The Bactra Review   Spikes
The assumption that information can only be conveyed by means of a code is a very old and deeply ingrained one, at least in the Western tradition. It is not, however, true, and creatures with enough smarts can communicate without using a fixed correspondence between signs and meanings, without using a code. On this point see Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson's Relevance: Cognition and Communication (2nd edition, Oxford: Blackwell, 1995), particularly their account of ``ostensive-inferential communication.'' An individual neuron is, however, far too stupid to make use of anything other than a code.