Our species has been a maker and user of tools for over two million years, but "cognitive technology" began with language. Cognition is thinking, and thinking has been "distributed" for at least the two hundred millennia that we have been using speech to interact and collaborate, allowing us to do collectively far more than any of us could have done individually. The invention of writing six millennia ago and print six centuries ago has distributed cognition still more widely and quickly, among people as well as their texts. But in recent decades something radically new has been happening: Advanced cognitive technologies, especially computers and the Worldwide Web, are beginning to redistribute cognition in unprecedented ways, not only among people and static texts, but among people and dynamical machines. This not only makes possible new forms of human collaboration, but new forms of cognition. This book examines the nature and prospects of distributed cognition, providing a conceptual framework for understanding it, and showcasing case studies of its development. This volume was originally published as a Special Issue of Pragmatics & Cognition (14:2, 2006).
Language Origin: A Multidisciplinary Approach presents a synthesis of viewpoints and data on linguistic, psychological, anatomical and behavioral studies on living species of Primates and provides a comparative framework for the evaluation of paleoanthropological studies. This double endeavor makes it possible to direct new research on the nature and evolution of human language and cognition. The book is directed to students of linguistics, biology, anthropoloy, anatomy, physiology, neurology, psychology, archeology, paleontology, and other related fields. A better understanding of speech pathology may stem from a better understanding of the relationship of human communication to the evolution of our species. The book is conceived as a timely contribution to such knowledge since it allows, for the first time, a systematic assessment of the origins of human language from a comprehensive array of scientific viewpoints.
Known as one of the most outstanding theologians of the twentieth century, Wolfhart Pannenberg is also considered a great interdisciplinary thinker. Now, essays and articles on science and theology that are central to understanding Pannenberg's theories have been collected into one volume. Niels Henrik Gregersen, a former student of Pannenberg and now professor of systematic theology at Copenhagen University, has compiled the writings in four sections: Methodology, Creation and Nature's Historicity, Religion and Anthropology, and Meaning and Metaphysics. Included in this volume are: •Translations of Pannenberg's principled argument for the consonance between science and religion, including...
How do we sort the objects, people, events, and ideas in the world into their proper categories so that we may experience and interact with them? This fundamental question about human--and animal--perception and cognition is the subject of Categorical Perception, a comprehensive survey of a wide range of important research findings on the subject. The volume brings together all known examples of categorical perception, from research on humans and animals, infants and adults, in all the sense modalities: hearing, seeing, and touch. The perceptual findings are then interpreted in terms of the available cognitive and neuroscientific theories of how categorical perception is accomplished by the brain. Research on elementary perceptual and psychophysical categories is then compared with work on higher order categories such as objects, patterns, and abstract concepts. The book proceeds to an integrative view of categorization in general by exploring the most thoroughly investigated case of categorical perception--speech perception.
Movement is arguably the most fundamental and important function of the nervous system. Purposive movement requires the coordination of actions within many areas of the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, basal ganglia, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves and sensory receptors, which together must control a highly complex biomechanical apparatus made up of the skeleton and muscles. Beginning at the level of biomechanics and spinal reflexes and proceeding upward to brain structures in the cerebellum, brainstem and cerebral cortex, the chapters in this book highlight the important issues in movement control. Commentaries provide a balanced treatment of the articles that have been written by experts in a variety of areas concerned with movement, including behaviour, physiology, robotics, and mathematics.