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Topics in Cognitive Science

Alessandro Lenci, Gianluca E Lebani, Lucia C Passaro
Recent psycholinguistic and neuroscientific research has emphasized the crucial role of emotions for abstract words, which would be grounded by affective experience, instead of a sensorimotor one. The hypothesis of affective embodiment has been proposed as an alternative to the idea that abstract words are linguistically coded and that linguistic processing plays a key role in their acquisition and processing. In this paper, we use distributional semantic models to explore the complex interplay between linguistic and affective information in the representation of abstract words...
April 6, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Michael F Schober, Anna L Suessbrick, Frederick G Conrad
This paper examines when conceptual misalignments in dialog lead to consequential miscommunication. Two studies explore misunderstanding in survey interviews of the sort conducted by governments and social scientists, where mismeasurement can have real social costs. In 131 interviews about tobacco use, misalignment between respondents' and researchers' conceptions of ordinary expressions like "smoking" and "every day" was quantified by probing respondents' interpretations of survey terms and re-administering the survey questionnaire with standard definitions after the interview...
April 6, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Morten H Christiansen
Implicit learning and statistical learning are two contemporary approaches to the long-standing question in psychology and cognitive science of how organisms pick up on patterned regularities in their environment. Although both approaches focus on the learner's ability to use distributional properties to discover patterns in the input, the relevant research has largely been published in separate literatures and with surprisingly little cross-pollination between them. This has resulted in apparently opposing perspectives on the computations involved in learning, pitting chunk-based learning against probabilistic learning...
April 6, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Jonathan Harrington, Felicitas Kleber, Ulrich Reubold, Florian Schiel, Mary Stevens
The paper defines the core components of an interactive-phonetic (IP) sound change model. The starting point for the IP-model is that a phonological category is often skewed phonetically in a certain direction by the production and perception of speech. A prediction of the model is that sound change is likely to come about as a result of perceiving phonetic variants in the direction of the skew and at the probabilistic edge of the listener's phonological category. The results of agent-based computational simulations applied to the sound change in progress, /u/-fronting in Standard Southern British, were consistent with this hypothesis...
March 26, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Jonathan Ginzburg, Dimitra Kolliakou
Clarification requests, queries posed in response to a "problematic" (misheard, misunderstood, etc.) utterance, are a challenge to mainstream semantic theories because they call into question notions such as "shared content" or "the context." Given their strong parallelism requirements, elliptical clarification requests introduce in addition significant complexities concerning the need for long-term maintenance of non-semantic information in context. In this paper, we consider a puzzle concerning the emergence of elliptical clarification requests in child English: Data from the Belfast and Manchester corpora from CHILDES demonstrate that reprise fragments, the highest frequency clarification request construction among adults, emerges with significant delay in comparison with reprise sluices, bare wh-phrases used to request clarification...
March 25, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Dave F Kleinschmidt, Kodi Weatherholtz, T Florian Jaeger
Social and linguistic perceptions are linked. On one hand, talker identity affects speech perception. On the other hand, speech itself provides information about a talker's identity. Here, we propose that the same probabilistic knowledge might underlie both socially conditioned linguistic inferences and linguistically conditioned social inferences. Our computational-level approach-the ideal adapter-starts from the idea that listeners use probabilistic knowledge of covariation between social, linguistic, and acoustic cues in order to infer the most likely explanation of the speech signals they hear...
March 15, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Matthew Purver, Julian Hough, Christine Howes
Miscommunication phenomena such as repair in dialogue are important indicators of the quality of communication. Automatic detection is therefore a key step toward tools that can characterize communication quality and thus help in applications from call center management to mental health monitoring. However, most existing computational linguistic approaches to these phenomena are unsuitable for general use in this way, and particularly for analyzing human-human dialogue: Although models of other-repair are common in human-computer dialogue systems, they tend to focus on specific phenomena (e...
March 8, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Christine Cuskley, Vittorio Loreto, Simon Kirby
A well-trod debate at the nexus of cognitive science and linguistics, the so-called past tense debate, has examined how rules and exceptions are individually acquired (McClelland & Patterson, ; Pinker & Ullman, ). However, this debate focuses primarily on individual mechanisms in learning, saying little about how rules and exceptions function from a sociolinguistic perspective. To remedy this, we use agent-based models to examine how rules and exceptions function across populations. We expand on earlier work by considering how repeated interaction and cultural transmission across speakers affects the dynamics of rules and exceptions in language, measuring linguistic outcomes within a social system rather than focusing individual learning outcomes...
March 8, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Ken McRae, Daniel Nedjadrasul, Raymond Pau, Bethany Pui-Hei Lo, Lisa King
concepts typically are defined in terms of lacking physical or perceptual referents. We argue instead that they are not devoid of perceptual information because knowledge of real-world situations is an important component of learning and using many abstract concepts. Although the relationship between perceptual information and abstract concepts is less straightforward than for concrete concepts, situation-based perceptual knowledge is part of many abstract concepts. In Experiment 1, participants made lexical decisions to abstract words that were preceded by related and unrelated pictures of situations...
March 2, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Jennifer Hay
This paper synthesizes a wide range of literature from sociolinguistics and cognitive psychology, to argue for a central role for the "word" as a vehicle of language variation and change. Three crucially interlinked strands of research are reviewed-the role of context in associative learning, the word-level storage of phonetic and contextual detail, and the phonetic consequences of skewed distributions of words across different contexts. I argue that the human capacity for associative learning, combined with attention to fine-phonetic detail at the level of the word, plays a significant role in predicting a range of subtle but systematically robust observed socioindexical patterns in speech production and perception...
March 2, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Shiri Lev-Ari, Emily Ho, Boaz Keysar
Sociolinguistic research shows that listeners' expectations of speakers influence their interpretation of the speech, yet this is often ignored in cognitive models of language comprehension. Here, we focus on the case of interactions between native and non-native speakers. Previous literature shows that listeners process the language of non-native speakers in less detail, because they expect them to have lower linguistic competence. We show that processing the language of non-native speakers increases lexical competition and access in general, not only of the non-native speaker's speech, and that this leads to poorer memory of one's own speech during the interaction...
February 7, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Jeffrey Loewenstein
Surprising people can provide an opening for influencing them. Surprises garner attention, are arousing, are memorable, and can prompt shifts in understanding. Less noted is that, as a result, surprises can serve to persuade others by leading them to shifts in attitudes. Furthermore, because stories, pictures, and music can generate surprises and those can be widely shared, surprise can have broad social influence. People also tend to share surprising items with others, as anyone on social media has discovered...
February 7, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Staffan Larsson
In relation to semantics, "grounding" has (at least) two relevant meanings. "Symbol grounding" is the process of connecting symbols (e.g., words) to perception and the world. "Communicative grounding" is the process of interactively adding to common ground in dialog. Strategies for grounding in human communication include, crucially, strategies for resolving troubles caused by various kinds of miscommunication. As it happens, these two processes of grounding are closely related...
January 22, 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Marieke K van Vugt, Maarten van der Velde
Rumination is a process of uncontrolled, narrowly focused negative thinking that is often self-referential, and that is a hallmark of depression. Despite its importance, little is known about its cognitive mechanisms. Rumination can be thought of as a specific, constrained form of mind-wandering. Here, we introduce a cognitive model of rumination that we developed on the basis of our existing model of mind-wandering. The rumination model implements the hypothesis that rumination is caused by maladaptive habits of thought...
January 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
William G Kennedy, Marieke K van Vugt, Adrian P Banks
Cognitive modeling is the effort to understand the mind by implementing theories of the mind in computer code, producing measures comparable to human behavior and mental activity. The community of cognitive modelers has traditionally met twice every 3 years at the International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM). In this special issue of topiCS, we present the best papers from the ICCM meeting. (The full proceedings are available on the ICCM website.) These best papers represent advances in the state of the art in cognitive modeling...
January 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Fintan Costello, Paul Watts
We describe a computational model of two central aspects of people's probabilistic reasoning: descriptive probability estimation and inferential probability judgment. This model assumes that people's reasoning follows standard frequentist probability theory, but it is subject to random noise. This random noise has a regressive effect in descriptive probability estimation, moving probability estimates away from normative probabilities and toward the center of the probability scale. This random noise has an anti-regressive effect in inferential judgement, however...
January 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Wayne D Gray
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Paul Mätzig, Shravan Vasishth, Felix Engelmann, David Caplan, Frank Burchert
We present a computational evaluation of three hypotheses about sources of deficit in sentence comprehension in aphasia: slowed processing, intermittent deficiency, and resource reduction. The ACT-R based Lewis and Vasishth (2005) model is used to implement these three proposals. Slowed processing is implemented as slowed execution time of parse steps; intermittent deficiency as increased random noise in activation of elements in memory; and resource reduction as reduced spreading activation. As data, we considered subject vs...
January 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Jorina von Zimmermann, Staci Vicary, Matthias Sperling, Guido Orgs, Daniel C Richardson
When two people move in synchrony, they become more social. Yet it is not clear how this effect scales up to larger numbers of people. Does a group need to move in unison to affiliate, in what we term unitary synchrony; or does affiliation arise from distributed coordination, patterns of coupled movements between individual members of a group? We developed choreographic tasks that manipulated movement synchrony without explicitly instructing groups to move in unison. Wrist accelerometers measured group movement dynamics and we applied cross-recurrence analysis to distinguish the temporal features of emergent unitary synchrony (simultaneous movement) and distributed coordination (coupled movement)...
January 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
Jakub Dotlačil
Cognitive architectures have often been applied to data from individual experiments. In this paper, I develop an ACT-R reader that can model a much larger set of data, eye-tracking corpus data. It is shown that the resulting model has a good fit to the data for the considered low-level processes. Unlike previous related works (most prominently, Engelmann, Vasishth, Engbert & Kliegl, ), the model achieves the fit by estimating free parameters of ACT-R using Bayesian estimation and Markov-Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) techniques, rather than by relying on the mix of manual selection + default values...
January 2018: Topics in Cognitive Science
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