Why do we remember? The communicative function of episodic memory Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-01-19 Johannes B. Mahr, Gergely Csibra
Episodic memory has been analyzed in a number of different ways in both philosophy and psychology, and most controversy has centered on its self-referential, autonoetic character. Here, we offer a comprehensive characterization of episodic memory in representational terms and propose a novel functional account on this basis. We argue that episodic memory should be understood as a distinctive epistemic attitude taken toward an event simulation. In this view, episodic memory has a metarepresentational format and should not be equated with beliefs about the past. Instead, empirical findings suggest that the contents of human episodic memory are often constructed in the service of the explicit justification of such beliefs. Existing accounts of episodic memory function that have focused on explaining its constructive character through its role in future-oriented mental time travel do justice neither to its capacity to ground veridical beliefs about the past nor to its representational format. We provide an account of the metarepresentational structure of episodic memory in terms of its role in communicative interaction. The generative nature of recollection allows us to represent and communicate the reasons why we hold certain beliefs about the past. In this process, autonoesis corresponds to the capacity to determine when and how to assert epistemic authority in making claims about the past. A domain where such claims are indispensable are human social engagements. Such engagements commonly require the justification of entitlements and obligations, which is often possible only by explicit reference to specific past events.
Retrieval is central to the distinctive function of episodic memory Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Sara Aronowitz
Episodic retrieval is heavily and asymmetrically dependent on the temporal order of the remembered events. This effect, or rather the underlying structure which it reflects, is a distinctive feature missing from the account in the target article. This structure explains significant successes and failures of episodic retrieval, and it has clear consequences for the fitness of the organism extending beyond communication.
An adaptive function of mental time travel: Motivating farsighted decisions Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Roland G. Benoit, Ruud M. W. J. Berkers, Philipp C. Paulus
The episodic memory system allows us to experience the emotions of past, counterfactual, and prospective events. We outline how this phenomenological experience can convey motivational incentives for farsighted decisions. In this way, we challenge important arguments for Mahr & Csibra's (M&C;'s) conclusion that future-oriented mental time travel is unlikely to be a central function of episodic memory.
The dynamics of episodic memory functions Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Dorthe Berntsen
There is no doubt that episodic memory serves communicative functions, but Mahr & Csibra (M&C;) overlook that this is not the only function served by memories of past events. Autobiographical memory research has identified several other functions, including purely directive functions. The functionality of episodic memory is not stable across situations; it varies dynamically with the demands of the retrieval context.
Episodic memory must be grounded in reality in order to be useful in communication Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Hartmut Blank
The primary function of episodic memory is to provide reliable information about reality that is essential for surviving and navigating in an environment. The communicative function of episodic memory “sits on top of” this basic function but does not, in itself, explain it in its totality (but may explain particular aspects such as its sensitivity to source credibility).
Episodic memory isn't essentially autonoetic Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Peter Carruthers
I argue that the function attributed to episodic memory by Mahr & Csibra (M&C;) – that is, grounding one's claims to epistemic authority over past events – fails to support the essentially autonoetic character of such memories. I suggest, in contrast, that episodic event memories are sometimes purely first order, sometimes autonoetic, depending on relevance in the context.
Episodic memory is as much about communicating as it is about relating to others Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Alin Coman
Mahr & Csibra (M&C;) provide extensive evidence for the communicative function of episodic memory, suggesting that the malleability of human memory is in large part due to its communicative dimension. I argue that emphasizing the relational motivations involved in communication provides a more proximal explanation for why our memories are as malleable.
Why episodic memory may not be for communication Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Felipe De Brigard, Bryce Gessell
Three serious challenges to Mahr & Csibra's (M&C;'s) proposal are presented. First, we argue that the epistemic attitude that they claim is unique to remembering also applies to some forms of imaginative simulations that aren't memories. Second, we argue that their account cannot accommodate critical neuropsychological evidence. Finally, we argue that their proposal looks unconvincing when compared to more parsimonious evolutionary accounts.
Sleep to be social: The critical role of sleep and memory for social interaction Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Susanne Diekelmann, Frieder M. Paulus, Sören Krach
Humans are highly social animals who critically need to remember information from social episodes in order to successfully navigate future social interactions. We propose that such episodic memories about social encounters are processed during sleep, following the learning experience, with sleep abstracting and consolidating social gist knowledge (e.g., beliefs, first impressions, or stereotypes) about others that supports relationships and interpersonal communication.
Emotional memories and how your life may depend upon them Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Tayler Eaton, Adam K. Anderson
In this commentary, we discuss how one's internal body state and the appraisals an individual utilizes at encoding alter later episodic memory irrespective of social discourse. We suggest that the purpose of episodic memory is originally the preservation of the self, which may have been co-opted to navigating the social world.
The communicative function of destination memory Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Mohamad El Haj, Ralph Miller
Mahr & Csibra's (M&C;'s) proposal that episodic memory has a role in communicative interaction is innovative. However, the model would be strengthened by the inclusion of the construct of destination memory. Destination memory refers to the ability to remember to whom one has sent information. Research has demonstrated that this ability is essential for communicative efficacy and daily interactions with others.
The sociocultural functions of episodic memory Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Robyn Fivush
The functional use of episodic memories to claim epistemic truth must be placed within sociocultural contexts in which certain truths are privileged. Episodic memories are shared, evaluated, and understood within sociocultural interactions, creating both individual and group identities. These negotiated identities provide the foundation from which epistemic claims to truth can be made.
Episodic memory and consciousness in antisocial personality disorder and conduct disorder Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Franco Fabbro, Cristiano Crescentini
Episodic memory is one of the most significant sources of information of humans. It entails cooperative and linguistic skills and, as Mahr & Csibra (M&C;) note, the capacity to ground veridical beliefs about the past. In some psychiatric disorders (antisocial personality disorder and conduct disorder), it was found that the habit of lying is associated with episodic memory and consciousness deficits.
“Truth be told” – Semantic memory as the scaffold for veridical communication Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Brett K. Hayes, Siddharth Ramanan, Muireann Irish
Theoretical accounts placing episodic memory as central to constructive and communicative functions neglect the role of semantic memory. We argue that the decontextualized nature of semantic schemas largely supersedes the computational bottleneck and error-prone nature of episodic memory. Rather, neuroimaging and neuropsychological evidence of episodic-semantic interactions suggest that an integrative framework more accurately captures the mechanisms underpinning social communication.
More to episodic memory than epistemic assertion: The role of social bonds and interpersonal connection Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 William Hirst, Gerald Echterhoff
Remembering is dynamically entangled in conversations. The communicative function of episodic memory can be epistemic, as suggested by Mahr & Csibra (M&C;). However, remembering can have genuinely social functions, specifically, the creation or consolidation of interpersonal relationships. Autonoesis, a distinct feature of episodic memory, is more likely to have evolved in the service of social binding than of epistemic assertiveness.
Episodic memory and the witness trump card Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Jeremy Henry, Carl Craver
We accept Mahr & Csibra's (M&C;'s) causal claim that episodic memory provides humans with the means for evaluating the veracity of reports about non-occurrent events. We reject their evolutionary argument that this is the proper function of episodic memory. We explore three intriguing implications of the causal claim, for cognitive neuropsychology, comparative psychology, and philosophy.
Encoding third-person epistemic states contributes to episodic reconstruction of memories Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Dora Kampis, András Keszei, Ildikó Király
We propose an extension to Mahr & Csibra's (M&C;'s) theory. For successful episodic memory formation, potentially relevant aspects of a situation need to be identified and encoded online and retained for prospective interactions. To be maximally convincing, the communicator not only has to encode not just any contextual detail, but also has to track information in relation to social partners.
Episodic memory solves both social and nonsocial problems, and evolved to fulfill many different functions Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Raymond A. Mar, R. Nathan Spreng
The episodic memory system is flexible and complex, and likely evolved in response to a wide range of survival-relevant problems in our evolutionary past, both social and nonsocial. Episodic memory allows us to recollect and infer details that may have seemed trivial on encoding, but are now known to be relevant. This memory aids humans in navigating their uncertain environment.
Carving event and episodic memory at their joints Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Nazim Keven
Mahr & Csibra (M&C;) argue that event and episodic memories share the same scenario construction process. I think this way of carving up the distinction throws the baby out with the bathwater. If there is a substantive difference between event and episodic memory, it is based on a difference in the construction process and how they are organized, respectively.
Autonoesis and reconstruction in episodic memory: Is remembering systematically misleading? Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Kourken Michaelian
Mahr & Csibra (M&C;) view autonoesis as being essential to episodic memories and construction as being essential to the process of episodic remembering. These views imply that episodic memory is systematically misleading, not because it often misinforms us about the past, but rather because it often misinforms us about how it informs us about the past.
Using episodic memory to gauge implicit and/or indeterminate social commitments Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 John Michael, Marcell Székely, Wayne Christensen
In discussing Mahr & Csibra's (M&C;'s) observations about the role of episodic memory in grounding social commitments, we propose that episodic memory is especially useful for gauging cases of implicit commitment and cases in which the content of a commitment is indeterminate. We conclude with some thoughts about how commitment may relate to the evolution of episodic memory.
Autonoesis and dissociative identity disorder Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 John Morton
Dissociative identity disorder is characterised by the presence in one individual of two or more alternative personality states (alters). For such individuals, the memory representation of a particular event can have full episodic, autonoetic status for one alter, while having the status of knowledge or even being inaccessible to a second alter. This phenomenon appears to create difficulties for a purely representational theory and is presented to Mahr & Csibra (M&C;) for their consideration.
Epistemic authority, episodic memory, and the sense of self Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Jennifer Nagel
The distinctive feature of episodic memory is autonoesis, the feeling that one's awareness of particular past events is grounded in firsthand experience. Autonoesis guides us in sharing our experiences of past events, not by telling us when our credibility is at stake, but by telling us what others will find informative; it also supports the sense of an enduring self.
False memories, nonbelieved memories, and the unresolved primacy of communication Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Robert A. Nash
Mahr & Csibra (M&C;) make a compelling case for a communicative function of episodic remembering, but a less compelling case that this is its primary function. Questions arise on whether confirming their predictions would support their account sufficiently, on the communicative function of preserving rich, nonbelieved memories, and on the epistemic benefits of developing false memories via the acceptance of misinformation.
Enhanced action control as a prior function of episodic memory Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Philipp Rau, George Botterill
Improved control of agency is likely to be a prior and more important function of episodic memory than the epistemic-communicative role pinpointed by Mahr & Csibra (M&C;). Taking the memory trace upon which scenario construction is based to be a stored internal model produced in past perceptual processing promises to provide a better account of autonoetic character than metarepresentational embedding.
Developmental roots of episodic memory Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Katherine Nelson
Two arguments imply that Mahr & Csibra's (M&C;'s) functional theory is insufficient as an explanation of episodic memory: (1) The developmental course supports a different social cultural division of episodic and semantic memory, and (2) the existence of long-term autobiographical memory is not explained in the functional theory but can be seen in a broader cultural framework.
Misconceptions about adaptive function Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Jonathan Redshaw, Thomas Suddendorf
Mahr & Csibra (M&C;) fail to make the important distinction between why a trait originally evolved, why it was maintained over time, and what its current utility is. Here we point out that episodic memory may have originally evolved as a by-product of a general metarepresentational capacity, and that it may have current functions beyond the communicative domain.
What psychology and cognitive neuroscience know about the communicative function of memory Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 David C. Rubin
Mahr & Csibra (M&C;) include interesting ideas about the nature of memory from outside of the field of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. However, the target article's inaccurate claims about those fields limit its usefulness. I briefly review the most serious omissions and distortions of the literature by the target article, including its misrepresentation of event memory, and offer suggestions for forwarding the goal of understanding the communicative function of memory.
Confabulation and epistemic authority Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Sarah Robins
Mahr & Csibra (M&C;) claim that episodic remembering's autonoetic character serves as an indicator of epistemic authority. This proposal is difficult to reconcile with the existence of confabulation errors – where participants fabricate memories of experiences that never happened to them. Making confabulation errors damages one's epistemic authority, but these false memories have an autonoetic character.
Constructive episodic simulation, flexible recombination, and memory errors Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Daniel L. Schacter, Alexis C. Carpenter, Aleea Devitt, Reece P. Roberts, Donna Rose Addis
According to Mahr & Csibra (M&C;), the view that the constructive nature of episodic memory is related to its role in simulating future events has difficulty explaining why memory is often accurate. We hold this view, but disagree with their conclusion. Here we consider ideas and evidence regarding flexible recombination processes in episodic retrieval that accommodate both accuracy and distortion.
Beyond communication: Episodic memory is key to the self in time Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Karl K. Szpunar, Jason C. K. Chan
Mahr & Csibra (M&C;) propose that episodic memory evolved to support epistemic authority in social communication. We argue for a more parsimonious interpretation whereby episodic memory subserves a broader preparatory function for both social and non-social behavior. We conclude by highlighting that functional accounts of episodic memory may need to consider the complex interrelations between self and subjective time.
Morgan's canon is not evidence Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Steven Samuel, Nicola Clayton
Mahr & Csibra's (M&C;'s) account of the communicative function of episodic memory relies more heavily on the case against episodic memory in nonhumans than their description suggests. Although the communicative function of episodic memory may be accurate as it pertains to human behaviour, we question whether Morgan's canon is a suitable foundation on which to build theories of supposedly human-specific traits.
Doing without metarepresentation: Scenario construction explains the epistemic generativity and privileged status of episodic memory Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Markus Werning, Sen Cheng
Episodic memories are distinct from semantic memories in that they are epistemically generative and privileged. Whereas Mahr & Csibra (M&C;) develop a metarepresentational account of epistemic vigilance, we propose an explanation that builds on our notion of scenario construction: The way an event of the past is presented in episodic memory recall explains the epistemic generativity and privilegedness of episodic memory.
What is it to remember? Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2018-01-22 Johannes B. Mahr, Gergely Csibra
In response to the commentaries, we clarify and defend our characterization of both the nature and function of episodic memory. Regarding the nature of episodic memory, we extend the distinction between event and episodic memory and discuss the relational role of episodic memory. We also address arguments against our characterization of autonoesis and argue that, while self-referential, it needs to be distinguished from an agentive notion of self. Regarding the function of episodic memory, we review arguments about the relation between future mental time travel and memory veridicality; clarify the relation between autonoesis, veridicality, and confidence; and finally discuss the role of episodic memory in diachronic commitments.
“It takes two to know one” – Tongue protrusion-retraction is only one small facet of early intersubjectivity Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Kenneth J. Aitken
Tongue protrusion-retraction is critical to early nutrition but is also a gustatory-olfactory aspect of early infant social behaviour that is, in part, reliant on pre-natal exposure and learning. Most early development is necessarily dyadic and intrinsically associated with other aspects of social functioning.
Turning the tide: A plea for cognitively lean interpretations of infant behaviour Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Miriam Beisert, Norbert Zmyj, Moritz M. Daum
Keven & Akins (K&A;) revisit the controversial subject of neonatal imitation through analysing the physiological foundations of neonatal spontaneous behaviour. Consequently, they regard imitative capacities in neonates as unlikely. We welcome this approach as an overdue encouragement to refuse cognitively rich interpretations as far as cognitively lean interpretations are conceivable, and apply this rationale to other phenomena in early childhood development.
Multisensory control of ingestive movements and the myth of food addiction in obesity Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 David A. Booth
Some individuals have a neurogenetic vulnerability to developing strong facilitation of ingestive movements by learned configurations of biosocial stimuli. Condemning food as addictive is mere polemic, ignoring the contextualised sensory control of the mastication of each mouthful. To beat obesity, the least fattening of widely recognised eating patterns needs to be measured and supported.
Spontaneous communication and infant imitation Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Ross Buck
Infant behavior is viewed in a social-communicative context centered on the phenomenon of spontaneous communication. Symbolic communication is learned and culturally structured, intentional, consists of symbols, and is propositional in content. In contrast, spontaneous communication is innate in both its sending (display) and receiving (preattunement) aspects, non-intentional, consists of signs, and is non-propositional or emotional in content. It underlies infant imitation, interactional synchrony, primary intersubjectivity, emotional empathy, and mirror neurons; and it is associated with oxytocin.
When dyadic interaction is the context: Mimicry behaviors on the origin of imitation Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Ruth Campos, Carmen Nieto
Keven & Akins (K&A;) redefine some of the neonatal imitation (NI) behaviors as developmental stereotypes. From a neuroconstructivist framework, those early gestures are also far from being considered as imitative behaviors. The cognitive substrate of imitation requires an interactive context to develop. Prior to intentional imitation, the dyad shows mimicry behaviors, which are automatic, but do not fade through development.
The functional and developmental role of imitation in the (a)typical brain Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Luca Casartelli, Valentina Parma
Keven & Akins (K&A;) propose a biologically plausible view of neonatal imitation based on the analysis of sensorimotor development. Here, we consider imitation in the general context of motor cognition, taking examples from both typical and atypical development. Specifically, we will discuss the functional role of imitation, its multi-level nature, and its anomalous features in autism.
Does early motor development contribute to speech perception? Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Dawoon Choi, Padmapriya Kandhadai, D. Kyle Danielson, Alison G. Bruderer, Janet F. Werker
At the end of the target article, Keven & Akins (K&A;) put forward a challenge to the developmental psychology community to consider the development of complex psychological processes – in particular, intermodal infant perception – across different levels of analysis. We take up that challenge and consider the possibility that early emerging stereotypies might help explain the foundations of the link between speech perception and speech production.
Beyond sensorimotor imitation in the neonate: Mentalization psychotherapy in adulthood Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Martin Desseilles
Despite the persuasiveness of Keven & Akins' (K&A;) review, we argue that mentalization, or the ability to interpret the mental states of oneself and others, is required to construct the neonate mind, going far beyond sensorimotor imitation. This concept, informed by certain psychoanalytic and attachment theories, has produced a form of therapy called mentalization-based psychotherapy, which aims to improve emotional regulation. Our aim here is to shed light on a form of neonatal imitation that goes beyond sensorimotor imitation.
A major blow to primate neonatal imitation and mirror neuron theory Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 W. Tecumseh Fitch
Keven & Akins' (K&A;'s) compelling new hypothesis explaining the developmental and neural basis of neonatal tongue protrusion has important implications for current understanding of primate imitation and the explanatory value of mirror neurons. If correct, this hypothesis eliminates a major source of evidence for neonatal imitation. I explore the implications this has for mirror neuron research and the arguments building upon them.
The case against newborn imitation grows stronger Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Susan S. Jones
The claim that human newborns imitate is widely accepted and influential. Yet reliable evidence that newborns match modeled behaviors is limited, and there is no empirically based explanation of how the knowledge that imitation requires could develop before birth. In their target article, Keven & Akins (K&A;) contribute important new evidence to an alternative account of newborns' matching that challenges the newborn imitation claim.
There is no compelling evidence that human neonates imitate Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Siobhan Kennedy-Costantini, Janine Oostenbroek, Thomas Suddendorf, Mark Nielsen, Jonathan Redshaw, Jacqueline Davis, Sally Clark, Virginia Slaughter
Keven & Akins (K&A;) propose that neonatal “imitation” is a function of newborns' spontaneous oral stereotypies and should be viewed within the context of normal aerodigestive development. Their proposal is in line with the result of our recent large longitudinal study that found no compelling evidence for neonatal imitation. Together, these works prompt reconsideration of the developmental origin of genuine imitation.
Mommy or me? Who is the agent in a sense of agency in infant orofacial stereotypies? Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Gerry Leisman
That neonates imitate is an assertion that lacks supporting evidence. Orofacial stereotypies are critical to optimizing food rejection. Matching of tongue-protrusion is not imitation, but a manifestation of the infant's arousal by the modeler's exhibition of the same behavior. The support for the nativist assertion that newborn infants imitate is not compelling, and we should proceed on the assumption that they do not.
“What” matters more than “Why” – Neonatal behaviors initiate social responses Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Klaus Libertus, Melissa E. Libertus, Christa Einspieler, Peter B. Marschik
Newborns are born into a social environment that dynamically responds to them. Newborn behaviors may not have explicit social intentions but will nonetheless affect the environment. Parents contingently respond to their child, enabling newborns to learn about the consequences of their behaviors and encouraging the behavior itself. Consequently, newborn behaviors may serve both biological and social-cognitive purposes during development.
Do innate stereotypies serve as a basis for swallowing and learned speech movements? Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Connor Mayer, Francois Roewer-Despres, Ian Stavness, Bryan Gick
Keven & Akins suggest that innate stereotypies like TP/R may participate in the acquisition of tongue control. This commentary examines this claim in the context of speech motor learning and biomechanics, proposing that stereotypies could provide a basis for both swallowing and speech movements, and provides biomechanical simulation results to supplement neurological evidence for similarities between the two behaviors.
Elements of a comprehensive theory of infant imitation Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Andrew N. Meltzoff
Imitation is central to human development. Imitation involves mapping between the perception and production of actions. Imitation after delays implicates preverbal memory. Imitation of people informs us about infants' processing of social events. A comprehensive theory needs to account for the origins, mechanisms, and functions of imitation. Neonatal imitation illuminates how the initial state engenders and supports rapid social learning.
Beyond aerodigestion: Exaptation of feeding-related mouth movements for social communication in human and nonhuman primates Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Lynne Murray, Valentina Sclafani, Holly Rayson, Leonardo De Pascalis, Laura Bozicevic, Pier Francesco Ferrari
Three arguments are advanced from human and nonhuman primate infancy research for the exaptation of ingestive mouth movements (tongue protrusion and lip smacking) for the purposes of social communication: their relation to affiliative behaviours, their sensitivity to social context, and their role in social development. Although these behaviours may have an aerodigestive function, such an account of their occurrence is only partial.
Infant orofacial movements: Inputs, if not outputs, of early imitative ability? Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Eoin P. O'Sullivan, Christine A. Caldwell
According to Keven & Akins (K&A;), infant orofacial gestures may not reflect imitative responses. Here, we emphasise that these actions nonetheless represent a significant feature of the infant's early sensorimotor experience, and therefore may play a key role in the development of imitative capacities. We discuss how the ideas proposed in the target article could contribute substantially to experiential accounts of imitation.
Philosopher's disease and its antidote: Perspectives from prenatal behavior and contagious yawning and laughing Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Robert R. Provine
Accounts of behavior, including imitation, often suffer from philosopher's disease: the unnecessary, inappropriate, theoretically driven explanation of behavior in terms of cognition, rationality, and consciousness. Embryos are perversely unphilosophical and unpsychological, starting to move before they receive sensory input. Postnatal contagious yawning and laughing indicate that pseudo-imitative behavior can occur without conscious intent or other higher-order cognitive process.
Animal studies help clarify misunderstandings about neonatal imitation Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Elizabeth A. Simpson, Sarah E. Maylott, Mikael Heimann, Francys Subiaul, Annika Paukner, Stephen J. Suomi, Pier F. Ferrari
Empirical studies are incompatible with the proposal that neonatal imitation is arousal driven or declining with age. Nonhuman primate studies reveal a functioning brain mirror system from birth, developmental continuity in imitation and later sociability, and the malleability of neonatal imitation, shaped by the early environment. A narrow focus on arousal effects and reflexes may grossly underestimate neonatal capacities.
An unsettled debate: Key empirical and theoretical questions are still open Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Stefano Vincini, Yuna Jhang, Eugene H. Buder, Shaun Gallagher
Debates about neonatal imitation remain more open than Keven & Akins (K&A;) imply. K&A; do not recognize the primacy of the question concerning differential imitation and the links between experimental designs and more or less plausible theoretical assumptions. Moreover, they do not acknowledge previous theorizing on spontaneous behavior, the explanatory power of entrainment, and subtle connections with social cognition.
Ecological validity, embodiment, and killjoy explanations in developmental psychology Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Shane Zappettini
Keven & Akins (K&A;) present a compelling alternative to the case for neonatal orofacial imitation, offered by Meltzoff and Moore. However, they provide little concerning what lessons their proposal has to offer developmental psychology more generally. I suggest three candidates and elaborate on how they raise outstanding methodological and philosophical questions for the approach taken in the target article.
Beyond neonatal imitation: Aerodigestive stereotypies, speech development, and social interaction in the extended perinatal period Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-12-13 Nazim Keven, Kathleen A. Akins
In our target article, we argued that the positive results of neonatal imitation are likely to be by-products of normal aerodigestive development. Our hypothesis elicited various responses on the role of social interaction in infancy, the methodological issues about imitation experiments, and the relation between the aerodigestive theory and the development of speech. Here we respond to the commentaries.
Public health interventions can increase objective and perceived control by supporting people to enact the choices they want to make Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-11-29 Jean Adams
“Low-agency” public health interventions do not rely on individuals using their personal resources to benefit. These help people enact the choices they wish to make and are likely to increase objective and perceived control. Lower-agency interventions have been criticised as constraining individual choice. Pepper & Nettle show that this is unlikely to be the case.
The behavioral constellation of deprivation may be best understood as risk management Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-11-29 Dorsa Amir, Matthew R. Jordan
Although the authors make a compelling case that early-life deprivation leads to present orientation, we believe that such behaviors may be better understood in terms of an underlying risk-management strategy, in which those who experience such deprivation are more risk-averse. The model we sketch accommodates the authors' present-orientation observations and further explains differences in risk preferences and social preferences.
Developing the behavioural constellation of deprivation: Relationships, emotions, and not quite being in the present Behav. Brain. Sci. (IF 14.2) Pub Date : 2017-11-29 Arkadiusz Białek, Vasudevi Reddy
Although it is a welcome and timely idea, the behavioural constellation of deprivation (BCD) needs to explain how the development of personal control, trust, and perception of future risk is mediated through relationships with parents. Further, prioritising the present over the future may not be the essence of this constellation; perhaps not quite being, either in the present or in the future, is a better depiction.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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