Levels of Coordination in Early Semantic Development

Abstract

In this paper, we show that early interaction can be seen as comprising of strands of coordinated activity on multiple levels and timescales. In tracing the development of such multilayered organization from an embodied and situated perspective, we underscore the role of the reliable presence of the structured environment, an enacted niche, supporting the segregation and integration of participatory interaction strands. This perspective allows us to study the development of social coordination not only in terms of development of individual skills but, crucially, as a change of participatory emergent patterns, a transformation in engagement. We illustrate this approach with some results from the collaborative research project on Early Semantic Development (EASE). Using qualitative microanalysis combined with quantitative dynamical time series analyses, we were able to demonstrate several layers of such organization: from local forms of coordination, such as basic informational coupling within a modality, and the emergence of specific social affordances, to more global co-action structures such as affect imbued ‘action arcs’ – dynamic action contours with a beginning, build-up, climax and resolution, co-enacted by participants. Pointing to future work, we underscore the potential of these global structures to contribute to the emergence of more complex interactions, such as composite activities within ‘pragmatic frames’, narratives, or language.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Abney, D. H., Warlaumont, A. S., Oller, D. K., Wallot, S., & Kello, C. T. (2017). Multiple coordination patterns in infant and adult vocalizations. Infancy22(4), 514–539.

  • Bakeman, R., & Adamson, L. B. (1984). Coordinating attention to people and objects in mother-infant and peer-infant interaction. Child Development55, 1278–1289.

  • Bates, E., Benigni, L., Bretherton, I., Camaioni, L., & Volterra, V. (1979). The emergence of symbols: cognition and communication in infancy. New York: Academic Press.

  • Bateson, G. (1955). A theory of play and fantasy. Psychiatric Research Reports2, 39–51.

  • Bateson, M. C. (1975). Mother-infant exchanges: the epigenesis of conversational interaction. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences263(1), 101–113. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1975.tb41575.x

  • Bateson, M. C. (1979). The epigenesis of conversational interaction: a personal account of research development. In M. Bullowa (Ed.), Before speech. The beginning of interpersonal communication. (pp. 63–77). London, New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • Boersma, P. (2001). Praat, a system for doing phonetics by computer. Glot International 59/10, 341-345.

  • Bokus, B. (1992). Peer co-narration: Changes in structure of preschoolers’ participation. Journal of Narrative and Life History2(3), 253–275.

  • Brazelton, T. B., Koslowski, B., & Main, M. (1974). The origins of reciprocity: The early mother-infant interaction. In M. Lewis & L. A. Rosenblum (Eds.), The effect of the infant on its caregiver (pp. xxiv, 264). Oxford, England: Wiley-Interscience.

  • Brette, R. (2019). Is coding a relevant metaphor for the brain? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1-44. doi:10.1017/S0140525X19000049

  • Brown, R. (1973). A first language: The early stages. Harvard: Harvard University Press.

  • Bruner, J. S. (1985). The role of interaction formats in language acquisition. Language and Social Situations, 31–46.

  • Bruner, J. S. (1990). Acts of meaning. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

  • Bruner, J. S., & Watson, R. (1983). Child’s talk: learning to use language. New York: W.W. Norton.

  • De Jaegher, H., & Di Paolo, E. A. (2007). Participatory sense-making. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11097-007-9076-9

  • De Jaegher, H., & Di Paolo, E. A. (2008). Making sense in participation: An enactive approach to social cognition. In F. Morganti, A. Carassa, & G. Riva (Eds.), Enacting Intersubjectivity (Vol. 10, pp. 33–47). IOS Press. Retrieved from http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Users/ezequiel/01DeJaegher-DiPaolo.pdf

  • Deacon, T. W. (1997). The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain. W. W. Norton & Co., New York.

  • Delafield-Butt, J. T., & Trevarthen, C. (2015). The ontogenesis of narrative: from moving to meaning. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01157

  • Fogel, A. (1993). Developing through relationships: origins of communication, self, and culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Fogel, A., & Thelen, E. (1987). Development of early expressive and communicative action: Reinterpreting the evidence from a dynamic systems perspective. Developmental Psychology23(6), 747–761. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.23.6.747

  • Gibson, E. J., & Pick, A. D. (2000). An ecological approach to perceptual learning and development. Oxford University Press, USA.

  • Goffman, E. (1986). Frame analysis. Boston: Northeastern University Press.

  • Heft, H. (1989). Affordances and the body: An intentional analysis of Gibson’s ecological approach to visual perception. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour19(1), 1–30.

  • Heller, V., & Rohlfing, K. J. (2017). Reference as an interactive achievement: sequential and longitudinal analyses of labeling interactions in shared book reading and free play. Frontiers in Psychology8, 139.

  • Hodges, B. H. (2009). Ecological pragmatics: Values, dialogical arrays, complexity, and caring. Pragmatics & Cognition17(3), 628–652.

  • Hodges, B. H., & Baron, R. M. (1992). Values as constraints on affordances: Perceiving and acting properly. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour22(3), 263–294. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5914.1992.tb00220.x

  • Hodges, B. H., & Rączaszek-Leonardi, J. (submitted). The necessity of values: Values-realizing theory in action and interaction.

  • Kalal, Z., Mikolajczyk, K., & Matas, J. (2010). Face-tld: Tracking-learning-detection applied to faces. In Image Processing (ICIP), 2010 17th IEEE International Conference on (pp. 3789–3792). IEEE.

  • Kaye, K. (1979). Thickening thin data: the maternal role in developing communication and language. In M. Bullowa (Ed.), Before speech. The beginning of interpersonal communication (pp. 191–206). Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • Kaye, K., & Fogel, A. (1980). The temporal structure of face-to-face communication between mothers and infants. Developmental Psychology16(5), 454–464. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.16.5.454

  • Kelso. J. A. S. (1994). The informational character of self-organized coordination dynamics. Human Movement Science13, 393–413.

  • Kelso, J. A. S. (1998). From Bernstein’s physiology of activity to coordination dynamics. Progress in Motor Control1, 203–219.

  • Langer, S. K. (1967). Mind: Essay on human feeling. Baltimore.

  • Leonardi, G., Nomikou, I., Rohlfing, K. J. & Rączaszek-Leonardi, J. (2016). Vocal interactions at the dawn of communication: The emergence of mutuality and complementarity in mother-infant interaction. In: Proceedings of the IEEE ICDL-EpiRob, Cergy-Pontoise, pp. 288-293.

  • Malloch, S., & Trevarthen, C. (2009). Musicality: Communicating the vitality and interests of life. In S. Malloch & C. Trevarthen (Eds.), Communicative musicality: Exploring the basis of human companionship (pp. 1–11). Retrieved from http://www.oup.co.uk/pdf/0-19-856628-X.pdf

  • Merleau-Ponty, M. (1965). Phenomenology of perception. London; New York: Routledge & K. Paul; Humanities Press.

  • Minsky, M. (1974). A framework for representing knowledge (Laboratory Memo 306). Cambridge, MA: MIT. Retrieved from https://web.media.mit.edu/~minsky/papers/Frames/frames.html

  • Newson, J., & Newson, E. (1975). Intersubjectivity and the transmission of culture: On the social origins of symbolic functioning. Bulletin of the British Psychological Society. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1979-03234-001

  • Nomikou, I., Leonardi, G., Radkowska, A., Rączaszek-Leonardi, J., & Rohlfing, K. J. (2017). Taking up an active role: emerging participation in early mother–infant interaction during peekaboo routines. Frontiers in Psychology8, 1656.

  • Nomikou, I., Leonardi G., Rohlfing K, Rączaszek-Leonardi, J. (2016). Constructing interaction: the development of gaze dynamics. Infant and Child Development25(3), 277–295, DOI: 10.1002/icd.1975

  • Nomikou, I., & Rohlfing, K. J. (2011). Language does something: Body action and language in maternal input to three-month-olds. IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development3(2), 113–128. https://doi.org/10.1109/TAMD.2011.2140113

  • Nomikou, I., Rohlfing, K. J., & Szufnarowska, J. (2013). Educating attention: Recruiting, maintaining, and framing eye contact in early natural mother–infant interactions. Interaction Studies14(2), 240–267. https://doi.org/10.1075/is.14.2.05nom

  • Perra, O., & Gattis, M. (2012). Attention engagement in early infancy. Infant behavior and development35(4), 635–644.

  • Rączaszek-Leonardi, J. (2012). Language as a system of replicable constraints. In Laws, language and life (pp. 295–333). Springer.

  • Rączaszek-Leonardi, J. (2016). How does a word become a message? An illustration on a developmental time-scale. New Ideas in Psychology42, 46–55. doi:10.1016/j.newideapsych.2015.08.001

  • Rączaszek-Leonardi, J., & Nomikou, I. (2015). Beyond mechanistic interaction: value-based constraints on meaning in language. Frontiers in Psychology6, 1579.

  • Rączaszek-Leonardi, J., Nomikou, I., & Rohlfing, K. (2013). Young children’s dialogical actions: The beginnings of purposeful intersubjectivity. IEEE Transactions in Autonomous Mental Development5(3), 210–221.

  • Rączaszek-Leonardi, J., Nomikou, I., Rohlfing, K. J., & Deacon, T. W. (2018). Language development from an ecological perspective: Ecologically valid ways to abstract symbols. Ecological Psychology30(1), 39–73.

  • Radkowska, A., Nomikou, I., Leonardi, G., Rohlfing, K. J., & Rączaszek-Leonardi, J. (2017). Scaffolding vocal development: maternal responsiveness to infant speech-like vocalizations at three, six and eight months. Poster presented at the 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language.

  • Reddy, V. (2008). How infants know minds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Reddy, V., Markova, G., & Wallot, S. (2013). Anticipatory adjustments to being picked up in infancy. PLoS ONE8(6), e65289. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0065289

  • Rohlfing, K. J., Leonardi, G., Nomikou, I., Rączaszek-Leonardi, J., & Hüllermeier, E. (2019). Multimodal turn-taking: Motivations, methodological challenges, and novel approaches. IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems, 1–1. https://doi.org/10.1109/TCDS.2019.2892991

  • Rohlfing, K. J., & Nomikou, I. (2014). Intermodal synchrony as a form of maternal responsiveness: association with language development. Language, Interaction and Acquisition5(1), 117–136.

  • Rohlfing, K. J., Wrede, B., Vollmer, A. -L., & Oudeyer, P.-Y. (2016). An Alternative to Mapping a Word onto a Concept in Language Acquisition: Pragmatic Frames. Frontiers in Psychology7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00470

  • Rossmanith, N. (2017). Culture in the making: Jointly structuring shared spaces of meaning and action in infant-caregiver-object interactions over the first year of life. University of Portsmouth.

  • Rossmanith N. (in preparation). Varieties of triads: different patterns of joint attention-and-action-coordination in different ecological infant-caregiver activity contexts and their development over the first year.

  • Rossmanith, N., Costall, A., Reichelt, A. F., López, B., & Reddy, V. (2014). Jointly structuring triadic spaces of meaning and action: book sharing from 3 months on. Frontiers in Psychology5, 1390. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01390

  • Rossmanith, N., et al. (in preparation). From jointly enacting affect-imbued action arcs to co-creating systemically structured sense-and-action scapes: proposing a pathway towards increasing participation, cooperation, and symbol use.

  • Schank, R. C. & Abelson, R. P. (1977). Scripts, Plans, Goals and Understanding: an Inquiry into Human Knowledge Structures. L. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.

  • Stern, D. N. (1971). A micro-analysis of mother-infant interaction: Behavior regulating social contact between a mother and her 3-1/2-month-old twins. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry10(3), 501–517. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-7138(09)61752-0

  • Stern, D. N. (1974). Mother and infant at play: The dyadic interaction involving facial, vocal, and gaze behaviors. In The effect of the infant on its caregiver (pp. xxiv, 264). Oxford, England: Wiley-Interscience.

  • Stern, D. N. (2010a). Forms of vitality: exploring dynamic experience in psychology, the arts, psychotherapy, and development. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Stern, D. N. (2010b). The issue of vitality. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy19(2), 88–102. https://doi.org/10.1080/08098131.2010.497634

  • Stivers, T., Enfield, N. J., Brown, P., Englert, C., Hayashi, M., Heinemann, T., … & Levinson, S. C. (2009). Universals and cultural variation in turn-taking in conversation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, pnas–0903616106.

  • Szufnarowska, J., & Rohlfing, K. J. (2014). Enfolding interaction with two-month-olds. In Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Developmental Psychology (pp. 213–218). Monduzzi Editore Lausanne, Switzerland, Bologna.

  • Thelen, E., & Bates, E. (2003). Connectionism and dynamic systems: Are they really different? Developmental Science6(4), 378–391.

  • Thelen, E., & Smith, L. B. (1994). A dynamic systems approach to the development of cognition and action. Cambridge, Mass.; London: MIT Press.

  • Tomasello, M., Carpenter, M., Call, J., Behne, T., & Moll, H. (2005). Understanding and sharing intentions: The origins of cultural cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences28(05), 675–691. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X05000129

  • Van Geert, P. (1994). Dynamic systems of development: Change between complexity and chaos. Harvester Wheatsheaf.

  • Warlaumont, A. S., Richards, J. A., Gilkerson, J., & Oller, D. K. (2014). A social feedback loop for speech development and its reduction in autism. Psychological Science25(7), 1314–1324.

  • Webber Jr, C. L., & Zbilut, J. P. (2005). Recurrence quantification analysis of nonlinear dynamical systems. Tutorials in Contemporary Nonlinear Methods for the Behavioral Sciences, 26–94.

  • Wittenburg, P., Brugman, H., Russel, A., Klassmann, A., & Sloetjes, H. (2006). ELAN: a professional framework for multimodality research. In 5th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2006) (pp. 1556–1559).

  • Wittgenstein, L. (1953/2009). Philosophical Investigations (Revised 4th ed.). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

OPEN ACCESS

Journal + Issues

Search