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      The emergence of verse templates through iterated learning

      1 , 2 , 3

      Journal of Language Evolution

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Most cited references 26

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          Chunking mechanisms in human learning.

           F Gobet,  P. Lane,  S Croker (2001)
          Pioneering work in the 1940s and 1950s suggested that the concept of 'chunking' might be important in many processes of perception, learning and cognition in humans and animals. We summarize here the major sources of evidence for chunking mechanisms, and consider how such mechanisms have been implemented in computational models of the learning process. We distinguish two forms of chunking: the first deliberate, under strategic control, and goal-oriented; the second automatic, continuous, and linked to perceptual processes. Recent work with discrimination-network computational models of long- and short-term memory (EPAM/CHREST) has produced a diverse range of applications of perceptual chunking. We focus on recent successes in verbal learning, expert memory, language acquisition and learning multiple representations, to illustrate the implementation and use of chunking mechanisms within contemporary models of human learning.
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            Statistical universals reveal the structures and functions of human music.

            Music has been called "the universal language of mankind." Although contemporary theories of music evolution often invoke various musical universals, the existence of such universals has been disputed for decades and has never been empirically demonstrated. Here we combine a music-classification scheme with statistical analyses, including phylogenetic comparative methods, to examine a well-sampled global set of 304 music recordings. Our analyses reveal no absolute universals but strong support for many statistical universals that are consistent across all nine geographic regions sampled. These universals include 18 musical features that are common individually as well as a network of 10 features that are commonly associated with one another. They span not only features related to pitch and rhythm that are often cited as putative universals but also rarely cited domains including performance style and social context. These cross-cultural structural regularities of human music may relate to roles in facilitating group coordination and cohesion, as exemplified by the universal tendency to sing, play percussion instruments, and dance to simple, repetitive music in groups. Our findings highlight the need for scientists studying music evolution to expand the range of musical cultures and musical features under consideration. The statistical universals we identified represent important candidates for future investigation.
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              Review. The multiple roles of cultural transmission experiments in understanding human cultural evolution.

              In this paper, we explore how experimental studies of cultural transmission in adult humans can address general questions regarding the 'who, what, when and how' of human cultural transmission, and consequently inform a theory of human cultural evolution. Three methods are discussed. The transmission chain method, in which information is passed along linear chains of participants, has been used to identify content biases in cultural transmission. These concern the kind of information that is transmitted. Several such candidate content biases have now emerged from the experimental literature. The replacement method, in which participants in groups are gradually replaced or moved across groups, has been used to study phenomena such as cumulative cultural evolution, cultural group selection and cultural innovation. The closed-group method, in which participants learn in groups with no replacement, has been used to explore issues such as who people choose to learn from and when they learn culturally as opposed to individually. A number of the studies reviewed here have received relatively little attention within their own disciplines, but we suggest that these, and future experimental studies of cultural transmission that build on them, can play an important role in a broader science of cultural evolution.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Language Evolution
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                2058-458X
                January 2019
                January 01 2019
                January 22 2019
                January 2019
                January 01 2019
                January 22 2019
                : 4
                : 1
                : 28-43
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Meertens Instituut, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [2 ]Leiden University, van Wijkplaats 3, Leiden, The Netherlands
                [3 ]University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
                Article
                10.1093/jole/lzy013
                © 2019
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