The Role of Feedback in Language Processing


Linguistic ability is a prerequisite for reasoning skills, and neural processes have been evidenced in language learning as well as use. Human language processing can be viewed as human processing of information, where terms as a system, program, and option, though correlative with computer science, cannot imply close a correspondence, since natural language remains a scope of skill unmatched by artificial parsing. Human neurophysiology is the primary reference for the following discourse on the role of feedback in human language command.


Living organisms have been observed to use DNA-encoded information, for growth and sustainment. These genetic codes have been compared with programs (Young, 1984), where a program may be understood as a systematic plan for an automatic solution of a problem (Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, 1989). Further, biological forms have been argued to depend for activity on continued renewal of own structures (Young, 1984). The task of homeostasis uphold, which requires substance natural selection and exchange, can serve an example of a problem, for biological programs as hitherto defined.


The systemic selection and exchange to concern the single cell and structures as complex as human beings, a DNA pattern for active protein production may exemplify a biological program. Importantly, even basic programs for cellular activity can be claimed to rely on feedback for enactment (Vander et al., 1985), feedback to be defined as returning of part the output of a system to be reintroduced as input (Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, 1989).


Positive and negative feedback types have been recognized, where the former, also known as regenerative feedback, aids the input, whereas the latter opposes it; hence the alternate term, “inverse feedback”. Elementary cellular functioning to accrue into schemata that allow learned behaviors, integrated patterns for human activity can be posited to build on feedback for their formation, effectuation, and permanence.


Based on the role in control over automatic operations, Norbert Wiener insisted that feedback processes appertained with neuroscience as well. Neurophysiologically and psychologically, feedback productiveness can be understood as a closed-loop capability over open-loop sequences (Puppel, 1988, 1996). The capacity would act in natural language as a function of the human nervous system. The system is studied for feedback phenomena in cellular, intercellular, and interschematic dimensions.


For a competent insight into natural language, the inquiry includes human communication as an interplay of personal and inter-individual qualities. Psycholinguistics to constitute the framework for the intended quest, dependence on feedback is examined in language acquisition, use, and deficit. Natural and principled occurrence to become affirmed with regard to human neurophysiology and psychology, feedback reliance shall be argued to approximate a drive, the relevant instinct to be that for self-preservation. In this view to human information processing, feedback would have the role of an initiating, mediating, and modeling factor.



The work discusses human information processing, with focus to the role of feedback in language. Human information processing differs from artificial considerably.


Tests by Ladefoged showed speech and language dependence on feedback without exception.


Human DNA requires cellular feedback for active protein, that is, everyday function.


In tests on volunteers, human endurance under feedback impoverishment has proved lower than for fasting.


Not only on these grounds, the role of feedback in human language processing can be posited to approximate a drive.


I defended the thesis in year 2000, at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, earning my philology M.A. degree in American English, specialization psycholinguistics.


The term language processing is not to imply that people can only operate on inputs or outputs. Humans are capable of creating own discourse. Our human talking or writing — as well as reading or comprehending spoken language — all yet depend on our neural processing.


As a mathematical model, the Hodgkin-Huxley hypothesis has lost prominence in neurophysiological study.


However, the theory that cell membranes had ion channels remains affirmed by Erwin Neher, Bert Sakmann, and Roderick MacKinnon. Cellular and systemic feedback is fact.


We can reason about inner feedback on an example. Let us think we are talking with someone and the person asks us to put on headphones, to continue with limited hearing.


To keep on speaking, we would reflexly raise our voices to speak, unless we would have exercised not to do so.


Speaking loud would be an intuitive way to compensate for a constraint in auditory feedback. It is also a feedback capacity to learn to keep own voice down, despite auricular obstruction.


In persons of altered cognitive scopes, feedback interference can result in drive-like or driven behaviors. It is in unimpeded humans that the inner requirement for natural feedback approximates a drive.


The observation is to indicate a factor, not to try justifying all human activity.


Professor Stanisław Puppel of Adam Mickiewicz University generally mentioned the topic in class, in 1993. I began writing in 1999, and defended my work in year 2000, earning my Master of Arts degree in English philology, specialization American English and psycholinguistics.


Mr. Puppel was the supervising professor. The print is to be my authorial presentation, with notes.


The work takes up feedback as a biological phenomenon at the cellular level, examines feedback effects within the human nervous system, and analyzes their importance to human psychology as well as language learning, use, and deficit.


The term feedback performance denotes a closed-loop capability. It does not refer to evaluative or opinion-related behavior that everyday language may connote.


The notion of a drive does not involve any sex-oriented function. The work regards human nerve, muscle, and cognitive structures with strictly linguistic relevance.



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