I am currently writing The Science of Consciousness. My research interests are wide, including language, consciousness, sleep and dreams, ageing, futurology, and psychology and the weather. I have suffered all my life from severe anxiety and depression, another topic of my research, and write, talk, and blog about it. I don't make any money out of this site. I provide it as a resource for people interested in the weather, consiousness, language, and mental illness.
This reduces the amount of variance in the residual error term and thus has the potential to increase statistical power. Learning to read facilitates retrieval of phonological representations in rapid automatized naming: Evidence from unschooled illiterate, ex-illiterate, and schooled literate adults. Developmental Science, 22 4 : e Abstract Rapid automatized naming RAN of visual items is a powerful predictor of reading skills. However, the direction and locus of the association between RAN and reading is still largely unclear.
To investigate in a fine-grained manner whether and how literacy facilitates lexical retrieval, we orthogonally manipulated the word-form frequency high vs. We observed that literacy experience enhances the automaticity with which visual stimuli e. Crucially, the group difference was exacerbated and significant only for those items that were of low frequency and from sparse neighborhoods. These results thus suggest that, regardless of schooling and age at which literacy was acquired, learning to read facilitates the access to and retrieval of phonological representations, especially of difficult lexical items.
Bode, S. Neuroinformatics, 17 1 , Abstract In recent years, neuroimaging research in cognitive neuroscience has increasingly used multivariate pattern analysis MVPA to investigate higher cognitive functions. It trains support vector machines SVMs on patterns of event-related potential ERP amplitude data, following or preceding an event of interest, for classification or regression of experimental variables. DDTBOX can also extract SVM feature weights, generate empirical chance distributions based on shuffled-labels decoding for group-level statistical testing, provide estimates of the prevalence of decodable information in the population, and perform a variety of corrections for multiple comparisons.
It also includes plotting functions for single subject and group results. DDTBOX complements conventional analyses of ERP components, as subtle multivariate patterns can be detected that would be overlooked in standard analyses. It further allows for a more explorative search for information when no ERP component is known to be specifically linked to a cognitive process of interest. In summary, DDTBOX is an easy-to-use and open-source toolbox that allows for characterising the time-course of information related to various perceptual and cognitive processes.
It can be applied to data from a large number of experimental paradigms and could therefore be a valuable tool for the neuroimaging community. Bosker, H. Counting 'uhm's: how tracking the distribution of native and non-native disfluencies influences online language comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language, , Abstract Disfluencies, like 'uh', have been shown to help listeners anticipate reference to low-frequency words.
The associative account of this 'disfluency bias' proposes that listeners learn to associate disfluency with low-frequency referents based on prior exposure to non-arbitrary disfluency distributions i. However, there is limited evidence for listeners actually tracking disfluency distributions online. The present experiments are the first to show that adult listeners, exposed to a typical or more atypical disfluency distribution i. However, when listeners were presented with the same atypical disfluency distribution but produced by a non-native speaker, no adjustment was observed.
This suggests pragmatic inferences can modulate distributional learning, revealing the flexibility of, and constraints on, distributional learning in incremental language comprehension. Supplementary material 1-s2. Abstract Speech sounds are perceived relative to spectral properties of surrounding speech. However, it is unclear how these spectral contrast effects SCEs operate in multi-talker listening conditions. Recently, Feng and Oxenham [ b. Results indicate that selective attention to one talker in one ear while ignoring another talker in the other ear modulates SCEs in such a way that only the spectral properties of the attended talker influences target perception.
However, SCEs were much smaller in multi-talker settings Experiment 2 than those in single-talker settings Experiment 1. Therefore, the influence of SCEs on speech comprehension in more naturalistic settings i. Brehm, L. Speaker-specific processing of anomalous utterances. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 72 4 , Abstract Existing work shows that readers often interpret grammatical errors e. This work examines how interlocutor identity affects the processing and interpretation of anomalous sentences.
Agreement errors and without-blends both led to more non-literal responses than comparable canonical items. For agreement errors, more non-literal interpretations also occurred when sentences were attributed to speakers of Standardised American English than either non-Standardised group. These data suggest that understanding sentences relies on expectations and heuristics about which utterances are likely. These are based upon experience with language, with speaker-specific differences, and upon more general cognitive biases.
Incremental interpretation in the first and second language. Dailey Eds. Sommerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. The role of word frequency and morpho-orthography in agreement processing. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. Abstract Agreement attraction in comprehension when an ungrammatical verb is read quickly if preceded by a feature-matching local noun is well described by a cue-based retrieval framework.
This suggests a role for lexical retrieval in attraction. To examine this, we manipulated two probabilistic factors known to affect lexical retrieval: local noun word frequency and morpho-orthography agreement morphology realised with or without —s endings in a self-paced reading study.
Noun number and word frequency affected noun and verb region reading times, with higher-frequency words not eliciting attraction. Morpho-orthography impacted verb processing but not attraction: atypical plurals led to slower verb reading times regardless of verb number. Exploratory individual difference analyses further underscore the importance of lexical retrieval dynamics in sentence processing. This provides evidence that agreement operates via a cue-based retrieval mechanism over lexical representations that vary in their strength and association to number features.
Supplementary material Supplemental material. Mental representations of partner task cause interference in picture naming. Acta Psychologica, : We tested the origins of this interference using a simple non-communicative joint naming task based on Gambi et al. Experiment 1 contrasted a partner-present condition with a control partner-absent condition to establish the role of the partner in eliciting interference. For latencies, we observed interference from the partner's task and speech content, with interference increasing due to partner task in the partner-present condition.
Eye-tracking measures showed that interference in naming was not due to overt attention to partner stimuli but to broad expectations about likely utterances. Experiment 2 examined whether an equivalent non-verbal task also elicited interference, as predicted from a language as joint action framework. We replicated the finding of interference due to partner task and again found no relationship between overt attention and interference. These results support Gambi et al. Individuals co-represent a partner's task while speaking, and doing so does not require overt attention to partner stimuli.
Fairs, A. Linguistic dual-tasking: Understanding temporal overlap between production and comprehension.
Favier, S. Proficiency modulates between- but not within-language structural priming. Journal of Cultural Cognitive Science. Abstract The oldest of the Celtic language family, Irish differs considerably from English, notably with respect to word order and case marking. In spite of differences in surface constituent structure, less restricted accounts of bilingual shared syntax predict that processing datives and passives in Irish should prime the production of their English equivalents.
Furthermore, this cross-linguistic influence should be sensitive to L2 proficiency, if shared structural representations are assumed to develop over time. In Experiment 1, we investigated cross-linguistic structural priming from Irish to English in 47 bilingual adolescents who are educated through Irish. Testing took place in a classroom setting, using written primes and written sentence generation. We found that priming for prepositional-object PO datives was predicted by self-rated Irish L2 proficiency, in line with previous studies.
We found a within-language priming effect for PO datives, which was not modulated by English L1 proficiency. Our findings are compatible with current theories of bilingual language processing and L2 syntactic acquisition. Goldrick, M. Transient blend states and discrete agreement-driven errors in sentence production. Snover, M. Nelson, B. Pater Eds. The influence of lexical selection disruptions on articulation. Abstract Interactive models of language production predict that it should be possible to observe long-distance interactions; effects that arise at one level of processing influence multiple subsequent stages of representation and processing.
We examine the hypothesis that disruptions arising in nonform-based levels of planning—specifically, lexical selection—should modulate articulatory processing. A novel automatic phonetic analysis method was used to examine productions in a paradigm yielding both general disruptions to formulation processes and, more specifically, overt errors during lexical selection.
This analysis method allowed us to examine articulatory disruptions at multiple levels of analysis, from whole words to individual segments. The results revealed the presence of interactive effects. Our new analysis techniques revealed these effects were strongest in initial portions of responses, suggesting that speech is initiated as soon as the first segment has been planned. Interactive effects did not increase under response pressure, suggesting interaction between planning and articulation is relatively fixed.
Unexpectedly, lexical selection disruptions appeared to yield some degree of facilitation in articulatory processing possibly reflecting semantic facilitation of target retrieval and older adults showed weaker, not stronger interactive effects possibly reflecting weakened connections between lexical and form-level representations. Hervais-Adelman, A. Learning to read recycles visual cortical networks without destruction. Science Advances, 5 9 : eaax Abstract Learning to read is associated with the appearance of an orthographically sensitive brain region known as the visual word form area.
It has been claimed that development of this area proceeds by impinging upon territory otherwise available for the processing of culturally relevant stimuli such as faces and houses.
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In a large-scale functional magnetic resonance imaging study of a group of individuals of varying degrees of literacy from completely illiterate to highly literate , we examined cortical responses to orthographic and nonorthographic visual stimuli. We found that literacy enhances responses to other visual input in early visual areas and enhances representational similarity between text and faces, without reducing the extent of response to nonorthographic input. Thus, acquisition of literacy in childhood recycles existing object representation mechanisms but without destructive competition.
Hoedemaker, R. Planning and coordination of utterances in a joint naming task. Abstract Dialogue requires speakers to coordinate. In two experiments, we investigated this corepresentation account using an interactive joint naming task in which pairs of participants took turns naming sets of objects on a shared display. Speaker A named the first, or the first and third object, and Speaker B named the second object.
In control conditions, Speaker A named one, two, or all three objects and Speaker B remained silent. Interturn pause durations indicated that the speakers effectively coordinated their utterances in time. Huettig, F. Effects of speech rate, preview time of visual context, and participant instructions reveal strong limits on prediction in language processing. Brain Research, , Abstract There is a consensus among language researchers that people can predict upcoming language. But do people always predict when comprehending language? In three eye-tracking experiments we tested this view.
We used the identical visual stimuli and the same spoken sentences but varied speech rates, preview time, and participant instructions. Target nouns were preceded by definite gender-marked determiners, which allowed participants to predict the target object because only the targets but not the distractors agreed in gender with the determiner. In Experiment 1, participants had four seconds preview and sentences were presented either in a slow or a normal speech rate. Participants predicted the targets as soon as they heard the determiner in both conditions.
Experiment 2 was identical except that participants were given only a one second preview. Participants predicted the targets only in the slow speech condition. Experiment 3 was identical to Experiment 2 except that participants were explicitly told to predict. This led only to a small prediction effect in the normal speech condition. Thus, a normal speech rate only afforded prediction if participants had an extensive preview. Even the explicit instruction to predict the target resulted in only a small anticipation effect with a normal speech rate and a short preview.
These findings are problematic for theoretical proposals that assume that prediction pervades cognition. Literacy advantages beyond reading: Prediction of spoken language. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 23 6 , Abstract Literacy has many obvious benefits—it exposes the reader to a wealth of new information and enhances syntactic knowledge.
Readers are under pressure to process information more quickly than listeners, and reading provides excellent conditions, in particular a stable environment, for training the predictive system. It also leads to increased awareness of words as linguistic units, and more fine-grained phonological and additional orthographic representations, which sharpen lexical representations and facilitate predicted representations to be retrieved.
Thus, reading trains core processes and representations involved in language prediction that are common to both reading and listening. How in-group bias influences source memory for words learned from in-group and out-group speakers. Group membership status has been shown to affect how attentively people encode information conveyed by those others. These findings are highly relevant for the field of psycholinguistics where there exists an open debate on how words are represented in the mental lexicon and how abstract or context-specific these representations are. Here, we used a novel word learning paradigm to test our proposal that the group membership status of speakers also affects how speaker-specific representations of novel words are.
Participants learned new words from speakers who either attended their own university in-group speakers or did not out-group speakers and performed a task to measure their individual in-group bias. Then, their source memory of the new words was tested in a recognition test to probe the speaker-specific content of the novel lexical representations and assess how it related to individual in-group biases. The stronger the in-group bias, the more cautious participants were in their decisions.
This was particularly applied to in-group related decisions. These findings indicate that social biases can influence recognition threshold. Taking a broader scope, defining how information is represented is a topic of great overlap between the fields of memory and psycholinguistics. Nevertheless, researchers from these fields tend to stay within the theoretical and methodological borders of their own field, missing the chance to deepen their understanding of phenomena that are of common interest.
Here we show how methodologies developed in the memory field can be implemented in language research to shed light on an important theoretical issue that relates to the composition of lexical representations. Kaufeld, G. Knowledge-based and signal-based cues are weighted flexibly during spoken language comprehension. Abstract During spoken language comprehension, listeners make use of both knowledge-based and signal-based sources of information, but little is known about how cues from these distinct levels of representational hierarchy are weighted and integrated online.
In an eye-tracking experiment using the visual world paradigm, we investigated the flexible weighting and integration of morphosyntactic gender marking a knowledge-based cue and contextual speech rate a signal-based cue. These results demonstrate that cues are weighted and integrated flexibly online, rather than adhering to a strict hierarchy. We further found rate normalization effects in the looking behavior of participants who showed a strong behavioral preference for the morphosyntactic gender cue.
This indicates that rate normalization effects are robust and potentially automatic. We discuss these results in light of theories of cue integration and the two-stage model of acoustic context effects. Kim, N. The online processing of noun phrase ellipsis and mechanisms of antecedent retrieval. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 34 2 , Abstract We investigate whether grammatical information is accessed in processing noun phrase ellipsis NPE and other anaphoric constructions.
The first experiment used an agreement attraction paradigm to reveal that ungrammatical plural verbs following NPE with an antecedent containing a plural modifier e.
The second experiment used the same paradigm to examine a coordination construction without anaphoric elements, and the third examined anaphoric one. Agreement attraction was not observed in either experiment, suggesting that processing NPE is different from processing non-anaphoric coordination constructions or anaphoric one. Taken together, the results indicate that the parser is sensitive to grammatical distinctions at the ellipsis site where it prioritises and retrieves the head at the initial stage of processing and retrieves the local noun within the modifier phrase only when it is necessary in parsing NPE.
How long can you hold the filler: Maintenance and retrieval. Specifically, we aim to uncover the way in which maintenance and retrieval work in WhFGD processing, by paying special attention to the information that is retrieved when the gap is recognized. We use the agreement attraction phenomenon Wagers, M. Agreement attraction in comprehension: Representations and processes. Journal of Memory and Language, 61 2 , as a probe. The first and second experiments examined the type of information that is maintained and how maintenance is motivated, investigating the retrieved information at the gap for reactivated fillers and definite NPs.
The third experiment examined the role of the retrieval, comparing reactivated and active fillers. We contend that the information being accessed reflects the extent to which the filler is maintained, where the reader is able to access fine-grained information including category information as well as a representation of both the head and the modifier at the verb.
Krebs, J. Language and Speech, 62 4 , The electroencephalogram study motivating the current report revealed earlier reanalysis effects for object-subject compared to subject-object sentences, in particular, before the start of the movement of the agreement marking sign. Although the ultimate role of the visual cues leading to disambiguation i.
People with larger social networks are better at predicting what someone will say but not how they will say it. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 34 1 , Abstract Prediction of upcoming words facilitates language processing. Individual differences in social experience, however, might influence prediction ability by influencing input variability and representativeness.
This paper explores how individual differences in social network size influence prediction and how this influence differs across linguistic levels. In Experiment 1, participants predicted likely sentence completions from several plausible endings differing in meaning or only form e. Both experiments show that people with larger social networks are better at predicting upcoming meanings but not the form they would take.
The results thus show that people with different social experience process language differently, and shed light on how social dynamics interact with the structure of the linguistic level to influence learning of linguistic patterns. Martin, A. Predicate learning in neural systems: Using oscillations to discover latent structure. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 29 , Abstract Humans learn to represent complex structures e. Often such structures are latent, hidden, or not encoded in statistics about sensory representations alone. Accounts of human cognition have long emphasized the importance of structured representations, yet the majority of contemporary neural networks do not learn structure from experience.
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Here, we describe one way that structured, functionally symbolic representations can be instantiated in an artificial neural network. Then, we describe how such latent structures viz. Our approach exploits two principles from psychology and neuroscience: comparison of representations, and the naturally occurring dynamic properties of distributed computing across neuronal assemblies viz. We discuss how the ability to learn predicates from experience, to represent information compositionally, and to extrapolate knowledge to unseen data is core to understanding and modeling the most complex human behaviors e.
Maslowski, M. Listeners normalize speech for contextual speech rate even without an explicit recognition task. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1 , Abstract Speech can be produced at different rates. Whilst some have argued that this rate normalization involves low-level automatic perceptual processing, there is also evidence that it arises at higher-level cognitive processing stages, such as decision making.
Prior research on rate-dependent speech perception has only used explicit recognition tasks to investigate the phenomenon, involving both perceptual processing and decision making. This study tested whether speech rate normalization can be observed without explicit decision making, using a cross-modal repetition priming paradigm. This result suggests that rate normalization is automatic, taking place even in the absence of an explicit recognition task. Thus, rate normalization is placed within the realm of everyday spoken conversation, where explicit categorization of ambiguous sounds is rare.
How the tracking of habitual rate influences speech perception. Abstract Listeners are known to track statistical regularities in speech. Yet, which temporal cues are encoded is unclear. Experiment 2 tested effects of long-term habitual speech rate. In Experiment 3, both talkers produced speech at both rates, removing the different habitual speech rates of talker A and B, while maintaining the average rate differing between groups. This time no global rate effect was observed. Taken together, the present experiments show that a talker's habitual rate is encoded relative to the habitual rate of another talker, carrying implications for episodic and constraint-based models of speech perception.
Meyer, A. Thirty years of Speaking: An introduction to the special issue. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 34 9 , Abstract Thirty years ago, Pim Levelt published Speaking. During the 10th International Workshop on Language Production held at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen in July , researchers reflected on the impact of the book in the field, developments since its publication, and current research trends. The contributions in this Special Issue are closely related to the presentations given at the workshop. In this editorial, we sketch the research agenda set by Speaking, review how different aspects of this agenda are taken up in the papers in this volume and outline directions for further research.
Nuthmann, A. Extrafoveal attentional capture by object semantics. PLoS One, 14 5 : e Abstract There is ongoing debate on whether object meaning can be processed outside foveal vision, making semantics available for attentional guidance. Much of the debate has centred on whether objects that do not fit within an overall scene draw attention, in complex displays that are often difficult to control.
Here, we revisited the question by reanalysing data from three experiments that used displays consisting of standalone objects from a carefully controlled stimulus set. Observers searched for a target object, as per auditory instruction. On the critical trials, the displays contained no target but objects that were semantically related to the target, visually related, or unrelated.
Analyses using generalized linear mixed-effects models showed that, although visually related objects attracted most attention, semantically related objects were also fixated earlier in time than unrelated objects. Moreover, semantic matches affected the very first saccade in the display. Finally, there was no semantic capture of attention for the same objects when observers did not actively look for the target, confirming that it was not stimulus-driven.
We discuss the implications for existing models of visual cognition. Ostarek, M. Cognition, , Abstract Many studies have shown that sentences implying an object to have a certain shape produce a robust reaction time advantage for shape-matching pictures in the sentence-picture verification task. Typically, this finding has been interpreted as evidence for perceptual simulation, i. It follows from this proposal that disrupting visual processing during sentence comprehension should interfere with perceptual simulation and obliterate the match effect. Here we directly test this hypothesis.
Participants listened to sentences while seeing either visual noise that was previously shown to strongly interfere with basic visual processing or a blank screen. Experiments 1 and 2 replicated the match effect but crucially visual noise did not modulate it. When an interference technique was used that targeted high-level semantic processing Experiment 3 however the match effect vanished. Visual noise specifically targeting high-level visual processes Experiment 4 only had a minimal effect on the match effect.
We conclude that the shape match effect in the sentence-picture verification paradigm is unlikely to rely on perceptual simulation.
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Six challenges for embodiment research. Current Directions in Psychological Science. Abstract 20 years after Barsalou's seminal perceptual symbols paper Barsalou, , embodied cognition, the notion that cognition involves simulations of sensory, motor, or affective states, has moved in status from an outlandish proposal advanced by a fringe movement in psychology to a mainstream position adopted by large numbers of researchers in the psychological and cognitive neuro sciences. While it has generated highly productive work in the cognitive sciences as a whole, it had a particularly strong impact on research into language comprehension.
The view of a mental lexicon based on symbolic word representations, which are arbitrarily linked to sensory aspects of their referents, for example, was generally accepted since the cognitive revolution in the s. This has radically changed. Given the current status of embodiment as a main theory of cognition, it is somewhat surprising that a close look at the state of the affairs in the literature reveals that the debate about the nature of the processes involved in language comprehension is far from settled and key questions remain unanswered.
We present several suggestions for a productive way forward. Raviv, L. Compositional structure can emerge without generational transmission. Abstract Experimental work in the field of language evolution has shown that novel signal systems become more structured over time. In a recent paper, Kirby, Tamariz, Cornish, and Smith argued that compositional languages can emerge only when languages are transmitted across multiple generations. In the current paper, we show that compositional languages can emerge in a closed community within a single generation. We conducted a communication experiment in which we tested the emergence of linguistic structure in different micro-societies of four participants, who interacted in alternating dyads using an artificial language to refer to novel meanings.
Importantly, the communication included two real-world aspects of language acquisition and use, which introduce compressibility pressures: a multiple interaction partners and b an expanding meaning space. Our results show that languages become significantly more structured over time, with participants converging on shared, stable, and compositional lexicons. These findings indicate that new learners are not necessary for the formation of linguistic structure within a community, and have implications for related fields such as developing sign languages and creoles.
Larger communities create more systematic languages. Abstract Understanding worldwide patterns of language diversity has long been a goal for evolutionary scientists, linguists and philosophers. Research over the past decade has suggested that linguistic diversity may result from differences in the social environments in which languages evolve. Specifically, recent work found that languages spoken in larger communities typically have more systematic grammatical structures. However, in the real world, community size is confounded with other social factors such as network structure and the number of second languages learners in the community, and it is often assumed that linguistic simplification is driven by these factors instead.
Here, we show that in contrast to previous assumptions, community size has a unique and important influence on linguistic structure. We experimentally examine the live formation of new languages created in the laboratory by small and larger groups, and find that larger groups of interacting participants develop more systematic languages over time, and do so faster and more consistently than small groups.
Small groups also vary more in their linguistic behaviours, suggesting that small communities are more vulnerable to drift. These results show that community size predicts patterns of language diversity, and suggest that an increase in community size might have contributed to language evolution. Supplementary material rspbsupp4.
Rodd, J. Deriving the onset and offset times of planning units from acoustic and articulatory measurements.