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Can vocal conditioning trigger a semiotic ratchet in marmosets?

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Autor(es):
Turesson, Hjalmar K. [1] ; Ribeiro, Sidarta [1]
Número total de Autores: 2
Afiliação do(s) autor(es):
[1] Univ Fed Rio Grande do Norte, Inst Brain, BR-59056450 Natal, RN - Brazil
Número total de Afiliações: 1
Tipo de documento: Artigo Científico
Fonte: FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY; v. 6, OCT 7 2015.
Citações Web of Science: 1
Resumo

The complexity of human communication has often been taken as evidence that our language reflects a true evolutionary leap, bearing little resemblance to any other animal communication system. The putative uniqueness of the human language poses serious evolutionary and ethological challenges to a rational explanation of human communication. Here we review ethological, anatomical, molecular, and computational results across several species to set boundaries for these challenges. Results from animal behavior, cognitive psychology, neurobiology, and semiotics indicate that human language shares multiple features with other primate communication systems, such as specialized brain circuits for sensorimotor processing, the capability for indexical (pointing) and symbolic (referential) signaling, the importance of shared intentionality for associative learning, affective conditioning and parental scaffolding of vocal production. The most substantial differences lie in the higher human capacity for symbolic compositionality, fast vertical transmission of new symbols across generations, and irreversible accumulation of novel adaptive behaviors (cultural ratchet). We hypothesize that increasingly-complex vocal conditioning of an appropriate animal model may be sufficient to trigger a semiotic ratchet, evidenced by progressive sign complexification, as spontaneous contact calls become indexes, then symbols and finally arguments (strings of symbols). To test this hypothesis, we outline a series of conditioning experiments in the common marmoset (Calliththcjacchus). The experiments are designed to probe the limits of vocal communication in a prosocial, highly vocal primate 35 million years far from the human lineage, so as to shed light on the mechanisms of semiotic complexification and cultural transmission, and serve as a naturalistic behavioral setting for the investigation of language disorders. (AU)

Processo FAPESP: 13/07699-0 - Centro de Pesquisa, Inovação e Difusão em Neuromatemática - NeuroMat
Beneficiário:Jefferson Antonio Galves
Linha de fomento: Auxílio à Pesquisa - Centros de Pesquisa, Inovação e Difusão - CEPIDs