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Experimental study on co-evolution of categorical perception and communication systems in humans

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In this paper, we present an experiment that integrates a semiotic investigation with a dynamical perspective on embodied social interactions. The primary objective is to study the emergence of a communication system between two interacting individuals, where no dedicated communication modalities are predefined and the only possible interaction is very simple, non-directional, and embodied. Throughout the experiment, we observe the following three phenomena: (1) the spontaneous emergence of turn-taking behaviour that allows communication in non-directional environments; (2) the development of an association between behaviours and perceptive categories; (3) the acquisition of novel meaning by exploiting the notion of complementary set theory.

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We are very grateful to anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. This study was partially supported by KAKENHI(22240008) and the “Global COE Program: Founding Ambient Information Society Infrastructure” of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan and by the European Commission FP7 Project ITALK (ICT-214668) within the Cognitive Systems and Robotics unit (FP7 ICT Challenge 2).

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Correspondence to Hiroyuki Iizuka.

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Iizuka, H., Marocco, D., Ando, H. et al. Experimental study on co-evolution of categorical perception and communication systems in humans. Psychological Research 77, 53–63 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-012-0420-5

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  • Communication System
  • Joint Attention
  • Dynamic Time Warping
  • Communicative Behaviour
  • Graphical Communication