Concepts and Cicadas: The Organisational Role of Concepts in Expert ListenersThomas Corbin (Macquarie University), Alexander James Gillett (Macquarie University), Alexander James Gillett (University of Pittsburgh)
Building C, Level 2, Room 5
221 Burwood Highway, Burwood
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In this paper we explore the role of concepts in perceptual learning through a case study centred on cicada research. Cicadas small and elusive insects with famously boisterous summer songs that has attracted the attention of a small amateur scientific community in Australia. However, the task of catching cicada specimens for research is challenging due to their camouflaging features, particularly the masking of their songs in chorus centres. To overcome these obstacles, cicada hunters have developed expertise in auditory discrimination, enabling them to identify species based on call patterns, count the number of individuals in a chorus, and locate them accurately through spatial hearing. This paper examines how the concept of call patterns plays an organizational role in the development of these skills and how it transforms the perceptual capacities of expert cicada hunters.
Drs Corbin and Gillett are Lecturers in Philosophy at Macquarie University and Investigators on the Templeton funded project: Concepts in Dynamic Assemblage: Cultural evolution and human ways of being, with Fuentes, Downey and Sutton.
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