@misc{cogprints975, volume = {9}, number = {67}, month = {December}, title = {Autocatalytic Closure in a Cognitive System: A Tentative Scenario for the Origin of Culture}, author = {L. Gabora}, year = {1998}, journal = {Psycoloquy}, keywords = {abstraction, altruism, animal cognition, attractor, autocatalysis, categorization, censorship, concept, consciousness, content addressability, creativity, culture, cultural learning, distributed representation, diversity, drives, episodic memory, evolution, fitness, homo Erectus, information, imitation, innovation, modularity, meme, memory, mimesis, origin of life, pattern, representational redescription, selection, self-organization, social learning, subsymbolic computation, symbol manipulation, worldview.}, url = {http://cogprints.org/975/}, abstract = {This paper presents a speculative model of the cognitive mechanisms underlying the transition from episodic to mimetic (or memetic) culture with the arrival of Homo erectus, which Donald [1991] claims paved the way for the unique features of human culture. The model draws on Kauffman's [1993] theory of how an information-evolving system emerges through the formation of an autocatalytic network. Though originally formulated to explain the origin of life, this theory also provides a plausible account of how discrete episodic memories become woven into an internal model of the world, or worldview, that both structures, and is structured by, self-triggered streams of thought. Social interaction plays a role in (and may be critical to) this process. Implications for cognitive development are explored.} }