Framework for Second Language Task Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Peter

    2005-01-01

    This paper describes a framework for researching the Cognition Hypothesis which claims that pedagogic tasks be sequenced for learners on the basis of increases in their cognitive complexity. It distinguishes dimensions of complexity which increase the conceptual and linguistic demands tasks make on communication, so creating the conditions for L2…

  6. Referential Metonymy across Languages: What Can Cognitive Linguistics and "Contrastive Linguistics" Learn from Each Other?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brdar-Szabó, Rita; Brdar, Mario

    2003-01-01

    The paper demonstrates how contrastive linguistics may receive a fresh breath of life from approaching certain problems from the cognitive linguistic point of view. Cognitive linguistics is not only capable of providing contrastive linguistics with a comprehensive but coherent theoretical backbone the latter has always badly needed for its…

  7. Cognitive Architectures and Language Acquisition: A Case Study in Pronoun Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Rij, Jacolien; van Rij, Hedderik; Hendriks, Petra

    2010-01-01

    In this paper we discuss a computational cognitive model of children's poor performance on pronoun interpretation (the so-called Delay of Principle B Effect, or DPBE). This cognitive model is based on a theoretical account that attributes the DPBE to children's inability as hearers to also take into account the speaker's perspective. The cognitive…

  8. Attention and Other Cognitive Deficits in Aphasia: Presence and Relation to Language and Communication Measures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murray, Laura L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: This study was designed to further elucidate the relationship between cognition and aphasia, with a focus on attention. It was hypothesized that individuals with aphasia would display variable deficit patterns on tests of attention and other cognitive functions and that their attention deficits, particularly those of complex attention…

  9. Learning to Read: A Discontinuous Imposition upon Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Byrne, Brian

    In arguing that language as speech is to be contrasted with language as writing, this paper examines some facts about the evolution of writing systems, draws upon some experimental studies, discusses the difference between speech and writing as being one of status within human cognitive structure, and notes that the difference may help explain why…

  10. Evidence for Distinct Cognitive Profiles in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Lauren J.; Maybery, Murray T.; Grayndler, Luke; Whitehouse, Andrew J. O.

    2014-01-01

    Findings that a subgroup of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have linguistic capabilities that resemble specific language impairment (SLI) have led some authors to hypothesise that ASD and SLI have a shared aetiology. While considerable research has explored overlap in the language phenotypes of the two conditions, little research…

  11. Parallels between Spatial Cognition and Spatial Language: Evidence from Williams Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Landau, B.; Hoffman, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    Does the acquisition of spatial language always reflect the characteristics of non-linguistic spatial representation? We explored this question by examining spatial representation and spatial language among children and adults with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic syndrome that gives rise to a pattern of severe spatial impairment together with…

  12. Child Discourse. Language, Thought, and Culture: Advances in the Study of Cognition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ervin-Tripp, Susan, Ed.; Mitchell-Kernan, Claudia, Ed.

    The following essays on children's spoken language are included in this volume: "Play with Language and Speech" by Catherin Garvey, "'You Fruithead': A Sociolinguistic Approach to Children's Dispute Settlement" by Donald Brenneis and Laura Lein, "From Verbal Play to Talk Story: The Role of Routines in Speech Events among…

  13. Language Loss and the Crisis of Cognition: Between Socio- and Psycholinguistics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kenny, K. Dallas

    A non-structural model is proposed for quantifying and analyzing the dynamics of language attrition, particularly among immigrants in a second language environment, based on examination of disfluencies (hesitations, errors, and repairs). The first chapter discusses limitations of the conventional synchronic textual approach to analyzing language…

  14. Can You Say It Another Way? Cognitive Factors in Bilingual Children's Pragmatic Language Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tare, Medha; Gelman, Susan A.

    2010-01-01

    Pragmatic differentiation in bilinguals is the ability to use two languages appropriately with different speakers. Although some sensitivity emerges by 2 years, the effects of context on these skills and their relation to other developing metacognitive capacities have not been examined. The current study compared the language use of 28 bilingual…

  15. Televised Whorf: Cognitive Restructuring in Advanced Foreign Language Learners as a Function of Audiovisual Media Exposure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bylund, Emanuel; Athanasopoulos, Panos

    2015-01-01

    The encoding of goal-oriented motion events varies across different languages. Speakers of languages without grammatical aspect (e.g., Swedish) tend to mention motion endpoints when describing events (e.g., "two nuns walk to a house") and attach importance to event endpoints when matching scenes from memory. Speakers of aspect languages…

  16. Natural and Constrained Language Production as a Function of Age and Cognitive Abilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rabaglia, Cristina D.; Salthouse, Timothy A.

    2011-01-01

    Although it is often claimed that verbal abilities are relatively well maintained across the adult lifespan, certain aspects of language production have been found to exhibit cross-sectional differences and longitudinal declines. In the current project age-related differences in controlled and naturalistic elicited language production tasks were…

  17. Relationship of neonatal cerebral blood flow velocity asymmetry with early motor, cognitive and language development in term infants.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ying-Chin; Hsieh, Wu-Shiun; Hsu, Chyong-Hsin; Chiu, Nan-Chang; Chou, Hung-Chieh; Chen, Chien-Yi; Peng, Shinn-Forng; Hung, Han-Yang; Chang, Jui-Hsing; Chen, Wei J; Jeng, Suh-Fang

    2013-05-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the relationships of Doppler cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) asymmetry measures with developmental outcomes in term infants. Doppler CBFV parameters (peak systolic velocity [PSV] and mean velocity [MV]) of the bilateral middle cerebral arteries of 52 healthy term infants were prospectively examined on postnatal days 1-5, and then their motor, cognitive and language development was evaluated with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition, at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months of age. The left CBFV asymmetry measure (PSV or MV) was calculated by subtracting the right-side value from the left-side value. Left CBFV asymmetry measures were significantly positively related to motor scores at 6 (r = 0.3-0.32, p < 0.05) and 12 (r = 0.35, p < 0.05) months of age, but were not related to cognitive or language outcome. Thus, the leftward hemodynamic status of the middle cerebral arteries, as measured by cranial Doppler ultrasound in the neonatal period, predicts early motor outcome in term infants.

  18. Language Evolution Can Be Shaped by the Structure of the World

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perfors, Amy; Navarro, Daniel J.

    2014-01-01

    Human languages vary in many ways but also show striking cross-linguistic universals. Why do these universals exist? Recent theoretical results demonstrate that Bayesian learners transmitting language to each other through iterated learning will converge on a distribution of languages that depends only on their prior biases about language and the…

  19. Nature-Inspired Cognitive Evolution to Play MS. Pac-Man

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Tse Guan; Teo, Jason; Anthony, Patricia

    Recent developments in nature-inspired computation have heightened the need for research into the three main areas of scientific, engineering and industrial applications. Some approaches have reported that it is able to solve dynamic problems and very useful for improving the performance of various complex systems. So far however, there has been little discussion about the effectiveness of the application of these models to computer and video games in particular. The focus of this research is to explore the hybridization of nature-inspired computation methods for optimization of neural network-based cognition in video games, in this case the combination of a neural network with an evolutionary algorithm. In essence, a neural network is an attempt to mimic the extremely complex human brain system, which is building an artificial brain that is able to self-learn intelligently. On the other hand, an evolutionary algorithm is to simulate the biological evolutionary processes that evolve potential solutions in order to solve the problems or tasks by applying the genetic operators such as crossover, mutation and selection into the solutions. This paper investigates the abilities of Evolution Strategies (ES) to evolve feed-forward artificial neural network's internal parameters (i.e. weight and bias values) for automatically generating Ms. Pac-man controllers. The main objective of this game is to clear a maze of dots while avoiding the ghosts and to achieve the highest possible score. The experimental results show that an ES-based system can be successfully applied to automatically generate artificial intelligence for a complex, dynamic and highly stochastic video game environment.

  20. Cognitive architectures and language acquisition: a case study in pronoun comprehension.

    PubMed

    VAN Rij, Jacolien; VAN Rijn, Hedderik; Hendriks, Petra

    2010-06-01

    In this paper we discuss a computational cognitive model of children's poor performance on pronoun interpretation (the so-called Delay of Principle B Effect, or DPBE). This cognitive model is based on a theoretical account that attributes the DPBE to children's inability as hearers to also take into account the speaker's perspective. The cognitive model predicts that child hearers are unable to do so because their speed of linguistic processing is too limited to perform this second step in interpretation. We tested this hypothesis empirically in a psycholinguistic study, in which we slowed down the speech rate to give children more time for interpretation, and in a computational simulation study. The results of the two studies confirm the predictions of our model. Moreover, these studies show that embedding a theory of linguistic competence in a cognitive architecture allows for the generation of detailed and testable predictions with respect to linguistic performance.

  1. Beyond Skinner? A review of relational frame theory: A post-skinnerian account of human language and cognition by Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, and Roche.

    PubMed

    Osborne, J Grayson

    2003-01-01

    In their book, Relational Frame Theory: A Post-Skinnerian Account of Human Language and Cognition (2001), Hayes, Barnes-Holmes and Roche challenge behavior analysts to put aside Skinner and Verbal Behavior in favor of relational frame theory's approach to human language and cognition. However, when viewed from the contexts of behavior analysis, the principles of behavior analysis, and the principles of the founder of behavior analysis, Relational Frame Theory fits squarely in the Skinnerian, behavior analytic tradition. As with Verbal Behavior, Relational Frame Theory and its theses may be thought of as logical and empirical extensions of that which precedes them.

  2. The Evolution of "Enhanced" Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Eating Disorders: Learning from Treatment Nonresponse

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Zafra; Fairburn, Christopher G.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years there has been widespread acceptance that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is the treatment of choice for bulimia nervosa. The cognitive behavioral treatment of bulimia nervosa (CBT-BN) was first described in 1981. Over the past decades the theory and treatment have evolved in response to a variety of challenges. The treatment has…

  3. From authoritative discourse to internally persuasive discourse: discursive evolution in teaching and learning the language of science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Pei-Ling; Roth, Wolff-Michael

    2014-09-01

    Learning science interpreted in existing theoretical frameworks often means that students are assimilated, accommodated or enculturated from the entity of the vernacular world to the entity of the scientific world. However, there are some unsolved questions as to how students can best learn purely a new language or new knowledge of science. The purpose of this study is to conduct microanalysis of moment-to-moment interactions in order to understand how science language is taught and learned in details. Informed by Bakhtin's dialogism, the analysis indicates that learning science is a process of appropriating authoritative discourse into internally persuasive discourse. Based on our analysis and findings, we propose the framework of discursive evolution to describe the process of teaching and learning the language of science. Four different stages of discursive evolution are identified to demonstrate the discursive changes during the course of science teaching and learning discourse: (a) using deictic references to connect scientific terminologies, (b) understanding science terminologies through its derivatives, (c) communicating science practices conventionally through science terminologies, and (d) communicating science practices innovatively through mutated science terminologies. The findings suggest that science teaching and learning comprise a heterogeneous process which draws on both science and non-science language and is a constantly evolving process. Understanding teaching and learning as a heterogeneous and constantly evolving process allows us to reunite the roles of teachers and students as mutually responsible collaborators rather than science knowledge givers and consumers.

  4. Co-evolution of cooperation and cognition: the impact of imperfect deliberation and context-sensitive intuition.

    PubMed

    Bear, Adam; Kagan, Ari; Rand, David G

    2017-03-29

    How does cognitive sophistication impact cooperation? We explore this question using a model of the co-evolution of cooperation and cognition. In our model, agents confront social dilemmas and coordination games, and make decisions using intuition or deliberation. Intuition is automatic and effortless, but relatively (although not necessarily completely) insensitive to context. Deliberation, conversely, is costly but relatively (although not necessarily perfectly) sensitive to context. We find that regardless of the sensitivity of intuition and imperfection of deliberation, deliberating undermines cooperation in social dilemmas, whereas deliberating can increase cooperation in coordination games if intuition is sufficiently sensitive. Furthermore, when coordination games are sufficiently likely, selection favours a strategy whose intuitive response ignores the contextual cues available and cooperates across contexts. Thus, we see how simple cognition can arise from active selection for simplicity, rather than just be forced to be simple due to cognitive constraints. Finally, we find that when deliberation is imperfect, the favoured strategy increases cooperation in social dilemmas (as a result of reducing deliberation) as the benefit of cooperation to the recipient increases.

  5. Language Students and Their Technologies: Charting the Evolution 2006-2011

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steel, Caroline H.; Levy, Mike

    2013-01-01

    This paper has two key objectives. Firstly, it seeks to record the technologies in current use by learners of a range of languages at an Australian university in 2011. Data was collected via a large-scale survey of 587 foreign language students across ten languages at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Notably the data…

  6. Language and Communication Skills in Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Contribution of Cognition, Severity of Autism Symptoms, and Adaptive Functioning to the Variability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kjellmer, Liselotte; Hedvall, Asa; Fernell, Elisabeth; Gillberg, Christopher; Norrelgen, Fritjof

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the contribution of cognitive function, severity of autism, and adaptive functioning to the variability in language and communication skills in 129 preschool children (aged 24-63 months) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Participants were selected from a representative research cohort of 208 preschool children on the basis…

  7. Cognitive and Psychosocial Factors in the Long-Term Development of Implicit and Explicit Second Language Knowledge in Adult Learners of Spanish at Increasing Proficiency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serafini, Ellen Johnson

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the second language (L2) development of adult learners of Spanish at three levels of proficiency during and after a semester of instruction. A fundamental goal was to identify cognitive and psychosocial individual differences (IDs) that can explain between-learner variation over time in order to expand our understanding of the…

  8. Differences in the Performance of Children with Specific Language Impairment and Their Typically Developing Peers on Nonverbal Cognitive Tests: A Meta-Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallinat, Erica; Spaulding, Tammie J.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: This study used meta-analysis to investigate the difference in nonverbal cognitive test performance of children with specific language impairment (SLI) and their typically developing (TD) peers. Method: The meta-analysis included studies (a) that were published between 1995 and 2012 of children with SLI who were age matched (and not…

  9. Second Language Learning Difficulties in Chinese Children with Dyslexia: What Are the Reading-Related Cognitive Skills that Contribute to English and Chinese Word Reading?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung, Kevin Kien Hoa; Ho, Connie Suk-Han

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the relations between reading-related cognitive skills and word reading development of Chinese children with dyslexia in their Chinese language (L1) and in English (L2). A total of 84 bilingual children--28 with dyslexia, 28 chronological age (CA) controls, and 28 reading-level (RL) controls--participated and were administered…

  10. A Randomized Experiment of a Cognitive Strategies Approach to Text-Based Analytical Writing for Mainstreamed Latino English Language Learners in Grades 6 to 12

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, James S.; Olson, Carol Booth; Scarcella, Robin; Kramer, Jason; Pearson, Matthew; van Dyk, David; Collins, Penny; Land, Robert E.

    2011-01-01

    This study reports Year 1 findings from a multisite cluster randomized controlled trial of a cognitive strategies approach to teaching text-based analytical writing for mainstreamed Latino English language learners (ELLs) in 9 middle schools and 6 high schools. There were 103 English teachers stratified by school and grade and then randomly…

  11. Prediction of Reading Comprehension: Relative Contributions of Word Recognition, Language Proficiency, and Other Cognitive Skills Can Depend on How Comprehension Is Measured

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cutting, Laurie E.; Scarborough, Hollis S.

    2006-01-01

    Reading comprehension scores from the Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests, the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, and the Gray Oral Reading Test were examined in relation to measures of reading, language, and other cognitive skills that have been hypothesized to contribute to comprehension and account for comprehension differences. In a sample of 97…

  12. Bilingual Latino Students Learn Science for Fun While Developing Language and Cognition: Biophilia at a La Clase Mágica Site

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arreguín-Anderson, María G.

    2015-01-01

    In this article, the author suggests that children's natural inclination to explore nature, or biophilia, can be explored as a factor that encourages both cognitive engagement and language development. The author summarizes the types of scientific inquiries that bilingual elementary students and their university partners engaged in when guided to…

  13. A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective on Embodied Language for Human-Robot Cooperation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madden, Carol; Hoen, Michel; Dominey, Peter Ford

    2010-01-01

    This article addresses issues in embodied sentence processing from a "cognitive neural systems" approach that combines analysis of the behavior in question, analysis of the known neurophysiological bases of this behavior, and the synthesis of a neuro-computational model of embodied sentence processing that can be applied to and tested in the…

  14. Astute Activities: Increasing Cognitive and Creative Development in the Language Arts Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bay, Lois Marie Zinke

    Using Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn," John Knowles'"A Separate Peace," and Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," a study examined the effects of Astute Activities--teaching techniques which increase students' cognitive ability and creativity--on student performance in two senior English classes in a small…

  15. Cognitive and Language Skills in Adults with Autism: A 40-Year Follow-Up

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howlin, Patricia; Savage, Sarah; Moss, Philippa; Tempier, Althea; Rutter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Background: It is well established that very few individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and an IQ below 70 are able to live independently as adults. However, even amongst children with an IQ in the normal range, outcome is very variable. Childhood factors that predict later stability, improvement or decline in cognitive functioning…

  16. The Cognitive Content of the World of Symbols in a Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhirenov, Sayan A.; Satemirova, Darikha A.; Ibraeva, Aizat D.; Tanzharikova, Alua V.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to analyze the meaning of symbols, the symbolic world in linguistics. Using the methods of observation, analysis, synthesis and interpretation, the author determines the category of symbols in linguistic-cognitive research. The study delineates connection between linguistic image of the universe and symbolic categories…

  17. Where Is Cognition If We Talk about the Teaching of English as an International Language?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falabella, Maria Eugenia

    2011-01-01

    This current piece of writing--placed, in disciplinary terms, between Psychology of learning and Methodology/Didactics--aims mainly at showing, in the light of present and updated authorized works, the unequivocal relation that is existent between the concept of distributed cognitions and task-based learning. The former was coined by Hutchins…

  18. A Study on the Language Intervention by Cognitive-Pragmatic Approach (II).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nagasaki, Tsutomu; And Others

    1987-01-01

    Three 5-year-old Japanese children with no meaningful words were the subjects of an intervention program. The subjects and therapists played the "shopping game" (in the first term) and the "riding car game" (in the second term) with rules within the subjects' cognitive ability and in a setting designed to facilitate…

  19. Children's Language Production: How Cognitive Neuroscience and Industrial Engineering Can Inform Public Education Policy and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leisman, Gerry

    2012-01-01

    Little of 150 years of research in Cognitive Neurosciences, Human Factors, and the mathematics of Production Management have found their way into educational policy and certainly not into the classroom or in the production of educational materials in any meaningful or practical fashion. Whilst more mundane concepts of timing, sequencing, spatial…

  20. The Evolution of Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Schizophrenia: Current Practice and Recent Developments

    PubMed Central

    Tai, Sara; Turkington, Douglas

    2009-01-01

    Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) evolved from behavioral theory and developed to focus more on cognitive models that incorporated reappraisal of thinking errors and schema change strategies. This article will describe the key elements of CBT for schizophrenia and the current evidence of its efficacy and effectiveness. We conclude with a description of recent concepts that extend the theoretical basis of practice and expand the range of CBT strategies for use in schizophrenia. Mindfulness, meta-cognitive approaches, compassionate mind training, and method of levels are postulated as useful adjuncts for CBT with psychotic patients. PMID:19661198