Title

The Foundations of Experimental Semiotics

Abstract

Experimental semiotics is defined as the elucidation of symbols that gain their meaning by being structured to take advantage of the human sensory apparatus. In making this definition a distinction is made between languages which are fundamentally sensory and those which are fundamentally conventional . Experimental semiotics is concerned with the former. Sensory representations are good (or bad) because they are well matched to the early stages of neural processing of sensory information. They tend to be stable across individuals and cultures. Conversely, conventional languages gain their power from culture and are dependent on the particular cultural milieu of an individual. This theoretical distinction provides a basis for testable predictions about the ease of learning for languages in the two classes. The examples given are mostly based on the visual modality, but the distinction also applies to other sensory modalities. Methods for testing claims about sensory versus conventional languages are discussed.

Publication Date

3-1993

Journal or Conference Title

Journal of Visual Languages and Computing

Volume

4, Issue 1

Pages

91-100

Publisher Place

New York, NY, USA

Publisher

Elsevier

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1006/jvlc.1993.1006

Document Type

Journal Article

Rights

Copyright © 1993 Academic Press. All rights reserved.