Recent studies of naturalistic face‐to‐face communication have demonstrated coordination patterns such as the temporal matching of verbal and non‐verbal behavior, which provides evidence for the proposal that verbal and non‐verbal communicative control derives from one system. In this study, we argue that the observed relationship between verbal and non‐verbal behaviors depends on the level of analysis. In a reanalysis of a corpus of naturalistic multimodal communication (Louwerse, Dale, Bard, & Jeuniaux, ), we focus on measuring the temporal patterns of specific (...) communicative behaviors in terms of their burstiness. We examined burstiness estimates across different roles of the speaker and different communicative modalities. We observed more burstiness for verbal versus non‐verbal channels, and for more versus less informative language subchannels. Using this new method for analyzing temporal patterns in communicative behaviors, we show that there is a complex relationship between verbal and non‐verbal channels. We propose a “temporal heterogeneity” hypothesis to explain how the language system adapts to the demands of dialog. (shrink)
We discuss two problems for a general scientific understanding of language, sequences and synergies: how language is an intricately sequenced behavior and how language is manifested as a multidimensionally structured behavior. Though both are central in our understanding, we observe that the former tends to be studied more than the latter. We consider very general conditions that hold in human brain evolution and its computational implications, and identify multimodal and multiscale organization as two key characteristics of emerging cognitive function in (...) our species. This suggests that human brains, and cognitive function specifically, became more adept at integrating diverse information sources and operating at multiple levels for linguistic performance. We argue that framing language evolution, learning, and use in terms of synergies suggests new research questions, and it may be a fruitful direction for new developments in theory and modeling of language as an integrated system. (shrink)
Recent studies of semantic memory have investigated two theories of optimal search adopted from the animal foraging literature: Lévy flights and marginal value theorem. Each theory makes different simplifying assumptions and addresses different findings in search behaviors. In this study, an experiment is conducted to test whether clustering in semantic memory may play a role in evidence for both theories. Labeled magnets and a whiteboard were used to elicit spatial representations of semantic knowledge about animals. Category recall sequences from a (...) separate experiment were used to trace search paths over the spatial representations of animal knowledge. Results showed that spatial distances between animal names arranged on the whiteboard were correlated with inter-response intervals during category recall, and distributions of both dependent measures approximated inverse power laws associated with Lévy flights. In addition, IRIs were relatively shorter when paths first entered animal clusters, and longer when they exited clusters, which is consistent with marginal value theorem. In conclusion, area-restricted searches over clustered semantic spaces may account for two different patterns of results interpreted as supporting two different theories of optimal memory foraging. (shrink)
The literature on coordination within and between individuals is reviewed, with an emphasis on the inherent transience of coordination patterns in behavioral activity. This transience is integral to understanding cognitive activity as flexible patterns of coordination in brain, body, and environment. Kello reviews the articles in this special issue as contributions to understanding the role of context in shaping or interpreting coordination patterns in human behavior.