Joint control is independent of a particular stimula, but relates directly to the connections between stimuli. When stimulus control changes by means of a discrete event, this means that a response topography is evoked by a single stimulus and preserved by rehearsal. This means that a certain signifier and signified are attached to each other by repetition, especially during the learning process as a child. These stimuli are then connected to certain tacts; images and concepts evoking certain responses from speakers and listeners. These are joined by the above-mentioned topographies.
The Echoic/Self-Echoic Leg
The echoic function of joint control refers to the repetition of sounds heard, repeated and internalized by a speaker. This function usually operates together with the "tact" function of joint control, but for illustration purposes one could use a class of children. The children are not shown any visual stimuli of sounds. Rather the sounds themselves are introduced to be repeated and internalized. The repetitive function then becomes self-echoic as the child learns to remember and comprehend the sound. The sound is copied without any physical or visual tacts to aid in rehearsal. The topography is controlled by the sound alone. Joint control would then occur as soon as a tact, or meaningful image, is attached to the sound.
The Other Leg: Tacts
Tacts operate together with the echoic to provide the meaning resulting from joint control of stimuli. This is again illustrated in terms of children. Objects and ations fall under the classification of a tact as opposed to verbal sound. A tact for the sound made by the pronunciation of the phrase "black square" would then be either a cut square of black cloth or carton, or a picture of a black square.
The Nature of an Autoclitic Response
Autoclitic responses are determined by the context of their antecedents and consequences. Antecedents then may include private stimuli, unique to the respodent, such learned vocal behavior. In terms of consequences, events could occur that evoke atopography conflicting with previously rehearsed topography. The respondent then reacts to both the antecedent rehearsed topography and the newly acquired conflicting topography. The speaker regulates this reaction by verbal behavior.
A) The Autoclitic and Joint Control
When responding to antecedent stimuli, the joint control mechanism functions together with the autoclitic in that an appropriate response is selected. Joint control then occurs when stimuli are being identified by the listener as the speaker utters rehearsed speech acts. Words and objects thus mutually define and specify each other, and autoclitic response is the means by which this specification is reported by the speaker.
B) Topography-based Autoclitic and Selection-Based Autoclitic
The topography-based autoclitic is mostly concerned with the antecedent functions preceding the utterance. The rehearsed topography is established and accepted by the respondent, and there is no challenged to this established system.
It may however also occur that an instructional stimulus is lacking, and the nature and name of relations between stimuli have to be determined by the arbitrary means at the disposal of the subject. The subject then is required to find a transformational response to achieve joint control between the sample stimulus and transformation product. This is where the selection-based autoclitic begins to play a role. The premise is that the subject is presented with a number of choices based upon the antecedent topographies established. When a new topography is required, the subject selects the response. A stimulus with a history of reinforcement would then result in a more accurate selection. Incorrect selection is responded to by adjusting behavior: the subjecte might for example report that a stimulus is incorrect, search elsewhere, or adjust the requirements of the response. When the tact evoked by the response does not comply with the tact evoked as a sample, adjustments are made in order to provide a more correct stimulus. Conflict between topographies could then be responded to with a selection process; discarding unacceptable stimuli in favor of more acceptable ones.
The identity existing between stimuli evoke comparisons that may desribe them as "the same" or "similar." This occurs when stimuli are objects. Two identical objects are responded to with the utterance that they are "the same." Three or more objects evoking the same tact may be reported as all being the same. It could also occur that two or more objects include only a partial joint control, which would then result in a report of being "similar." Behavioral responses are then connected with the perception of identity and similarity between physical objects evoking the same or similar tacts.
The printed word "book" refers to a certain tact topographically accepted by more or less all human beings to be the same. When the object and the word are shown to a speaker, the autoclitic response may occur in one of two ways; The word can be seen to be the name of the object, while the object is also named by the word. The textual is evoked by the printed wrokd, while the tact is also evoked by the object - the book- itself. When responding that the word names the object, the subject reports a topography evoked first by the textual control of the printed word. The printed word combines with the tact evoked, and joint control is achieved.
When the initial focus is the object rather than the word, the speaker reports a tact evoked by the object, which subsequently enters joint control with the textual through self-echoic rehearsal.
Comprehension, as opposed to description is an itnernal process of perception. Information is utilized according to the subjects own antecedent rehearsals, and the joint control and selections made will match the level of the listerner's acquired understanding. It is therefore a much more complex process than the description from which it draws its material. Comprehension is therefore a highly subjective process, being both hypothetical and internal.
Children are taught to match objects with their printed descriptions to spoken phrases. Subsequently objects and printed words are matched spontaneously. Both auditory and reading comprehension are then cultivated, although matching newly learned tacts to the appropriate objects is often a process of further rehearsal and error.
An ideal syncrhonization of comprehension is when both listener and speaker experience the controlling variables of a situation with a common effect. The speaker therefore emits verbal stimuli that evoke listener behavior similar to that of the speaker, and thus giving the impression of comprehension. Elements required for comprehension therefore include a common vocabulary, or common topographies, in terms of the topic of discussion.
As seen above, the concepts of comprehension and description are very closely connected. A description requires comprehension, and both acts require a speaker and a listener in a speech act, of which the topography is common to both. At its most basic level then, a description can be defined as a packet of information. Yet in terms of joint control, it is required to function on a deeper level in terms of the persons involved.
Whereas comprehension is a selection process, accurate selection depends upon the description. The speaker and listener are both required to provide and be knolwedgeable about the appropriate topograhpies for what is being described. The speaker therefore needs to be on the same level, more or less, as the listener, if the description is to be comprehended correctly.
A description is furthermore always a verbal stimulus as opposed to a visual stimulus. It can occur either as a verbal emission from a speaker, or a textual emission. Another stimulus object or event is specified through joint control of the speaker's own tact of the stimulus described. The response to this description is then either correct or incorrect comprehension. In order to appropraitely respond, it is required to emit the same topography as the tact used…