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Understanding human intentional communication

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Human social fabric and cultural achievements depend on inter-personal communication, yet we know surprisingly little about our ability to generate behaviors designed to modify the mental state of a particular recipient. These intentional communicative behaviors have often been considered just a component of ...

Human social fabric and cultural achievements depend on inter-personal communication, yet we know surprisingly little about our ability to generate behaviors designed to modify the mental state of a particular recipient. These intentional communicative behaviors have often been considered just a component of our linguistic or motoric abilities. In fact, the pervasive ambiguity of our utterances cannot be resolved within the conventional codes used in language, and the multiple correspondences between motoric and semantic properties of an action cannot be resolved by sensorimotor constraints only. The goal of this initiative is to stimulate discussion on current models and mechanisms of human intentional communication. We will address this issue from different perspectives, considering developmental processes, cerebral mechanisms, and cognitive models, spanning both verbal and non-verbal means of human communication. Contributors will be encourage to submit new theoretical hypotheses and original empirical studies.

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