Action to Language via the Mirror Neuron System by Michael A. Arbib

By Michael A. Arbib

Reflect neurons may perhaps carry the brain's key to social interplay - every one coding not just a specific motion or emotion but additionally the popularity of that motion or emotion in others. The reflect process speculation provides an evolutionary arrow to the tale - from the reflect approach for hand activities, shared with monkeys and chimpanzees, to the uniquely human reflect method for language. during this available 2006 quantity, specialists from baby improvement, desktop technology, linguistics, neuroscience, primatology and robotics current and examine the replicate approach and convey how reports of motion and language can light up one another. themes mentioned within the fifteen chapters comprise: what do chimpanzees and people have in universal? Does the human potential for language relaxation on mind mechanisms shared with different animals? How do human babies collect language? What could be discovered from imaging the human mind? How are signal- and spoken-language similar? Will robots discover ways to act and converse like people?

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6 When I speak of a “stage” in phylogeny, I do not have in mind an all-or-none switch in the genotype that yields a discontinuous change in the phenotype, but rather the coalescence of a multitude of changes that can be characterized as forming a global pattern that may emerge over the course of tens or even hundreds of millennia. 22 Michael A. Arbib The next three stages then distinguish the hominid line from that of the great apes: S4 A complex imitation system for grasping; S5 Protosign, a manual-based communication system, breaking through the fixed repertoire of primate vocalizations to yield an open repertoire; S6 Protospeech, resulting from the ability of control mechanisms evolved for protosign coming to control the vocal apparatus with increasing flexibility.

What makes the modeling worthwhile is that the trained network responded not only to hand state The Mirror System Hypothesis 17 trajectories from the training set, but also exhibited interesting responses to novel hand– object relationships. Such learning models, and the data they address, make clear that mirror neurons are not restricted to recognition of an innate set of actions but can be recruited to recognize and encode an expanding repertoire of novel actions. , 1996) show the monkey attending to an action of the experimenter and responding not with an overt action, but rather with neural activity in mirror neurons that are active when the monkey itself performs a similar action.

Further evolution was also required for such a system to mediate imitation. In other words, the claim is that both imitation and understanding build, at least in part, upon the mirror system, whatever the relationship of one to the other. In the next section, I will discuss the importance of imitation not only in and of itself, but also as a crucial step toward the skills needed to mediate language (evolving a “language-ready brain”). Indeed, the FARS model contains mechanisms which involve cortical regions outside F5 for creating and monitoring expectations (Fagg and Arbib, 1998; not shown in Fig.

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