31 found
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  1.  49
    Music as a coevolved system for social bonding.Patrick E. Savage, Psyche Loui, Bronwyn Tarr, Adena Schachner, Luke Glowacki, Steven Mithen & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44:e59.
    Why do humans make music? Theories of the evolution of musicality have focused mainly on the value of music for specific adaptive contexts such as mate selection, parental care, coalition signaling, and group cohesion. Synthesizing and extending previous proposals, we argue that social bonding is an overarching function that unifies all of these theories, and that musicality enabled social bonding at larger scales than grooming and other bonding mechanisms available in ancestral primate societies. We combine cross-disciplinary evidence from archeology, anthropology, (...)
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  2. The evolution of the language faculty: Clarifications and implications.W. Tecumseh Fitch, Marc D. Hauser & Noam Chomsky - 2005 - Cognition 97 (2):179-210.
  3.  67
    The biology and evolution of music: A comparative perspective.W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2006 - Cognition 100 (1):173-215.
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  4.  95
    Nano-intentionality: a defense of intrinsic intentionality.W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):157-177.
    I suggest that most discussions of intentional systems have overlooked an important aspect of living organisms: the intrinsic goal-directedness inherent in the behaviour of living eukaryotic cells. This goal directedness is nicely displayed by a normal cell’s ability to rearrange its own local material structure in response to damage, nutrient distribution or other aspects of its individual experience. While at a vastly simpler level than intentionality at the human cognitive level, I propose that this basic capacity of living things provides (...)
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  5. Dance, Music, Meter and Groove: A Forgotten Partnership.W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2016 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 10:150796.
    I argue that core aspects of musical rhythm, especially "groove" and syncopation, can only be fully understood in the context of their origins in the participatory social experience of dance. Musical meter is first considered in the context of bodily movement. I then offer an interpretation of the pervasive but somewhat puzzling phenomenon of syncopation in terms of acoustic emphasis on certain offbeat components of the accompanying dance style. The reasons for the historical tendency of many musical styles to divorce (...)
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  6.  22
    More than one way to see it: Individual heuristics in avian visual computation.Andrea Ravignani, Gesche Westphal-Fitch, Ulrike Aust, Martin M. Schlumpp & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2015 - Cognition 143 (C):13-24.
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  7.  30
    Cognitive representation of “musical fractals”: Processing hierarchy and recursion in the auditory domain.Mauricio Dias Martins, Bruno Gingras, Estela Puig-Waldmueller & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2017 - Cognition 161 (C):31-45.
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  8.  43
    How children perceive fractals: Hierarchical self-similarity and cognitive development.Maurício Dias Martins, Sabine Laaha, Eva Maria Freiberger, Soonja Choi & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2014 - Cognition 133 (1):10-24.
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  9.  14
    Hierarchical Structure in Sequence Processing: How to Measure It and Determine Its Neural Implementation.Julia Uddén, Mauricio de Jesus Dias Martins, Willem Zuidema & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2020 - Topics in Cognitive Science 12 (3):910-924.
    Spoken language consists of a linear sequence of units, from which the existence of particular underlying hierarchical processing mechanisms is inferred. Uddén et al. use graph theory to provide a framework for describing the possible structural relationships that may underlie a linear output sequence. Being more explicit in defining different structures can help identifying and testing for such structures in AGL experiments, as well as help showing how behavioral and neuroimaging data reveals signatures of hierarchical processing in humans.
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  10.  12
    Pitch enhancement facilitates word learning across visual contexts.Piera Filippi, Bruno Gingras & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
  11.  13
    Artificial Grammar Learning Capabilities in an Abstract Visual Task Match Requirements for Linguistic Syntax.Gesche Westphal-Fitch, Beatrice Giustolisi, Carlo Cecchetto, Jordan S. Martin & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9:387357.
    Whether pattern-parsing mechanisms are specific to language or apply across multiple cognitive domains remains unresolved. Formal language theory provides a mathematical framework for classifying pattern-generating rule sets (or “grammars”) according to complexity. This framework applies to patterns at any level of complexity, stretching from simple sequences, to highly complex tree-like or net-like structures, to any Turing-computable set of strings. Here, we explored human pattern-processing capabilities in the visual domain by generating abstract visual sequences made up of abstract tiles differing in (...)
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  12.  38
    Vocal learning, prosody, and basal ganglia: Don't underestimate their complexity.Andrea Ravignani, Mauricio Martins & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (6):570-571.
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  13.  48
    On externalization and cognitive continuity in language evolution.W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (5):597-606.
    In this commentary on Berwick and Chomsky's “Why Only Us,” I discuss three key points. I first offer a brief critique of their scholarship, notably their often unjustified dismissal of previous thinking about language evolution. But my main focus concerns two arguments central to the book's thesis: the irrelevance of externalization to language evolution and the discontinuity between human conceptual representations and those of other animals. I argue against both stances, using cognitive data from nonhuman species to show that externalization (...)
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  14.  53
    Co-evolution of phylogeny and glossogeny: There is no “logical problem of language evolution”.W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (5):521-522.
    Historical language change (), like evolution itself, is a fact; and its implications for the biological evolution of the human capacity for language acquisition () have been ably explored by many contemporary theorists. However, Christiansen & Chater's (C&C's) revolutionary call for a replacement of phylogenetic models with glossogenetic cultural models is based on an inadequate understanding of either. The solution to their lies before their eyes, but they mistakenly reject it due to a supposed Gene/;culture co-evolution poses a series of (...)
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  15.  21
    Fechner revisited: Towards an inclusive approach to aesthetics.W. Tecumseh Fitch & Gesche Westphal-Fitch - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (2):140-141.
    Accepting Bullot & Reber's (B&R's) criteria for art appreciation would confine the study of aesthetics to those works for which historical information is available, mainly posthigh art.correct” artistic understanding is limited to experts with detailed knowledge or education in art, which implies a narrowly elitist conception of aesthetics. Scientific aesthetics must be broadly inclusive.
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  16.  7
    Rapid Learning and Long-Term Memory for Dangerous Humans in Ravens.C. R. Blum, W. Tecumseh Fitch & T. Bugnyar - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
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  17.  15
    A major blow to primate neonatal imitation and mirror neuron theory.W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2017 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40.
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  18.  25
    Differences that make a difference: Do locus equations result from physical principles characterizing all mammalian vocal tracts?W. Tecumseh Fitch & Marc D. Hauser - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):264-265.
    Sussman and colleagues provide no evidence supporting their claim that the human vocal production system is specialized to produce locus equations with high correlations and linearity. We propose the alternative null hypothesis that these features result from physical and physiological factors common to all mammalian vocal tracts and we recommend caution in assuming that human speech production mechanisms are unique.
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  19.  63
    Protomusic and protolanguage as alternatives to protosign.W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):132-133.
    Explaining the transition from a signed to a spoken protolanguage is a major problem for all gestural theories. I suggest that Arbib's improved “beyond the mirror” hypothesis still leaves this core problem unsolved, and that Darwin's model of musical protolanguage provides a more compelling solution. Second, although I support Arbib's analytic theory of language origin, his claim that this transition is purely cultural seems unlikely, given its early, robust development in children.
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  20.  13
    Reweaving the strands: welcoming diverse perspectives on the biology of music.W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2011 - In Patrick Rebuschat, Martin Rohrmeier, John A. Hawkins & Ian Cross (eds.), Language and Music as Cognitive Systems. Oxford University Press. pp. 128.
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  21. The evolution of language: a comparative perspective.W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2009 - In Gareth Gaskell (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Psycholinguistics. Oxford University Press.
     
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  22.  12
    Why evolve consciousness? Neural credit and blame allocation as a core function of consciousness.W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2022 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45.
    I concur with Merker and colleague's critiques, suggesting that hypotheses about the evolutionary function of consciousness can help address them. Brains are parallel systems that function to compute possible actions and predict outcomes. I hypothesize that a core function of consciousness per se is the global feedback of information about those actions actually executed, supporting local learning via neuronal updating.
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  23.  9
    Performance of Deaf Participants in an Abstract Visual Grammar Learning Task at Multiple Formal Levels: Evaluating the Auditory Scaffolding Hypothesis.Beatrice Giustolisi, Jordan S. Martin, Gesche Westphal-Fitch, W. Tecumseh Fitch & Carlo Cecchetto - 2022 - Cognitive Science 46 (2):e13114.
    Cognitive Science, Volume 46, Issue 2, February 2022.
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  24.  8
    Song Is More Memorable Than Speech Prosody: Discrete Pitches Aid Auditory Working Memory.Felix Haiduk, Cliodhna Quigley & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Vocal music and spoken language both have important roles in human communication, but it is unclear why these two different modes of vocal communication exist. Although similar, speech and song differ in certain design features. One interesting difference is in the pitch intonation contour, which consists of discrete tones in song, vs. gliding intonation contours in speech. Here, we investigated whether vocal phrases consisting of discrete pitches (song-like) or gliding pitches (speech-like) are remembered better, conducting three studies implementing auditory same-different (...)
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  25.  20
    Reidentification and redescription.Marc D. Hauser & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1):74-74.
    Millikan's account of substance concepts fails to do away with features. Her approach simply moves the suite of relevant features into an encapsulated module. The crux of the problem for scientists studying human infants and nonhuman animals is to determine how individuals reidentify objects and events in the world.
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  26.  17
    Do we represent intentional action as recursively embedded? The answer must be empirical. A comment on Vicari and Adenzato.Mauricio D. Martins & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 38:16-21.
  27.  14
    The Influence of Different Prosodic Cues on Word Segmentation.Theresa Matzinger, Nikolaus Ritt & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    A prerequisite for spoken language learning is segmenting continuous speech into words. Amongst many possible cues to identify word boundaries, listeners can use both transitional probabilities between syllables and various prosodic cues. However, the relative importance of these cues remains unclear, and previous experiments have not directly compared the effects of contrasting multiple prosodic cues. We used artificial language learning experiments, where native German speaking participants extracted meaningless trisyllabic “words” from a continuous speech stream, to evaluate these factors. We compared (...)
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  28.  14
    Dynamic hierarchical cognition: Music and language demand further types of abstracta.Tudor Popescu & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2020 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43.
    Hierarchical structures are rapidly and flexibly built up in the domains of human language and music. These domains require a tree-building capacity – “dendrophilia” – to dynamically infer hierarchical structures from sensory input, based on subunits stored in a lexicon. This dynamic process involves a crucial class of abstracta overlooked in the target article.
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  29.  8
    Toward inclusive theories of the evolution of musicality.Patrick E. Savage, Psyche Loui, Bronwyn Tarr, Adena Schachner, Luke Glowacki, Steven Mithen & W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44:e121.
    We compare and contrast the 60 commentaries by 109 authors on the pair of target articles by Mehr et al. and ourselves. The commentators largely reject Mehr et al.'s fundamental definition of music and their attempts to refute (1) our social bonding hypothesis, (2) byproduct hypotheses, and (3) sexual selection hypotheses for the evolution of musicality. Instead, the commentators generally support our more inclusive proposal that social bonding and credible signaling mechanisms complement one another in explaining cooperation within and competition (...)
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  30.  20
    The capacity for music: What is it, and what’s special about it? [REVIEW]Ray Jackendoff, Fred Lerdahl, W. Tecumseh Fitch, Moises Betancort, Manuel Carreiras & Carlos Acun A.-Farin - 2006 - Cognition 100 (1):33-72.
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  31. The evolution of language: A comparative review. [REVIEW]W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):193-203.
    For many years the evolution of language has been seen as a disreputable topic, mired in fanciful “just so stories” about language origins. However, in the last decade a new synthesis of modern linguistics, cognitive neuroscience and neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory has begun to make important contributions to our understanding of the biology and evolution of language. I review some of this recent progress, focusing on the value of the comparative method, which uses data from animal species to draw inferences about (...)
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