|Association: linking of sensations, ideas, thoughts or beliefs that is acquired by repetition (even unconsciously). Unlike causality._____________Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments. |
Associations/Deacon: (>Symbolic Reference/Deacon; >Symbolic Learning/Deacon; >Icon/Deacon; >Learning/Deacon).
a) Index-like level/character-like: (correlation stimulus/response, noise/object, signal/object): here there are competing sets of overlapping associative relations. These are translated into mutually reinforcing semantic categories at the higher, symbolic level.
b) Symbolic level: here there are relations between the symbols which do not exist at the level of the index-like relations: e.g. categories of meaning, syntactic differences, etc. At this level the stimuli do not compete with each other as they do at the character-like level.
This explains why, for example, animals that have reached the symbolic level learn faster.
The novel associations between characters (not only between a character and an object) lead to a network with two predominant types of association: a) one opposite many - b) many opposite one.
Memory/Deacon: each character-like association (stimulus/response) is now supported at the symbolic level by a large number of other character-like associations, because they are all encoded in memory in various ways. Together, they are much more protected against erasure because the external relations to objects are now relatively less important.
Associative learning/Deacon: this explains why we are learning relatively easy a large amount of words.
Brain: stores and finds character-like and symbolically associated information in the same way. This is shown by experiments with electrical stimuli, which were set at the same time as the occurrence of words.
Animal: Experiments with monkeys (Savage-Rumbaugh et al., 1978;1980 and Savage-Rumbaugh 1986) showed that new vocabulary was learned more quickly if the animals were able to have symbolic associations. We can call that the symbolic threshold.
Associations/language/Deacon: the recursive embedding of partial sentences creates in an economic way a hierarchy of associations.
In the brain, the operations for organizing these combinatorial relations are located in the prefrontal cortex.
Language/Brain: In humans, the cerebellum is probably much more involved in the analysis of sounds. This can be very important for the formation of word associations. The cerebellum is very fast in the formation of predictions. Linking to the cerebellum is, for example, beneficial for fast conjugations that are used in the formation of sentences._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
T. W. Deacon
The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of language and the Brain New York 1998
Terrence W. Deacon
Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter New York 2013