Joint attention and language evolution
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SourceConnection Science, 20, 2, (2008), pp. 155-172
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
SW OZ DCC AI
SW OZ NICI KI
SW OZ NICI CO
SubjectCognitive artificial intelligence; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 1: Language and Communication; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control; Psycholinguistics
This study investigates how more advanced joint attentional mechanisms, rather than only shared attention between two agents and an object, can be implemented and how they influence the results of language games played by these agents. We present computer simulations with language games showing that adding constructs that mimic the three stages of joint attention identified in children's early development (checking attention, following attention, and directing attention) substantially increase the performance of agents in these language games. In particular, the rates of improved performance for the individual attentional mechanisms have the same ordering as that of the emergence of these mechanisms in infants' development. These results suggest that language evolution and joint attentional mechanisms have developed in a co-evolutionary way, and that the evolutionary emergence of the individual attentional mechanisms is ordered just like their developmental emergence.
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