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 [email protected]


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.