Re: SV: Hello?

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Thu 09 Mar 2006 - 11:13:17 GMT

  • Next message: Kate Distin: "Re: SV: Hello?"

    Oops -- sent that post by accident minus the list from PubMed I just grabbed to get us going...

    It's attached.

    Cheers, Chris.

    Chris Taylor wrote:
    > Well several other contributors to this list -- Aaron and I think Robin,
    > others? Lots of these people have sites too with links to links etc.
    > Maybe you could have a go with to find out how
    > interconnected this community is...
    > off the top of my head, there's Kevin Laland
    > ( and if you want to
    > demonstrate that the scientific literature is not out of bounds to this
    > relatively new area, have a look at these below (through PubMed,
    > searching on 'meme' -- memetics turned up exactly nothing) but beware
    > the extremely long URL sorry about that. Btw can anyone else add non-JoM
    > papers (i.e. 'full-on' journals if you see what I mean)?
    > Cheers, Chris.
    > P.S. Meme itself is a meme and there is a bioinformatics tool that has
    > strained the rules of acronym formation to use it... Ooh the irony :)
    > Mogens Olesen wrote:
    >> I'm glad to hear that the meme river hasn't died out :-)
    >> As one of the first assignments of my ph.d.-project (called Memetic Media
    >> History), I'm going to give an introductory presentation on memetics in a
    >> cognitive-evolutionary oriented study group. My plan is to give a
    >> short tour
    >> through the memetics classics. I'm still relatively new to this field
    >> but so
    >> far I'm thinking about including Richard Dawkins, Susan Blackmore, Dan
    >> Dennett, Derek Gatherer and Kate Distin. Any thoughts on this collection?
    >> Did I forget anyone?
    >> Mogens
    >> ===============================================================
    >> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    >> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    >> For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
    >> see:



    Proc Biol Sci. 2000 Jul 7;267(1450):1355-61.

    The mimetic transition: a simulation study of the evolution of learning by imitation.

    Higgs PG.

    School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, UK.

    Culturally transmitted ideas or memes must have had a large effect on the survival and fecundity of early humans. Those with better techniques of obtaining food and making tools, clothing and shelters would have had a substantial advantage. It has been proposed that memes can explain why our species has an unusually large brain and high cognitive ability: the brain evolved because of selection for the ability to imitate. This article presents an evolutionary model of a population in which culturally transmitted memes can have both positive and negative effects on the fitness of individuals. It is found that genes for increased imitative ability are selectively favoured. The model predicts that imitative ability increases slowly until a mimetic transition occurs where memes become able to spread like an epidemic. At this point there is a dramatic increase in the imitative ability, the number of memes known per individual and the mean fitness of the population. Selection for increased imitative ability is able to overcome substantial selection against increased brain size in some cases.

    PMID: 10972132 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    IEEE Trans Syst Man Cybern B Cybern. 2006 Feb;36(1):141-52.

    Classification of adaptive memetic algorithms: a comparative study.

    Ong YS, Lim MH, Zhu N, Wong KW.

    School of Computer Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798.

    Adaptation of parameters and operators represents one of the recent most important and promising areas of research in evolutionary computations; it is a form of designing self-configuring algorithms that acclimatize to suit the problem in hand. Here, our interests are on a recent breed of hybrid evolutionary algorithms typically known as adaptive memetic algorithms (MAs). One unique feature of adaptive MAs is the choice of local search methods or memes and recent studies have shown that this choice significantly affects the performances of problem searches. In this paper, we present a classification of memes adaptation in adaptive MAs on the basis of the mechanism used and the level of historical knowledge on the memes employed. Then the asymptotic convergence properties of the adaptive MAs considered are analyzed according to the classification. Subsequently, empirical studies on representatives of adaptive MAs for different type-level meme adaptations using continuous benchmark problems indicate that global-level adaptive MAs exhibit better search performances. Finally we conclude with some promising research directions in the area.

    Publication Types:
        Evaluation Studies

    PMID: 16468573 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch. 2004 Apr;35(2):105-11.

    A meme's eye view of speech-language pathology.

    Kamhi AG.

    Department of Communicative Disorders, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb 60115, USA.

    In this article, the reason why certain terms, labels, and ideas prevail, whereas others fail to gain acceptance, will be considered. Borrowing the concept of "meme" from the study of evolution of ideas, it will be clear why language-based and phonological disorders have less widespread appeal than, for example, auditory processing and sensory integration disorders. Discussion will also center on why most speech-language pathologists refer to themselves as speech therapists or speech pathologists, and why it is more desirable to have dyslexia than to have a reading disability. In a meme's eye view, science and logic do not always win out because selection favors ideas (memes) that are easy to understand, remember, and copy. An unfortunate consequence of these selection forces is that successful memes typically provide superficially plausible answers for complex questions.

    PMID: 15191323 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    Artif Life. 2000 Summer;6(3):227-35.

    On meme--gene coevolution.

    Bull L, Holland O, Blackmore S.

    Faculty of Computer Studies and Mathematics, University of the West of England, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK.

    In this article we examine the effects of the emergence of a new replicator, memes, on the evolution of a pre-existing replicator, genes. Using a version of the NKCS model we examine the effects of increasing the rate of meme evolution in relation to the rate of gene evolution, for various degrees of interdependence between the two replicators. That is, the effects of memes'
    (suggested) more rapid rate of evolution in comparison to that of genes is investigated using a tunable model of coevolution. It is found that, for almost any degree of interdependence between the two replicators, as the rate of meme evolution increases, a phase transition-like dynamic occurs under which memes have a significantly detrimental effect on the evolution of genes, quickly resulting in the cessation of effective gene evolution. Conversely, the memes experience a sharp increase in benefit from increasing their rate of evolution. We then examine the effects of enabling genes to reduce the percentage of gene-detrimental evolutionary steps taken by memes. Here a critical region emerges as the comparative rate of meme evolution increases, such that if genes cannot effectively select memes a high percentage of the time, they suffer from meme evolution as if they had almost no selective capability.

    PMID: 11224917 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    Sci Am. 2000 Oct;283(4):70-1.

    Meme theory oversimplifies how culture changes.

    Boyd R, Richerson PJ.

    University of California, Los Angeles, USA.

    PMID: 11011386 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    Perspect Biol Med. 2000 Winter;43(2):227-42.

    The meme metaphor.

    Jeffreys M.

    University of Alabama at Birmingham 35294-0006, USA.

    PMID: 10804587 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    Behav Brain Sci. 1998 Aug;21(4):547-69; discussion 569-609.

    Folk biology and the anthropology of science: cognitive universals and cultural particulars.

    Atran S.

    Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CREA (Ecole Polytechnique), Paris, France.;

    This essay in the "anthropology of science" is about how cognition constrains culture in producing science. The example is folk biology, whose cultural recurrence issues from the very same domain-specific cognitive universals that provide the historical backbone of systematic biology. Humans everywhere think about plants and animals in highly structured ways. People have similar folk-biological taxonomies composed of essence-based, species-like groups and the ranking of species into lower- and higher-order groups. Such taxonomies are not as arbitrary in structure and content, nor as variable across cultures, as the assembly of entities into cosmologies, materials, or social groups. These structures are routine products of our "habits of mind," which may in part be naturally selected to grasp relevant and recurrent "habits of the world." An experiment illustrates that the same taxonomic rank is preferred for making biological inferences in two diverse populations: Lowland Maya and Midwest Americans. These findings cannot be explained by domain-general models of similarity because such models cannot account for why both cultures prefer species-like groups, although Americans have relatively little actual knowledge or experience at this level. This supports a modular view of folk biology as a core domain of human knowledge and as a special player, or "core meme," in the selection processes by which cultures evolve. Structural aspects of folk taxonomy provide people in different cultures with the built-in constraints and flexibility that allow them to understand and respond appropriately to different cultural and ecological settings. Another set of reasoning experiments shows that Maya, American folk, and scientists use similarly structured taxonomies in somewhat different ways to extend their understanding of the world in the face of uncertainty. Although folk and scientific taxonomies diverge historically, they continue to interact. The theory of evolution may ultimately dispense with the core concepts of folk biology, including species, taxonomy, and teleology; in practice, however, these may remain indispensable to doing scientific work. Moreover, theory-driven scientific knowledge cannot simply replace folk knowledge in everyday life. Folk-biological knowledge is not driven by implicit or inchoate theories of the sort science aims to make more accurate and perfect.

    Publication Types:

    PMID: 10097021 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    Mem Cognit. 1999 Jan;27(1):94-105.

    The inadvertent use of prior knowledge in a generative cognitive task.

    Marsh RL, Ward TB, Landau JD.

    Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-3013, USA.

    In four experiments with 332 participants, participants were asked to generate novel nonwords for English categories. When participants were shown examples embedded with regular orthographic structures, participants' nonwords tended to conform orthographically to the examples, despite instructions to avoid using features of the examples. The effect was found with immediate testing
    (Experiments 1) and delayed testing (Experiment 2). The effect was also found with arbitrary features (Experiments 1-4), as well as with naturally occurring orthographic regularities (Experiment 4). Participants had difficulty avoiding the use of this prior knowledge, despite being able to list the features they were asked to avoid (Experiment 3). The results are discussed in terms of the inadvertent use of prior knowledge in generative cognitive tasks.

    PMID: 10087859 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    Anim Behav. 1998 Oct;56(4):995-1003.

    Cultural variation in savannah sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis, songs: an analysis using the meme concept.

    Burnell K.

    Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara

    I used the meme concept to investigate patterns of cultural variation among the songs of eight, geographically distinct populations of savannah sparrows. Memes composed of only one syllable were geographically widespread and randomly distributed among populations, but memes of two-, three- and four-syllables became progressively more restricted in their geographical distribution. Thus, the populations were memetically more similar with respect to one-syllable memes and more divergent with respect to larger memes. These results suggest that differences in memetic mutation rates and susceptibility to loss by memetic drift could be sufficient to create the observed pattern of greater divergence among populations for large memes. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

    PMID: 9790711 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


    J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 1998 Mar;24(2):336-49.

    Event-based prospective memory and executive control of working memory.

    Marsh RL, Hicks JL.

    Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-3013, USA.

    In 5 experiments, the character of concurrent cognitive processing was manipulated during an event-based prospective memory task. High- and low-load conditions that differed only in the difficulty of the concurrent task were tested in each experiment. In Experiments 1 and 2, attention-demanding tasks from the literature on executive control produced decrements in prospective memory. In Experiment 3, attention was divided by different loads of articulatory suppression that did not ultimately lead to decrements in prospective memory. A high-load manipulation of a visuospatial task requiring performance monitoring resulted in worse prospective memory in Experiment 4, whereas in Experiment 5 a visuospatial task with little monitoring did not. Results are discussed in terms of executive functions, such as planning and monitoring, that appear to be critical to successful event-based prospective memory.

    Publication Types:
        Clinical Trial
        Randomized Controlled Trial

    PMID: 9530843 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    Ann Intern Med. 1986 Nov;105(5):788-9.

    Meme machines.

    Diamond GA.

    Publication Types:

    PMID: 3767156 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

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