A neurobiologically inspired model of social cognition: Memes spreading in the Internet
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The field of memetics has attracted interdisciplinary attention as a biologically inspired approach to animal communication and sharing of human cultural patterns. Here a formalization of the theory of memes is proposed, making use of a formal language that is adequate to represent neural information processing. This formalization is the basis for our development of a model of social cognition including mathematical tools derived from the field of epidemiology. The model describes processes of communication between individuals of the same biological species, which share the same computational mechanisms of neural information processing. An example of the 'modus operandi' of the model is shown, consisting of a brief study of meme spreading in the Internet. Among the results of this study, we highlight: (1) The operationalization of memetics in a cognitive architecture that is based on biological constraints and possible to be implemented in digital computers; (2) the proposed model of meme spreading in an online social network may be of interest for public organisations, private corporations and people in general; and (3) the limitation of modeling should be considered when interpreting data about any dynamical phenomenon.