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      Great ape communication as contextual social inference: a computational modelling perspective


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          Human communication has been described as a contextual social inference process. Research into great ape communication has been inspired by this view to look for the evolutionary roots of the social, cognitive and interactional processes involved in human communication. This approach has been highly productive, yet it is partly compromised by the widespread focus on how great apes use and understand individual signals. This paper introduces a computational model that formalizes great ape communication as a multi-faceted social inference process that integrates (a) information contained in the signals that make up an utterance, (b) the relationship between communicative partners and (c) the social context. This model makes accurate qualitative and quantitative predictions about real-world communicative interactions between semi-wild-living chimpanzees. When enriched with a pragmatic reasoning process, the model explains repeatedly reported differences between humans and great apes in the interpretation of ambiguous signals (e.g. pointing or iconic gestures). This approach has direct implications for observational and experimental studies of great ape communication and provides a new tool for theorizing about the evolution of uniquely human communication.

          This article is part of the theme issue ‘Revisiting the human ‘interaction engine’: comparative approaches to social action coordination’.

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          Activation of mitochondrial TUFM ameliorates metabolic dysregulation through coordinating autophagy induction

          Disorders of autophagy, a key regulator of cellular homeostasis, cause a number of human diseases. Due to the role of autophagy in metabolic dysregulation, there is a need to identify autophagy regulators as therapeutic targets. To address this need, we conducted an autophagy phenotype-based screen and identified the natural compound kaempferide (Kaem) as an autophagy enhancer. Kaem promoted autophagy through translocation of transcription factor EB (TFEB) without MTOR perturbation, suggesting it is safe for administration. Moreover, Kaem accelerated lipid droplet degradation in a lysosomal activity-dependent manner in vitro and ameliorated metabolic dysregulation in a diet-induced obesity mouse model. To elucidate the mechanism underlying Kaem’s biological activity, the target protein was identified via combined drug affinity responsive target stability and LC–MS/MS analyses. Kaem directly interacted with the mitochondrial elongation factor TUFM, and TUFM absence reversed Kaem-induced autophagy and lipid degradation. Kaem also induced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) to sequentially promote lysosomal Ca2+ efflux, TFEB translocation and autophagy induction, suggesting a role of TUFM in mtROS regulation. Collectively, these results demonstrate that Kaem is a potential therapeutic candidate/chemical tool for treating metabolic dysregulation and reveal a role for TUFM in autophagy for metabolic regulation with lipid overload.
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            Using language

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              Origins of Human Communication


                Author and article information

                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: SoftwareRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Methodology
                Role: MethodologyRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci
                Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci
                Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
                The Royal Society
                September 12, 2022
                July 25, 2022
                July 25, 2022
                : 377
                : 1859 , Theme issue ‘Revisiting the human ‘interaction engine’: comparative approaches to social action coordination’ compiled and edited by Raphaela Heesen and Marlen Fröhlich
                : 20210096
                [ 1 ] Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, , 04103 Leipzig, Germany
                [ 2 ] Institute of Biology, Leipzig University, , 04103 Leipzig, Germany
                [ 3 ] Naturalistic Social Cognition Group, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, , 14195 Berlin, Germany
                [ 4 ] Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, , Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA
                Author notes

                Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Manuel Bohn, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

                Author information
                © 2022 The Authors.

                Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

                : September 14, 2021
                : April 4, 2022
                Research Articles
                Custom metadata
                September 12, 2022

                Philosophy of science
                communication,primates,social cognition,evolution,computational modelling
                Philosophy of science
                communication, primates, social cognition, evolution, computational modelling


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