CHAPTER 9 – PHEREMONES | LANGUAGE | MIRRORS
Most of the discussion of ant pheromones comes from Deborah Gordon’s Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010).
The Vanderbilt study mapping out the ant’s 400 different olfactory receptors was reported by various outlets; see, for example, “Ants Have Exceptionally ‘Hi-Def’ Sense of Smell,” Science Daily, September 10, 2012.
The Language Log at the University of Pennsylvania notes that the online Roster of Programming Languages lists 8,512 computer languages. They joke about how someone was able to count all of the programming languages, but there is some truth to their point: I suspect that number, while as good as any, is not terribly credible. The author, Stanford linguist Arnold M. Zwicky, estimates that the number is at least 7,000.
Ed Stabler’s comments about the demand for linguists were found in “Linguists Suddenly ‘Hot’ Hires in Dot.Com World” published on October 10, 2000 by UCLA Today, which is a magazine for UCLA faculty and staff.
While the precise time periods are not known, the language acquisition critical development periods are reasonably well understood. Articles used here include: Christophe Pallier, “Critical Periods in Language Acquisition and Language Attrition,” in Language Attrition: Theoretical Perspectives, ed. Barbara Köpke, Monika S. Schmid, Merel Keijzer, and Susan Dostert (Amsterdam and Philadelphia: J. Benjamins, 2007), 155–168; Susan J. Hespos, “Language Acquisition: When Does the Learning Begin?” Current Biology 17, no. 16 (2007): R628–R630; and Stephen D. Krashen, “Lateralization, Language Learning, and the Critical Period: Some New Evidence,” Language Learning 23, no. 1 (1973): 63–74.
Steven Pinker’s quote comes from The Language Instinct (New York: William Morrow, 1994).
The quote from David Birdsong and the data for the accompanying figure come from his article “Interpreting Age Effects in Second Language Acquisition,” in Handbook of Bilingualism: Psycholinguistic Approaches, ed. Judith F. Kroll and Annette M. B. DeGroot (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 109–127.
A portion of this section, as well as section V, comes from prior work, including my previous book Wired for Thought: How the Brain Is Shaping the Future of the Internet (Boston: Harvard Business Press, 2009), as well as work performed by Jim Anderson, George Miller, Steve Reiss, Dan Ariely, Paul Allopenna, Carl Dunham, Andrew Duchon, David Landan, John Santini, and the entire brain science team at Simpli.
George Miller unfortunately passed away in 2012, but his work can still be found at Princeton. For more detailed information on WordNet, see WordNet: An Electronic Lexical Database, edited by Christiane Fellbaum with a preface by George Miller (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1998).
Steven Pinker’s quote comes from his book How the Mind Works (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997).
The seminal work on spreading activation comes from Allan M. Collins and Elizabeth F. Loftus, “A Spreading-Activation Theory of Semantic Processing,” Psychological Review 82, no. 6 (1975): 407–428.
The ad with the woman stuffed into a suitcase was referenced from Stefanie Olsen, “Automated Search Ads Can Boomerang,” CNET News, September 26, 2003.
You can learn more about Giacomo Rizzolatti’s research and how he discovered mirror neurons by visiting his academic website. Rizzolatti’s story was retold by Sandra Blakeslee in “Cells That Read Minds,” New York Times, January 10, 2006.
V. S. Ramachandran’s quote about mirror neurons appeared in his January 2006 Edge article, “Mirror Neurons and the Brain in the Vat.”
USC neuroscientist Michael Arbib’s quote comes from James R. Hurford, “Language beyond Our Grasp: What Mirror Neurons Can, and Cannot, Do for the Evolution of Language,” Evolution of Communication Systems (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), 297–314.
Elkhonon Goldberg’s quotes come from The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger As Your Brain Grows Older(New York: Gotham Books, 2006).
Devavrat Shah’s critique of Netflix was published in an article by Chris Matyszczyk, “MIT Prof: Netflix Has Its Recommendations Wrong,” CNET, July 11, 2011.
Other info about the Netflix algorithm, including the quote from the Netflix algorithm team comes from Xavier Amatriain and Justin Basilico, “Netflix Recommendations: Beyond the 5 stars,” The Netflix Tech Blog, June 20, 2012.
An interesting spin on the Netflix Prize winners and new contest is presented by Michael V. Copeland, “Box Office Boffo for Brainiacs: The Netflix Prize,” CNN Money, September 21, 2009.
The Forrester Research study that estimated as much as 60percent of Netflix recommendations turn to sales was reported by JP Mangalindan, “Amazon’s Recommendation Secret,” CNN Money, July 30, 2012.
Information on Amazon’s collaborative filtering comes in part from Greg Linden, Brent Smith, and Jeremy York of Amazon.com, through an industry report by the IEEE Computer Society, January/February 2003 titled “Amazon.com Recommendations: Item-to-Item Collaborative Filtering.”
Quote from Fortune about the Amazon recommendation engine comes from JP Mangalindan’s article “Amazon’s Recommendation Secret” from the July 2012 issue.
An account of YouTube’s switch to Amazon’s algorithms can be found in this article: James Davidson, Benjamin Liebald, Junning Liu, Palash Nandy, Taylor Van Vleet, Ullas Gargi, Sujoy Gupta et al., “The YouTube Video Recommendation System,” Proceedings of the Fourth ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (2010): 293–296.
Chris Anderson wrote about Jeff Bezos’s desk in “The Zen of Jeff Bezos,” Wired Magazine, January 2005.
Netflix’s new social media “mirror neurons” were reported on by Xavier Amatriain and Justin Basilico on the Netflix website in an article entitled “Netflix Recommendations: Beyond the 5 Stars (Part 2)” in June 2012.
Amazon’s human “mirror neurons” were reported on by JP Mangalindan in the above- referenced Fortune article.