PSY362 - Nov 18 lecture.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Peter Morrow

COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE - Language and memory are two fast growing areas. - Communication between one human and another. - There is communication from one member of species to another member of a species. COMMUNICATION Send information to others - Conspecific/other species - Con-specific communication o “Stay away from me. I am dangerous and I’ll hurt you”. - Interspecies communication o The goal is to enhance survival - These two types of communication don’t require language. Chemicals - The one sensory domain that seems to have evolved primarily in other species: Olfactory o Chemicals in the atmosphere are important o It seems that that is the sensory domain that evolved first to send information to others. o Most species have two olfactory system:  Primary olfactory system: We rely on this system primarily. For example, example, smelling roses.  Secondary olfactory system/???? Nasal olfactory system - These chemicals specifically change the behavior of that species – they sent out a message to that species – conspecific to that species. - Pheromones are detected by the olfactory system and used as communication. o For example a sexual message. o Pheromones are the simplest form of communication. It requires no language. o It has evolved very early – phylogenetically old. Emotions nd - Another relatively old primitive form of communication (2 to pheromones) that doesn’t require language: Emotion o Expression/Gesture are the ways that human express emotions. o Clearly, other species seem to do this. o It seems that other species have emotions. o Expression is difficult to assess in other species but their gestures suggest they have emotions. Language - The third way of communication: language o In humans, it is the communication of thoughts/Ideas o Do other species have language? o What does language mean and can other species do it? Summary - Types of communication: chemicals, gesture, language - Chemical/olfactory (desires) - Expressions/gestures (emotion) - Thoughts/ideas (language) LANGUAGE - Sound/phoneme (morpheme) - Understanding (meaning) - Syntax (structure) Sound - The smallest component of language is phoneme/sound. For example, “a”. - Morpheme: sounds that convey a meaning. - Lexicons: group of sounds that form a lexical meaning. For example, the word “bank” has multiple meanings. The bank of a river or financial bank. - Syntax: grammar – rules for how words go together. o The chicken is ready for dinner.  The chicken is ready to be eaten or the chicken is ready to eat. - We haven’t established that other species can do phonemes, morphemes or syntax. Is learning simply conditioning? (Clever Hans) - Clearly other species can hear sound and respond appropriately. Is that s
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