sensory and sensibility

From: Francesca S. Alcorn (
Date: Fri Jan 18 2002 - 16:39:05 GMT

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    Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 11:39:05 -0500
    From: "Francesca S. Alcorn" <>
    Subject: sensory and sensibility
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    I wrote:
    >As the mother of a three-year-old, I think there is memetic stuff
    >happening *way* before that. Especially when you talk about memes
    >on a behavioral level. Maybe the way to operationalize this is to
    >ask when is the first time you demonstrated something for your child
    >and they copied you. No. That won't work, babies imitate facial
    >expressions at birth, it is hardwired in. Perhaps certain types of
    >behavior then. Manipulating objects, maybe? Is memetic behavior by
    >definition learned and not hardwired? If so, how can you
    >operationalize that distinction?

    What about the behavior of using something to stand for something
    else? My three year old wears a stocking cap and calls it his helmet
    (he's just seen Shrek). This is called symbolic play, IIRC, and
    there is a whole *bunch* of literature out there about it. It's
    absence has even been linked to certain childhood disorders, which
    might be a clue as to what parts of the brain are involved and what
    it means for long term development.

    It implies that we have abstracted certain qualities about an object,
    and have an internal representation of such. Seems like it might be
    a start.

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