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Growing evidence from across the cognitive sciences indicates that iconicity plays an important role in a number of fundamental language processes, spanning learning, comprehension, and online use. One benefit of this recent upsurge in empirical work is the diversification of methods available for measuring iconicity. In this paper, we provide an overview of methods in the form of a ‘toolbox’. We lay out empirical methods for measuring iconicity at a behavioural level, in the perception, production, and comprehension of iconic forms. We also discuss large-scale studies that look at iconicity on a system-wide level, based on objective measures of similarity between signals and meanings. We give a detailed overview of how different measures of iconicity can better address specific hypotheses, providing greater clarity when choosing testing methods.
Our species-unique capacity for cumulative culture relies on a complex interplay between social and cognitive motivations. Attempting to understand much of human behaviour will be incomplete if one of these motivations is the focus at the expense of the other. Anchored in gene-culture co-evolution theory, we stake a claim for the importance of social drivers in determining why shamans exist.
Keven & Akins (K&A) propose that neonatal “imitation” is a function of newborns' spontaneous oral stereotypies and should be viewed within the context of normal aerodigestive development. Their proposal is in line with the result of our recent large longitudinal study that found no compelling evidence for neonatal imitation. Together, these works prompt reconsideration of the developmental origin of genuine imitation.
Technological advancements in remote sensing and telemetry provide opportunities for assessing the effects of expanding extractive industries on animal populations. Here, we illustrate the applicability of resource selection functions (RSFs) for modelling wildlife habitat selection on industrially-disturbed landscapes. We used grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) from a threatened population in Canada and surface mining as a case study. RSF predictions based on GPS radiocollared bears (nduring mining = 7; npost mining = 9) showed that males and solitary females selected areas primarily outside mineral surface leases (MSLs) during active mining, and conversely inside MSLs after mine closure. However, females with cubs selected areas within compared to outside MSLs irrespective of mining activity. Individual variability was pronounced, although some environmental- and human-related variables were consistent across reproductive classes. For males and solitary females, regional-scale RSFs yielded comparable results to site-specific models, whereas for females with cubs, modelling the two scales produced divergent results. While mine reclamation may afford opportunities for bear persistence, managing public access will likely decrease the risk of human-caused bear mortality. RSFs are powerful tools that merit widespread use in quantitative and visual investigations of wildlife habitat selection on industrially-modified landscapes, using Geographic Information System layers that precisely characterize site-specific conditions.
Kline presents an excellent synthesis of teaching theory and research, with cogent arguments regarding its prevalence. In this, she claims that “active teaching” is human specific, and presents tangible reasons why. But in doing so, she overlooks a critical aspect of the human condition that may have arisen only recently in our evolutionary history: Childhood as a life stage.
This article discusses the room for accommodating religious diversity offered by the particular configuration of secularity existing in Denmark. Theoretically, the article adopts Jose Casanova and Mark Chaves’ proposals to separate analytically between the core elements of secularisation, and to leave open for empirical analyses the development and potential connections between these in different geographical and geo-political contexts.
From this perspective, the article discusses the conditions for accommodating religious diversity offered by the peculiar combination prevailing in Denmark of a low level of structural differentiation combined with a high level of rationalisation, generalisation, and privatisation of religion. The article argues that the legal inequality existing in Denmark between religious communities stemming from the existence of a state supported church (i.e. a low level of differentiation) matters less for the accommodation of religious diversity than do widely held and strongly embedded popular sentiments and imaginations of the public sphere as strictly secular (i.e. a high level of rationalisation, generalisation and privatisation of religion).
Human life history incorporates childhood, a lengthy post-weaning period of dependency. This species-specific period provides an opportunity for extensive learning and for sophisticated cultural behaviors to develop, including crucial tool use skills. Although I agree that no individual cognitive trait singularly differentiates humans from other animals, I suggest here that without childhood, the traits that are key to human tool use would not emerge.
Orang-utans (Pongo spp.) are primarily frugivorous (Morrogh-Bernard et al. 2009) and are often regarded as important seed dispersers (Corlett 1998). In Tanjung Puting, Borneo, Galdikas (1982) found intact seeds in 94% of faecal samples, with a median 111 seeds per defecation; and in Ketambe, Sumatra, Rijksen (1978) found seeds in 44% of faecal samples. Furthermore, orang-utans have large day ranges (e.g. mean = 968 m, range = 280–2834 m across adults in Sabangau; Harrison 2009) and slow passage rates of digesta through the gut (Caton et al. 1999), and, hence, may disperse seeds far from parent trees. Many seeds are also spat out or discarded at distances up to 75 m from parent trees (Galdikas 1982).
Convergence in probability and central limit laws of bipower variation for Gaussian processes with stationary increments and for integrals with respect to such processes are derived. The main tools of the proofs are some recent powerful techniques of Wiener/Itô/Malliavin calculus for establishing limit laws, due to Nualart, Peccati, and others.
The detection and identification of subatomic particles is an important scientific problem with implications for medical devices, radiography, biochemical analysis, particle physics, and astrophysics. In addition, the development of efficient detectors of neutrons generated by fissile material is a pressing need for nuclear nonproliferation and counterterrorism efforts. A critical objective in the field of radiation detection is to develop the physical insight necessary to rationally design new scintillation materials for specific applications. However, none of the material types currently used in has sufficient synthetic versatility to exert systematic control over the factors controlling the light output and its dynamics. Here we describe a spectroscopic investigation of two stilbene-based metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) we synthesized, demonstrating that they emit light in response to ionizing radiation, creating the first completely new class of scintillation materials since the advent of plastic scintillators in 1950. This highly novel and unexpected property of MOFs opens a new route to rational design of radiation detection materials, since the spectroscopy shows that both the luminescence spectrum and its timing can be varied by altering the local environment of the chromophore within the MOF. Therefore, the inherent synthetic flexibility of MOFs, which enables both the chromophore structure and its local environment to be systematically varied, suggests that this class of materials can serve as a controlled “nanolaboratory” for probing a broad range of photophysical and radiation detection phenomena. In this presentation we report on the time-dependent fluorescence and radioluminescence of these MOFs and related structures. Multiple decay characteristics have been observed for some materials under study, including fast (ns) exponential and slow (microsecond) non-exponential components. We interpret the results in terms of the electronic states, crystal structures, intermolecular interactions, and transport effects mediating the luminescence. The potential for particle discrimination schemes and large scale production of MOFs and will be discussed.
Through the second year, children's copying behaviour shifts from a focus on emulating to a focus on imitating. This shift can be explained by a change in focus from copying others to satisfy cognitive motivations to copying in order to satisfy social motivations. As elegant and detailed as the shared circuits model (SCM) is, it misses this crucial, motivation-based feature of imitation.
Mark Nielsen, University of Queensland, School of Psychology, Early Cognitive Development Unit, Australia,
Virginia Slaughter, University of Queensland, School of Psychology, Early Cognitive Development Unit, Australia
As the chapters in this book attest, during the last decade the study of imitation has become a topic of central importance through a diverse range of disciplines. There have been a greater number of controlled studies of imitation in non-human animals than ever before. Possible neural foundations of imitation have been identified. Encouraging progress has been made in developing imitation in constructed systems. Our understanding of the processes and mechanisms of imitation has been markedly advanced. Nonetheless, during this period most researchers have primarily focused on how imitation facilitates the acquisition of new skills or behaviours. In so doing, some important aspects of imitation have been neglected. In human development, infants imitate for a wide variety of reasons, both within and across different developmental stages and within and across different contexts. More specifically, for human infants imitation is an important form of pre-verbal communication that provides a means by which they can engage in social interaction. Our aim in this chapter is to provide an overview of the evidence that infants imitate not only to acquire new skills but also to engage socially with others, and this social engagement can itself take a number of different forms, with imitation being used flexibly as a means to various social ends.
Before going further a brief note on definition is warranted.
The first magnetic recorder, the telegraphone, was invented in 1898 in Denmark. Despite favorable publicity and considerable investment, the telegraphone was a commercial failure. This article uses the theoretical concept of “frames of meaning” to explain that failure, focusing on three factors in particular: Denmark's status as a technologically peripheral country, the telephone orientation of the telegraphone's inventors, and management failures by the firm set up to manufacture the machine.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) may be regarded as the central molecule of life since it is the carrier of genetic information; it is the chemical constituent of the genes. DNA is a biopolymer composed of deoxyribonucleoside units connected via phosphodiester bridges (Figure 1a). It is the linear order of the nucleobases (A, C, G & T) that contain the genetic information, whereas the deoxyribose phosphate backbone primarily fulfils a structural role.
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