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Unformatted text preview: 103 Neuroendocrinology Letters Special Issue, Suppl.4, Vol.23, December 2002 Copyright © Neuroendocrinology Letters ISSN 0172–780X www.nel.edu REVIEW ARTICLE Dynamic Systems and Inferential Information Processing in Human Communication Karl Grammer, Bernhard Fink & LeeAnn Renninger Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Urban Ethology, Vienna, AUSTRIA Correspondence to: Karl Grammer, Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Urban Ethology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Vienna, AUSTRIA TEL: +43 1 4277 54766 FAX: +43 1 4277 9547 EMAIL: [email protected] Submitted: ?? Accepted: ?? Key words: nonverbal communication; automatic movie analysis; motion energy detection; synchronization; inferential communication; dynamic systems; interaction rapport; allomimesis; self-deception; mirror neurons; protean behavior Neuroendocrinology Letters 2002; 23 (Suppl.4):103–110 pii: NEL231002A04 Copyright © Neuroendocrinology Letters www.nel.edu Abstract Research in human communication on an ethological basis is almost obsolete. The reasons for this are manifold and lie partially in methodological problems connected to the observation and description of behavior, as well as the nature of human behavior itself. In this chapter, we present a new, non-intrusive, tech- nical approach to the analysis of human non-verbal behavior, which could help to solve the problem of categorization that plagues the traditional approaches. We utilize evolutionary theory to propose a new theory-driven methodological approach to the “multi-unit multi-channel modulation” problem of human nonverbal communication. Within this concept, communication is seen as con- text-dependent (the meaning of a signal is adapted to the situation), as a multi- channel and a multi-unit process (a string of many events interrelated in “com- municative” space and time), and as related to the function it serves. Such an approach can be utilized to successfully bridge the gap between evolution- ary psychological research, which focuses on social cognition adaptations, and human ethology, which describes every day behavior in an objective, systematic way. Human communication and information processing The information processing approach study the nature of human communication uses signal and response, sending and receiving, and encoding and decoding for the structural explanation of inter- action between individuals. On the surface, this approach seems quite practical. One organism, the sender, encodes information into a signal. The signal is passed on to another organism, the receiver, who decodes the signal. The receiver is capable of responding appropriately, or not. In this approach a signal is a defi ned entity, bound within a signal frame. In addition, we can fi nd “basic trigger signals” which are sent parallel to the actual signal. Trigger signals carry the decoding message. When a ‘sender’ laughs, for example, his encoded ‘signal’ of laughter will be decoded by the receiver and interpreted as...
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