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The Cognitive Lunch talks will be on Wednesdays from 12:10 pm - 1:25 pm in the Psychology conference room (PY 128) located behind the main office.
Sep 4, 2013: Robert Nosofsky
Title: Cognitive Lunch
Abstract: Much recent research has aimed to establish whether visual working memory (WM) is better characterized by a limited number of discrete all-or-none slots, or by a continuous sharing of memory resources. To date, however, researchers have not considered the response-time (RT) predictions of discrete-slots vs. shared-resources models. To complement the past research in this field, we formalize a family of mixed-state, discrete-slots models for explaining choice and RTs in tasks of visual WM change detection. In the tasks under investigation, a small set of visual items is presented, followed by a test item in one of the studied positions for which a change judgment must be made. According to the models, if the studied item in that position is retained in one of the discrete slots, then a memory-based evidence-accumulation process determines the choice and the RT; if the studied item in that position is missing, then a guessing-based accumulation process operates. Observed RT distributions are therefore theorized to arise as probabilistic mixtures of the memory-based and guessing distributions. We formalize an analogous set of continuous shared-resources models. The model classes are tested on individual subjects both with qualitative contrasts and quantitative fits to RT-distribution data. The discrete-slots models provide much better qualitative and quantitative accounts of the RT and choice data than do the shared-resources models, although there is some evidence for “slots plus resources” when memory set size is very small.
Sep 11, 2013: Jerome Busemeyer
Title: Comparison of quantum and exemplar models of categorization
Abstract: Quantum cognition provides a new framework for developing and probabilistic and dynamic models in psychology. This new framework does not rely on the assumption that the brain is some type of quantum computer. Instead it uses the formal principles of quantum theory to account for human judgment and decision making behavior. Quantum models of cognition have been applied to decision making, probability judgments, causal reasoning, and similarity judgments. A natural next step is to develop applications for categorization. This talk will first introduce the basic quantum principles, then develop a model of categorization and formally compare it to the popular exemplar model. The unique contribution of quantum theory occurs when a person is asked to make a sequence of categorizations and/or decisions. The results of four experiments are presented that demonstrate a puzzling finding of interference from categorization on later decisions. These results are difficult to explain using traditional cognitive models, but they are explained in a principled way by the quantum model. However, as Nosofsky has recently shown, it is also possible to construct an exemplar model to account for these results.
Sep 18, 2013: Lawrence Gottlob, University of Kentucky
Abstract: Cognitive Lunch
Sep 25, 2013: Réka Benczes, Eotvos Lorand University, Hungary
Title: English is remarkably abundant in nominal compounds whose meaning is based upon some sort of metaphor and metonymy. Examples include both lexicalized ones, such as couch potato (denoting a person who spends too much time before the television snacking on unhealthy food), and novel ones alike, such as muffin top (denoting the roll of spare flesh which cascades over the top of low-slung jeans). Nevertheless, such compounds have often been dismissed in morphological literature as semantically opaque – non-compositional – phenomena that are not formed on the basis of productive patterns. This bias can be traced back to the widely acknowledged and applied endocentric–exocentric distinction, which is still the dominant approach toward the semantics of compounds. Cognitive linguistics, however, has demonstrated that these “exocentric” compounds are indeed analysable with the application of conceptual metaphor and metonymy on the one hand and blending theory on the other. Through the analysis of numerous examples, the talk will focus on how the everyday creativity of language that is inherent in metaphor- and metonymy-based compounds can complement a cognitive semantics-based word formation theory in order to have a better understanding of the structure of the mental lexicon.
Oct 2, 2013: Swapnaa Jayaraman
Title: Cognitive Lunch
Oct 9, 2013: George Kachergis, Leiden University, Netherlands
Oct 16, 2013: Alexa Romberg
Oct 23, 2013: Paul Williams
Oct 30, 2013: Eduardo Izquierdo
Title: Information flow through a sensorimotor circuit- C. elegans klinotaxis.
Abstract: The concept of information processing is fundamental to cognitive science. Paul Williams has been developing a theoretical framework of information dynamics that formalizes the notion of information processing using Shannon's theory of information. In this talk, I will demonstrate how this framework can be applied to the analysis of an actual brain-body-environment system- the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans.
Nov 6, 2013: Mark Finlayson, MIT
Title: Representing and Extracting Abstract Plot Structures to Model Human Narrative Understanding
Abstract: Narrative structure is an ubiquitous and intriguing phenomenon. Recognizing narrative structure is a process of abstraction, usually from natural language, and thus embodies a skill that underlies many cognitive tasks. I describe my research program for investigating in what ways people are sensitive to narrative structure, especially in their own cultural context. I first describe new techniques for representing the who does what to whom of a narrative, a necessary step if we are to computationally model the cognitive processes involved. Second, I describe recent experiments demonstrating that people are actually able to reliably identify explicit narrative structures in text. Finally, I describe my technique for modeling the extraction of narrative structure from narratives. I compare my results to those produced by a human expert, and describe the next steps in the research plan for investigating whether people are differentially sensitive to narrative structures prevalent in their own cultures.
Nov 20, 2013: Linger Xu
Dec 4, 2013: Howard Hughes, Dartmouth
Dec 11, 2013: Devin Burns
Title: The Many Faces of Garner Interference
Abstract: The speeded classification tasks used by Garner (1976) to identify dimensional interactions have been relied on for more than 40 years. We claim there are several possible confounds in the key test for Garner interference, conflating a change in the number of stimuli, the response mapping, and the numbers of irrelevant and correlated dimensions. We designed a novel three-dimensional extension of the Garner paradigm that provides the opportunity to separate these important factors. Results question typical interpretations of Garner Interference and provide a challenge for perceptual models.
Dec 18, 2013: Sean Matthews