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PSYC2650 Lecture notes 3.docx

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PSYC 2650
Dan Meegan

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PSYC2650 – Lecture Notes Nov. 8, 2012 - Linguistics = language field - Some q’s asked by cognitive scientists (involved in computer science, communication, psychology, linguistics, etc.  through different methods, but have similarities): o is language a uniquely human ability? o What are the relative roles of nature and nurture in language development?  We know quite a bit about the nature of language prominent o What is the relationship between language and thought?  Linguistic determinism - Psycholinguists = psychology of language Linguistics – studies structure of natural language (vs. everyday use) o Kind of theoretical enterprise psychology interested in how language used o People systematic in behaviour, but systematically irrational there’s noise in our behaviour (fluctuations) o Competence = person’s abstract knowledge of language even if can’t explain formal rules, can demonstrate in use that we have it  Performance = actual application of that knowledge in speaking/listening  Does competence underlie performance?  (psychologists) no, making linguistic judgements has little to do with everyday language use  Linguistic judgements = ask how you use vs. infer based on performance Psycholinguistics – study of language behaviour; everyday use of language does not always correspond to linguistic theory o Everyday use of language is unique requires studying - Behaviourism = empiricism/nurture = our language abilities are learned (not innate) o Against mentality of language our language abilities are nothing but stimulus-response associations o Criticisms: evidence for innate constraints on language (nature) Chomsky  If look at world’s languages = all languages have something in common 2 linguistic cultures never exposed to each other have formal rules (universal qualities of language) genetic endowment for language  Nurture = language you know and speak, but existence of universals = nature - Relationship between language and thought (by behaviourists?): o “Thought” = language no such thing as thought, focus on observable behaviour how do we explain the subjective thing we all have?  Language = auditory motor phenomenon; thinking = just sub-vocal speech (talking to self)  Evidence FOR = recordings of sub-vocal speech activity while subjects are engaged in thought  Threshold?  When a person is thinking, it seems as though there is the sub-threshold activity in the vocal system  AGAINST = people can still think when completely paralyzed (but can’t speak) o Not just at level of muscles and vocal tract, but also in brain (i.e. pre-planning activity)  Memory for meaning rather than exactly what was said o If we were purely linguistic beings, you would be very literal in what we say o We do things that are detached from language itself extracting meaning  Non-human animals seem to think o Language determines thought Linguistic determinism – language determines way a person thinks or perceives the world It’s hard to think/describe something without there being a word to describe it  i.e. Inuit/snow rich terminology causes change in perception  evidence AGAINST = people seem to think the same way about things despite linguistic differences  i.e. English has many colour words, Dani (New Guinea) does not no differences in colour perception o Thought determines language  (evolutionary perspective) language arose as tool whose function was to communicate thought  Language has been shaped to fit the thoughts it must communicate  Evidence = thinking ability appeared earlier evolutionarily than language (i.e. non- linguistic animals that seem to be capable of thought)  Thinking ability occurs sooner developmentally than language (i.e. pre- linguistic children capable of doing cognitive things)  In languages with many colour words, words correspond to colours to which visual system is maximally-sensitive o Language and thought are independent  Modularity = language functions independently from other cognitive functions (even if it arose to communicate thought)  Modules = seemingly unique system that operates differently than others  Unique developmental time-course own rules, critical period, etc.  independent system  Language acquisition = language acquired according to unique learning principles  Evidence for uniqueness = no direct instruction required for language acquisition o Don’t need teachers or parents to teach language, don’t need to learn to speak  Language acquired even under impoverished learning conditions  Critical period for language learning - Innateness of language = language universals limit possible characteristics of natural languages o Children possess innate knowledge of universals o Evidence = examples of uniformities among world’s languages - Language comprehension = we place meaning on it o Spoken, signed, or written input perception = identify words parsing = assess meaning of word combo (phrases/sentences) utilization = use meaning Parsing – words transformed into mental representation of their combined meaning Grammar – set of rules that can generate all acceptable utterances of language + reject all unacceptable sentences in language Syntax – rules governing sequences and combos of words in formation of phrases and sentences  Syntactic violations = i.e. the girls hits the boys, did hit the girl the boys? Phrase (structure) – hierarchical division of sentence into units Semantics – rules governing meaning of sentences  Semantic violations = i.e. colourless green ideas sleep furiously Nov. 13, 2012 - Not all languages have same rules for order, but order important for any given language - There are 2 main/distinct halves of a sentence (noun phrase and verb phrase) o First part of sentence tells about second; action occurs at expense of something else Syntactic ambiguity – sentence with >1 possible phrase structure >1 way to interpret o i.e. he wants to discuss sex with Dick Cavett - (parsing + phase structure) when comprehending sentences, we interpret individual phrases combine interpretations o Evidence: presented sentences 1 line at a time in 1/2 forms form A = natural places to break-up sentence (at phrase boundaries); form B = breaks at wrong places  Better comprehension in A than B more likely to remember and answer questions better  Break up sentences naturally = better comprehension; if break up where need word to parse properly = interferes with comprehension  Comma (,) gives reader cues to parse (pause)  Read sentences word-by-word press button to view next word  Measure amount of time subjects looked at word before pressing  Cycles (peaks and valleys) peaks = phrase boundaries (speech duration corresponds to reading speed)  With completion of each major phrase, subjects need time to process the phrase  Recency effect for non-semantic details subjects heard passage, when interrupted had to write down as much of passage as could remember  If ask to repeat sentence at end of sentence = very accurate (almost 100%) for last part of sentence (recency); bad at early part of sentence (primacy)  Once parse, don’t have to remember details, just have to remember the gist (extract meaning) o Remember first part but not word for word (remember meaning) o Once phrase has been processed, there is no need to retain exact words because meaning has been interpreted  Phase divisions next step down for sentence divisions - Phrase boundaries are important; as each word comes in, we try to actively interpret when phase boundary comes in, we can interpret o We do not wait for phrase to end before attempting to interpret its meaning Immediacy of interpretation – people try to extract meaning out of each word as it arrives o Evidence: eye movements during reading time spent looking at individual word = proportional to its meaningfulness (spend more time at some words than others, i.e. “ferocious dragon” > “the”) Garden-path sentences – (i.e. maze) commit to one interpretation of transiently (temporary) ambiguous sentence before all relevant info available  Sometimes interpretation wrong have to back track  Meaning changes by end of sentence (vs. syntactic ambiguity)  i.e. the old train the young - syntactic cues for comprehension: Word order – same words, different order = different meaning i.e. the dog bit the cat, the cat bit the dog Function words – i.e. whom; “the boy the girl liked was sick” = sets interpretation that there’s something coming next = transient ambiguity (i.e. “the boy, the girl, and the dog...”)  function word avoid ambiguity “the boy whom the girl liked was sick” Word inflection – i.e. he vs. him (different forms of pronoun, plural, tense)  “him kicked the girl” inflection interpretation (believe they made a mistake with inflection; more likely) = “the girl kicked him”  order interpretation = “he kicked the girl” (assumes the sentence order is right so change the inflection; rare)  in English, order usually trumps inflection assume mistake not mis-ordering but wrong inflection (inflection interpretation; correction wrong sentence)  in other languages, inflection more important to parsing (inflection > order) - semantic cues for comprehension: o when semantic cue placed in conflict with syntactic cue, semantic cue may determine interpretation i.e. John was buried and died (assumes chronological order of events) - syntactic + semantic cues: i.e. chased the dog the eraser syntactic (dog is being chased) and semantic (eraser can’t chase) cues in conflict = variable interpretation (reorder or use imagination) o i.e. chased the eraser the dog cues in agreement = consistent interpretation (syntax leading us in same direction as semantics) o conflict = variability in interpretation - parsing: Prosodic cues/Prosody – pattern of pauses and pitch changes that characterize speech production pitch changes = emphasis, questions; pauses = phrase structure  monotone speech = no pauses or pitch changes  emphasis changes meaning of sentence  pauses in speech production occur at junctures between major phrases  prosodic cues can disambiguate sentences i.e. the horse raced past the barn fell the horse raced past the barn fell  i.e. the women painted by the artist fell the woman painted by the artist fell Pronominal reference – when a pronoun is used, to whom does it refer?  Cues for determining pronominal reference (1) # or gender cues = i.e. Melvin, Susan, and their children left when he (Melvin) became sleepy o Okay to use “he” because only one singular male  (2) syntax = pronouns tend to refer to objects in the same grammatical role = i.e. Floyd punched Bert and then he (Floyd) kicked him (Bert) o If order doesn’t change, okay to use pronouns; but if roles switched (Bert kicked Floyd), then pronoun use not okay  (3) recency = pronouns tend to refer to most recent candidate referent = i.e. Dorothea ate the pie; Ethel ate cake; later she (Ethel) had coffee  (4) knowledge of the world = i.e. Tom shouted at Bill because he (Bill) spilled the coffee depends on semantic/action cues o i.e. Tom shouted at Bill because he (Tom) had a headache Aphasia – language deficit language = complex = many different forms of aphasia o i.e. Broca’s = damage to frontal lobe = couldn’t speak well couldn’t put thoughts in order, lacked controlled speech; can’t produce comprehendible speech  deficit in speech production slow and effortful, lacking function words (i.e. the, of), lacking inflections (i.e. plural, tense), sound like telegram  affects production + comprehension problems specifically about grammar o i.e. the boy ate the cookie = syntax + semantics (no other way to interpret the sentence)  vs. the boy kicked the girls = syntax only  Broca’s aphasics might have trouble with latter  inferior damage; adjacent to motor strip (voluntary movements of muscles) lower part = muscles for speech o damage to telling motor cortex what to do effectively  Wernicke’s = damage to temporal lobe = comprehension deficit; can’t comprehend speech  Area places interpretation Nov. 15, 2012 Broca’s aphasia – damage to Broca’s area = agrammatism affects production + comprehension Wernicke’s aphasia – deficit in comprehension, can’t understand spoken or written language o speech fluent and effortless but meaningless meaninglessness can be specific Anomia – inability to name objects o residual understanding tone, prosody, and body language processed in other parts of the brain (from Wernicke’s area) so spared use as cues to comprehend - those who use introspection study mental imagery problems: when people experiencing mental imagery = vivid image, other argue can describe imagery but it’s not picture-like o fell out of favour as method Mental imagery – elicit mental images seen in the mind’s eye, or heard in mind’s ear, or smelled in mind’s nose - imagery and memory: when we are mentally visualizing something, we use long-term and working memory o perceptual knowledge = memory for what things look/sound like  perceptual knowledge deficits = can’t give perceptual description, can’t tell what something looks like (that part of world is gone) Introspection – (Galton) describe images and rate their vividness o subjects reported that they could inspect their images as they would inspect a picture scene represented as if viewed from certain position and distance  something very visual about experience  individual differences = some subjects described images of photographic clarity, as if were actually seeing imagined scene  others reported very sketchy images, or none at all able to think about scenes but weren’t “seeing” these scenes  some describe as more verbal than vision  why? Do individuals really differ in nature of their mental imagery ability? o Differences in terms of tools at our disposal o Perhaps just differed in descriptiveness o What is revealed in self-report data is not imagery, but imagery as the subject elects to describe it need more objective approach, i.e. cognitive psychology  Cognitive psych in WWII = human limitations + tools other than introspection to study mental imagery Chronometric studies of memory – (using response time) ask subjects to do something with their images, i.e. read info off of them (scanning) or manipulate them in some way (transforming) o How long it takes them to do one thing vs. another = nature of mental images o 2 main possibilities posed against each other (nature of mental images) = pictorial/depictive (do they look like pictures? Do they depict something?) vs. verbal/descriptive Image scanning – (Kosslyn) memorize map containing landmarks (new image never seen before)  Form an image of the map, and point you mind’s eye at a specific landmark  Imagine a black speck moving from that landmark to a second landmark  When speck reaches the target, press a button, stopping a clock  Measure how much time it takes  IV = distance, DV = response time positive linear relationship short distance = fast response time, vice versa  Wouldn’t expect anything like this if didn’t have tool at disposal only thing people can access of memory of island = descriptive description of it (???)  Mental image seems to be depiction of map (vs. description) Image transformation – (Shepard) pairs of 2D pictures of 3D objects paired pictures differed in orientation (i.e. orientation differences could be in picture plane (2D) or depth plane (3D))  Determine if paired figures were same or different  Measure how much time (in seconds) it takes to determine whether same/different shape “mentally rotate” one figure to match other  DV = amount of rotation needed to do  Amount of time to complete rotation = function of angular difference between 2 figures  Past 180 degrees = easier discrimination closer to what comparing to (360 = 0) peak function in middle but linear on both sides  Mirror image = more challenging  Individual differences could illustrate spatial abilities/processing  Sex differences male superiority in spatial abilities/processing (males respond faster) Mental rotation – mental images undergo a transformation in 3D space  Shepard’s perfect linear function = hallmark for cognitive psychology Kosslyn hypothesis – experiencing mental images is related to experiencing external visual stimuli - Imagery = perception in reverse perception = sensation > perception > long-term memory; imagery = long-term memory > perception o Evidence = cognitive neuroscience are brain areas involved in perception (i.e. visual cortex) also involved in imagery?  Functional imaging = brain activity during cognitive task IV = time  i.e. when stimulus involved (visual cortex + visual stimulus = activity; take away visual stimulus = activity goes back down)  Brain damage = people with cortical blindness can’t imagine things visually memory system fine but difficulty conjuring mental imagery  i.e. case of colorblind painter brain processing of colour damaged,
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