The pull to coordinate with other individuals is fundamental, serving as the basis for our social connectedness to others. Discussed is a dynamical and ecological perspective to joint action, an approach that embeds the individual’s mind in a body and the body in a niche, a physical and social environment. Research on uninstructed coordination of simple incidental rhythmic movement, along with research on goal‐directed, embodied cooperation, is reviewed. Finally, recent research is discussed that extends the coordination and cooperation studies, examining (...) how synchronizing with another, and how emergent social units of perceiving and acting are reflected in people’s feelings of connection to others. (shrink)
Understanding everyday behavior relies heavily upon understanding our ability to improvise, how we are able to continuously anticipate and adapt in order to coordinate with our environment and others. Here we consider the ability of musicians to improvise, where they must spontaneously coordinate their actions with co-performers in order to produce novel musical expressions. Investigations of this behavior have traditionally focused on describing the organization of cognitive structures. The focus, here, however, is on the ability of the time-evolving patterns of (...) inter-musician movement coordination as revealed by the mathematical tools of complex dynamical systems to provide a new understanding of what potentiates the novelty of spontaneous musical action. We demonstrate this approach through the application of cross wavelet spectral analysis, which isolates the strength and patterning of the behavioral coordination that occurs between improvising musicians across a range of nested time-scales. Revealing the sophistication of the previously unexplored dynamics of movement coordination between improvising musicians is an important step towards understanding how creative musical expressions emerge from the spontaneous coordination of multiple musical bodies. (shrink)
To accept that cognition is embodied is to question many of the beliefs traditionally held by cognitive scientists. One key question regards the localization of cognitive faculties. Here we argue that for cognition to be embodied and sometimes embedded, means that the cognitive faculty cannot be localized in a brain area alone. We review recent research on neural reuse, the 1/f structure of human activity, tool use, group cognition, and social coordination dynamics that we believe demonstrates how the boundary between (...) the different areas of the brain, the brain and body, and the body and environment is not only blurred but indeterminate. In turn, we propose that cognition is supported by a nested structure of task-specific synergies, which are softly assembled from a variety of neural, bodily, and environmental components (including other individuals), and exhibit interaction dominant dynamics. (shrink)
Musical improvisation is a natural case of human pattern formation, and Walton and colleagues investigate the way that different contextual constraints affect patterns of improvisation and their aesthetic quality. The authors find that coordination patterns are more diversified between two musicians when the musical space in which to improvise is relatively more constrained. They also find that listeners experience more diversified, complementary patterns between musicians as more enjoyable and harmonious.
In recent years, language has been shown to play a number of important cognitive roles over and above the communication of thoughts. One hypothesis gaining support is that language facilitates thought about abstract categories, such as democracy or prediction. To test this proposal, a novel set of semantic memory task trials, designed for assessing abstract thought non-linguistically, were normed for levels of abstractness. The trials were rated as more or less abstract to the degree that answering them required the participant (...) to abstract away from both perceptual features and common setting associations corresponding to the target image. The normed materials were then used with a population of people with aphasia to assess the relationship of abstract thought to language. While the language-impaired group with aphasia showed lower overall accuracy and longer response times than controls in general, of special note is that their response times were significantly longer as a function of a trial’s degree of abstractness. Further, the aphasia group’s response times in reporting their degree of confidence (a separate, metacognitive measure) were negatively correlated with their language production abilities, with lower language scores predicting longer metacognitive response times. These results provide some support for the hypothesis that language is an important aid to abstract thought and to metacognition about abstract thought. (shrink)
Despite the ubiquity of inner speech in our mental lives, methods for objectively assessing inner speech capacities remain underdeveloped. The most common means of assessing inner speech is to present participants with tasks requiring them to silently judge whether two words rhyme. We developed a version of this task to assess the inner speech of a population of patients with aphasia and corresponding language production deficits. As expected, patients’ performance on the silent rhyming task was severely impaired relative to controls. (...) More surprisingly, however, patients’ performance on this task did not correlate with their performance on a variety of other standard tests of overt language abilities. In particular, patients who were generally unimpaired in their abilities to overtly name objects during confrontation naming tasks, and who could reliably judge when two words spoken to them rhymed, were still severely impaired (relative to controls) at completing the silent rhyme task. This seems to suggest that inner speech was more severely impaired in these patients than outer speech. However, these results should also cause us to critically reflect on the relation between inner speech and silent rhyme judgments more generally. (shrink)
Observational learning can enhance the acquisition and performance quality of complex motor skills. While an extensive body of research has focused on the benefits of synchronous (i.e., concurrent physical practice) and non-synchronous (i.e., delayed physical practice) observational learning strategies, the question remains as to whether these approaches differentially influence performance outcomes. Accordingly, we investigate the differential outcomes of synchronous and non-synchronous observational training contexts using a novel dance sequence. Using multidimensional cross-recurrence quantification analysis, movement time-series were recorded for novice dancers (...) who either synchronised with (n = 22) or observed and then imitated (n = 20) an expert dancer. Participants performed a 16-count choreographed dance sequence for 20 trials assisted by the expert, followed by one final, unassisted performance trial. Although end-state performance did not significantly differ between synchronous and non-synchronous learners, a significant decline in performance quality from imitation to independent replication was shown for synchronous learners. A non-significant positive trend in performance accuracy was shown for non-synchronous learners. For all participants, better imitative performance across training trials led to better end-state performance, but only for the accuracy (and not timing) of movement reproduction. Collectively, the results suggest that synchronous learners came to rely on a realtime mapping process between visual input from the expert and their own visual and proprioceptive intrinsic feedback, to the detriment of learning. Thus, the act of synchronising alone does not ensure an appropriate training context for advanced sequence learning. (shrink)
This study examines the relation of language use to a person’s ability to perform categorization tasks and to assess their own abilities in those categorization tasks. A silent rhyming task was used to confirm that a group of people with post-stroke aphasia (PWA) had corresponding covert language production (or “inner speech”) impairments. The performance of the PWA was then compared to that of age- and education-matched healthy controls on three kinds of categorization tasks and on metacognitive self-assessments of their performance (...) on those tasks. The PWA showed no deficits in their ability to categorize objects for any of the three trial types (visual, thematic, and categorial). However, on the categorial trials, their metacognitive assessments of whether they had categorized correctly were less reliable than those of the control group. The categorial trials were distinguished from the others by the fact that the categorization could not be based on some immediately perceptible feature or on the objects’ being found together in a type of scenario or setting. This result offers preliminary evidence for a link between covert language use and a specific form of metacognition. (shrink)
Individuals make decisions under uncertainty every day. Decisions are based on in- complete information concerning the potential outcome or the predicted likelihood with which events occur. In addition, individuals’ choices often deviate from the rational or mathematically objective solution. Accordingly, the dynamics of human decision making are difficult to capture using conventional, linear mathematical models. Here, we present data from a 2-choice task with variable risk between sure loss and risky loss to illustrate how a simple nonlinear dynamical system can (...) be employed to capture the dynamics of human decision making under uncertainty (i.e., multistability, bifurcations). We test the feasibility of this model quantitatively and demonstrate how the model can account for up to 86% of the observed choice behavior. The implications of using dynamical models for explaining the nonlin- ear complexities of human decision making are discussed as well as the degree to which the theory of nonlinear dynamical systems might offer an alternative framework for understanding human decision making processes. (shrink)
Theories about relationships impact the ways in which we imagine that teachers and students can or should interact. These theories often involve either individualistic or relational assumptions. A contrast has been made between theories that assume that the individual is primary, and the relationship secondary, and those that assume that the relationship is primary and the individual secondary. Roughly mapping on to these assumptions are the implications that educational relationships either ought to facilitate autonomy or community, emancipation or socialization. I (...) argue that educational contexts occupy a liminal space at the boundaries of multiple contexts, and so have limited ability to either emancipate or socialize students relative to these contexts. However, the very liminality of the educational space allows for a unique view and exploration of these contexts using autonomy and community as means rather than ends of education. Learning, described here as re-co-gnition, is facilitated as students move away from and then return to the liminal, and teachers and students view again together the boundaries of these various contexts as they intersect at the school. Implications for teaching in this liminal space are explored for recognizing relationships between student and teacher, childhood and adulthood, home and the “outside world,” and boundaries within and between disciplines. (shrink)
We explore the possibility that a priori philosophical commitments continue to result in a narrowing of inquiry in moral psychology and education where theistic worldviews are concerned. Drawing from the theories of Edward L. Thorndike and John Dewey, we examine naturalistic philosophical commitments that influenced the study of moral psychology and moral education in the USA. We then address the question of whether these foundational naturalistic commitments can be rendered as compatible with theistic commitments, using both modernist and postmodern philosophical (...) approaches that might be viewed as attempts at compatibility. Arguing that these attempts at compatibility fail, we draw from contemporary approaches to moral psychology and education in order to illustrate how naturalistic commitments might prevent these approaches from adequately addressing theistic understandings and experiences of morality. (shrink)
Individuals make decisions under uncertainty every day based on incomplete information concerning the potential outcome of the choice or chance levels. The choices individuals make often deviate from the rational or mathematically objective solution. Accordingly, the dynamics of human decision-making are difficult to capture using conventional, linear mathematical models. Here, we present data from a two-choice task with variable risk between sure loss and risky loss to illustrate how a simple nonlinear dynamical system can be employed to capture the dynamics (...) of human decision-making under uncertainty (i.e., multi-stability, bifurcations). We test the feasibility of this model quantitatively and demonstrate how the model can account for up to 86% of the observed choice behavior. The implications of using dynamical models for explaining the nonlinear complexities of human decision-making are discussed, as well as the degree to which nonlinear dynamical systems theory might offer an alternative framework for understanding human decision-making processes. (shrink)
We commend the argument that perception and action are tightly coupled. We claim that the argument is not new, that uniting stimulus and response codes is not a problem for a cognitive system, only for psychologists who assume them, and that the Theory of Event Coding (TEC)'s event-codes are arbitrary and ungrounded. Affordances and information offer the common basis for perception-action (and even for event-codes).
Despite the challenges associated with virtually mediated communication, remote collaboration is a defining characteristic of online multiplayer gaming communities. Inspired by the teamwork exhibited by players in first-person shooter games, this study investigated the verbal and behavioral coordination of four-player teams playing a cooperative online video game. The game, Desert Herding, involved teams consisting of three ground players and one drone operator tasked to locate, corral, and contain evasive robot agents scattered across a large desert environment. Ground players could move (...) throughout the environment, while the drone operator’s role was akin to that of a “spectator” with a bird’s-eye view, with access to veridical information of the locations of teammates and the to-be-corralled agents. Categorical recurrence quantification analysis was used to measure the communication dynamics of teams as they completed the task. Demands on coordination were manipulated by varying the ground players’ ability to observe the environment with the use of game “fog.” Results show that catRQA was sensitive to changes to task visibility, with reductions in task visibility reorganizing how participants conversed during the game to maintain team situation awareness. The results are discussed in the context of future work that can address how team coordination can be augmented with the inclusion of artificial agents, as synthetic teammates. (shrink)