Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Blind men, elephants, and dancing information processors

Chris Westbury a1
a1 Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada


Whatever else language may be, it is complex and multifaceted. Shanker & King (S&K) have tried to contrast a dynamic interactive view of language with an information processing view. I take issue with two main claims: first, that the dynamic interactive view of language is a “new paradigm” in either animal research or human language studies; and second, that the dynamic systems language-as-dance view of language is in any way incompatible with an information-processing view of language. That some information is defined in coregulated social interaction guarantees the dancing. That all information is composed of relevant differences guarantees the information processing.