Simplicity Theory: Why did human brains specialize in detecting abnormal order?

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  • user warning: Table 'cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h1>&nbsp;<span style=\"font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 17px; \">&nbsp;</span></h1>\n<h1 class=\"rtecenter\">Simplicity Theory: Why did human brains specialize in detecting abnormal order?</h1>\n<p class=\"rtecenter\"><a href=\"http://www.dessalles.fr\"><strong>Jean-Louis Dessalles</strong></a><strong>&nbsp;(School of Telecom, ParisTech)</strong><i><span lang=\"EN-GB\"></span></i></p>\n<p> </p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<h2>Abstract:</h2>\n<p class=\"MsoNormal\"><span lang=\"EN-GB\">Human beings devote some two hours each day on average to reporting events, through conversational narratives. This behaviour is unique in the animal kingdom. <br /> Simplicity Theory offers a formal characterization of what makes an event narratable. Interesting events (exceptions, deviations from norms, coincidences, rarities, emotional situations...) all share the property of offering abnormal order: they are <i>less complex</i> than anticipated. Complexity drop (simplicity) seems to be a key determining factor, not only of interest, but also of aesthetics and of emotional intensity. Why did human beings evolve a sense of simplicity?</span></p>\n<h2>&nbsp;</h2>\n<h2>Bibliography:</h2>\n<p><font face=\"Times New Roman, Times, serif\">Dessalles, J-L. (2008). <i>La pertinence et ses origines cognitives - Nouvelles th&eacute;ories.</i> <br /> Paris: Hermes-Science Publications. <a target=\"_blank\" href=\"http://pertinence.dessalles.fr\">pertinence.dessalles.fr</a></font></p>\n<p> Dessalles, J-L. (2009). <i>Why we talk - The evolutionary origins of language</i> (2nd edition). <br /> Oxford: Oxford University Press. <a target=\"_blank\" href=\"http://www.dessalles.fr/WWT/\">www.dessalles.fr/WWT/</a></p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<h1>Slides of the talk:</h1>\n<p><a href=\"http://ecco.vub.ac.be/sites/all/files/VUB-ECCO-Simplicity-Theory-12-Oct-2012.pdf\">&nbsp;http://ecco.vub.ac.be/sites/all/files/VUB-ECCO-Simplicity-Theory-12-Oct-2012.pdf</a></p>\n<p>Additional slides can be found <a href=\"http://www.simplicitytheory.org\">here</a>.</p>\n<h1>&nbsp;</h1>\n<h2>Video recording of the talk</h2>\n<p>Part 1:&nbsp;<a href=\"https://vimeo.com/51320719\" target=\"_blank\" style=\"color: rgb(17, 85, 204); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.800000190734863px; font-weight: normal; \">https://vimeo.com/51320719</a></p>\n<p>Part 2:&nbsp;<a href=\"https://vimeo.com/51334527\" target=\"_blank\" style=\"color: rgb(17, 85, 204); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.800000190734863px; font-weight: normal; \">https://vimeo.com/51334527</a></p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n', created = 1631825073, expire = 1631911473, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:de1a2a4f049505683961c7d61908c5a2' in /home2/secrecco/www/includes/cache.inc on line 109.

  

Simplicity Theory: Why did human brains specialize in detecting abnormal order?

Jean-Louis Dessalles (School of Telecom, ParisTech)

 

Abstract:

Human beings devote some two hours each day on average to reporting events, through conversational narratives. This behaviour is unique in the animal kingdom.
Simplicity Theory offers a formal characterization of what makes an event narratable. Interesting events (exceptions, deviations from norms, coincidences, rarities, emotional situations...) all share the property of offering abnormal order: they are less complex than anticipated. Complexity drop (simplicity) seems to be a key determining factor, not only of interest, but also of aesthetics and of emotional intensity. Why did human beings evolve a sense of simplicity?

 

Bibliography:

Dessalles, J-L. (2008). La pertinence et ses origines cognitives - Nouvelles théories.
Paris: Hermes-Science Publications. pertinence.dessalles.fr

Dessalles, J-L. (2009). Why we talk - The evolutionary origins of language (2nd edition).
Oxford: Oxford University Press. www.dessalles.fr/WWT/

 

Slides of the talk:

 http://ecco.vub.ac.be/sites/all/files/VUB-ECCO-Simplicity-Theory-12-Oct-2012.pdf

Additional slides can be found here.

 

Video recording of the talk

Part 1: https://vimeo.com/51320719

Part 2: https://vimeo.com/51334527