Biosemiotics 7 (2):279-298 (2014)

This paper is divided into two parts. Part I focuses on the manner in which the components of the face recognition system work together so that a perceiver, within several hundred milliseconds after seeing a familiar face, is able to both identify the face of the perceived and recall elements of the history of past encounters with the perceived. Face recognition plays a crucial role in enabling both human and nonhuman primates to interact in collaborative social groups. This critical function is accomplished through the unidirectional coded transfer of informational elements from one component to another. Although these informational elements themselves are not meaningful to the perceiving agent, they do nevertheless contain essential bits of information that are necessary for the final formation of the meaningful message. The structural components of the system are identified and the manner in which informational elements are coded and transferred sequentially from component to component in the brain of the perceiver is described. The independent, physically separated components in the face recognition system are bridged by an additional component, an “adaptor”, that mediates the transfer of informational elements from one component to another. The nature of the independent systems, and the manner by which the bridging or adaptor apparatus enables coded information transfer from one system to another is discussed. Part II focuses on the analysis of recognition in human-designed sign systems such as Braille and Morse code. Recognition in human-designed sign systems is notable for the stability of the link between sign and meaning. Face recognition is characterized as being subjective, indicating that the meaning of a sign to a perceiver is variable and dependent on context, whereas human-devised sign recognition is characterized as being objective, indicating that the meaning of a sign is context independent and invariant. Human-designed sign systems require the presence in brain of a referent world. An example of a referent world is the set of letters of the alphabet. Representations of this set are installed in the brain through social mediated learning. Human-designed sets of signs are created to correspond, via a code enabling adaptor structure, to referent worlds in the brain. Human-designed sign systems are the foundations for literacy, a capability only found in humans
Keywords Face recognition  Codes  Signs  Meaning  Information  Representation  Memory  Human-devised sign systems  Sign recognition  Context  Referent worlds  Objectivity  Subjectivity  Semiotic freedom  Literacy
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DOI 10.1007/s12304-014-9217-9
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References found in this work BETA

The Paradigms of Biology.Marcello Barbieri - 2013 - Biosemiotics 6 (1):33-59.
Origin and Evolution of the Brain.Marcello Barbieri - 2011 - Biosemiotics 4 (3):369-399.

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