Human Nature

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 77–111

Segmentation in behavior and what it can tell us about brain function

Authors

  • Margret Schleidt
    • Human EthologyMax Planck Society
  • Jenny Kien
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12110-997-1005-7

Cite this article as:
Schleidt, M. & Kien, J. Hum Nat (1997) 8: 77. doi:10.1007/s12110-997-1005-7
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Abstract

Natural human behavior is segmented into action units, functionally related groups of movements with durations of a few seconds. This phenomenon can also be found in nonhuman primates and other mammals. In humans, a similar segmentation can be found in planning, preparatory behavior, perception, and speech.

Temporal segmentation may be related to the functioning of short-term memory. Segmentation may thus be a central feature of neuronal integration. Segment length was hitherto thought to be determined by either capacity constraints or temporal factors. Instead we show that segment length depends on the interplay between capacity and temporal factors.

Key words

BehaviorPerceptionPrimatesProcessing capacityRepetitionSpeechShort-term memoryTime structure

Copyright information

© Walter de Gruyter, Inc 1997