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Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2002 Dec;23 Suppl 4:15-22.

Dynamic systems and inferential information processing in human communication.

Author information

1
Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Urban Ethology, Vienna, Austria. karl.grammer@univie.ac.at

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, technical 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 context-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 'communicative' space and time), and as related to the function it serves. Such an approach can be utilized to successfully bridge the gap between evolutionary psychological research, which focuses on social cognition adaptations, and human ethology, which describes every day behavior in an objective, systematic way.

PMID:
12496731
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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