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PSYC 2650
Dan Meegan

PSYC2650 – Textbook notes CH 10 (pg 313-37) - To know words must know sound (sequence of phonemes; phonological representation), in literature culture must know orthography (sequence of letters) o + must know how to use word in various phrases governed by rules of syntax o + must know meaning of word semantic representation Referent – what word refers to meaning of word/phrase is linked to word/phrase’s referent o some phrases have no referent refer to things that don’t exist; sometimes word’s reference = temporary or matter of coincidence o word meanings > reference - many words express single concepts one can understand word’s meaning only if one understands the relevant concepts - vocabulary is fluid new words always created, i.e. with new style of music or clothing; “email”, “geek”; “google”, “spam” (verb) o language users create variations by adding appropriate morphemes allow use of word in different ways Generativity – capacity to create an endless series of new combos, all built from same set of fundamental units o know vocabulary of language + how to create new forms within the language (know how to combine morphemes) o not conscious knowledge can’t articulate principles governing sequence of morphemes within word, or why pronounce the way we do - limits to which combos/sequences of words are acceptable/not Syntax – rules governing sequence of words in phrase/sentence  specify relationships among words in sentence  series of abstract rules governing sentence’s structure specify elements that must be inc. + (in many languages) sequence/organization of elements Phrase-structure rules – organization of sentence o sentence always consists of noun phrase + verb phrase (upside- down) tree structure o 2 different phrase structures can lead to same sequence of words o >1 way to interpret sentences shape understanding of sentence Prescriptive rules – prohibitions, i.e. never to say “ain’t”; rules describing how language is “supposed to be”  often marked by differences between social classes i.e. upper class speak properly  avoid being stigmatized/wish for membership in elite = try to use rules  languages change with passage in time proper in one period = different at other, i.e. “thou” 400 yrs ago Descriptive rules – characterizing language as it is ordinarily used by fluent speakers and listeners regularities  track what is/not said in ordinary language use difficult to track absence (don’t know it or just no interest in using it?)  spontaneous speech has performance errors, i.e. change ideas as speak o but know how to repair errors Competence – pattern of skills/knowledge revealed under optimal circumstances  i.e. via linguistic judgements reflect on one structure or another + tell whether structure acceptable/not  vs. performance - sentences generally framed in sequence of actor-action-recipient; often others formats, i.e. for stylistic reason i.e. to convey emphasis, or draw attention; question, comment D-structure – variations of sentences; reflects speaker’s intentions (i.e. question vs. comment)  form/content + processes of translation = complex  past of task for listener/reader = “recovery” from phonemes/letters encountered - languages differ i.e. English = adjectives before noun, Spanish = adjective after noun Linguistic universals – principles applicable to every human language some framed in terms of probabilities (i.e. some sequences of words common, others rare)  every human child learns to speak rapidly sophisticated language use in place by 4  possible that begin with biological heritage that stipulates outline of human language (begin knowing universal rules) learn community based rules Parse – figure out each word’s syntactic role (as hear it) efficient but can lead to errors o may depend on rest of sentence (structure) slowed comprehension but avoid errors  not used in perceiving words pattern in interpreting sentences o influenced by function words that appear in sentence + by various morphemes (i.e. “-ly”, “- ed”) that signal syntactic role  + by semantic factors (not just syntax) sometimes no processing advantage for active form relative to passive - temporary ambiguity common in a sentence early part often open to multiple interpretations, later part clears things up Garden-path sentence – initially led to one interpretation but then turn out to be wrong reject first construal and seek alternative  highlights fact that there’s risk to interpreting sentence as it arrives  assume we will be hearing/reading active sentences (vs. passive) interpret sentence’s initial noun phrase as “doer” of action (vs. recipient)  most sentences we encounter are active easier to understand  in some contexts, passive sentences easier to understand  can be really difficult to comprehend Minimal attachment – guides parsing; listener/reader proceed through sentence seeking simplest phrase structure that will accommodate words heard so far - listeners/readers seem sensitive to certain statistical properties in language if word has several meanings, tend to assume its most frequent meaning when encounter it o + tend to assume adjectives will be followed by nouns not obligatory but frequent - Single, isolated sentence = rare; sentences uttered in some context that can provide important aids for sentence understanding Extra-linguistic context – factors outside of language itself; important - Principles to perceive/understand linguistic inputs = syntax, semantics, statistical in nature, pragmatic Prosody – rhythm and pitch cues (rise and fall of speech intonation and pattern of pauses) important role in speech perception  Reveals mood, directs attention/focus, and renders sentence unambiguous that would otherwise be entirely confusing Pragmatics – knowledge of how language is ordinarily used Aphasia – damage to # of brain sites = disruption of language aphasia symptoms dependent on locus of brain damage Non-fluent aphasia – damage to left frontal lobe (Broca’s area)  Virtually unable to utter or write a word; less severe = only part of normal vocab is lost, but speech becomes labored and fragmented articulating requires effort Fluent aphasia – damage to Wernicke’s area; produce speech (freely/rapidly) but say very little  Sentences reasonably grammatical but composed largely of little filler words that provide scant info o Language loss = specific Anomia – loss of ability to name various objects, as if brain damage caused disruption to mental dictionary  Specific some can use concrete nouns but not abstract; animate objects but not inanimate; some lose ability to name colours - Processes of language inc. “looking up” working meanings in “mental dictionary” o figuring out structural relationships within sentence o integrating info about sentence’s structure + meanings of words in sentence o each rely on own set of brain pathways - children learn language even if communication with adults entirely non-linguistic, i.e. children born deaf with no opportunity to learn sign language o i.e. caregivers don’t know how to sign or choose not to teach signing o children invent gestural language (“home sign”) parallels ordinary/spoken language  has many of formal structures routinely seen in world’s existing language; pattern of emergence follows same sequence observed in ordinary language learning Specific language impairment (SLI) – normal intelligence + no problems with muscle movements needed to produce language o slow to learn language + difficulty understanding/producing many sentences throughout life o + impairs on tasks designed to test linguistic knowledge - Language-learning depends on children picking up info from environment i.e. grow up in Paris learn to speak French, in China = Chinese o Imitation limits: application of past tense (through manipulated morphemes, i.e. “-ed”) Over-regularization errors – around 3 yrs, say things like “yesterday we goed” or “I have two foots” almost never produced by adults o Explicit instruction adults “teach” children to speak  Limits: adults rarely correct or reward grammar react to messages conveyed in their language (i.e. to content vs. syntax “love ‘oo mommy”)  When do correct, children seen oblivious to correction - Children sensitive to patterns/regularities in what they hear astute statisticians, keep track of frequency-of-occurrence - Language elements interact in ordinary language use we rely on sentence’s syntactic form to figure out its meaning + on semantic cues in deciphering syntax o Rely on prosody as clues to syntax, on vocab to help process more complex strings Semantic bootstrapping – reliance on knowledge of semantic relationships as basis for figuring out syntax - Language can/does shape our thoughts (flow of ideas) o Verbal descriptions provide convenient label for complex experience labels provide economical way of coding/chunking experience - Language can influence how we reason and make decisions i.e. choose medical treatment = “treatment has 50% chance of success” > “50% chance of failure” (means same, wording different) Linguistic relativity – (Whorf) specific language we speak forces us into certain modes of thought o Limits: only evidence from ways of the Hopi misinterpreted  Evidence only suggests that way one expresses themselves is influenced by one’s language - Some languages have many terms for colours, others have few rich colour vocab helps remember colours but doesn’t change perception o People who speak languages with richer colour vocab may actually perceive colours differently finer/more sharply defined distinctions - Languages differ in how they describe spatial arrangement (i.e. absolute vs. relative directions) o Language differences = corresponding differences in how people remember + perceive spatial position - Possible that language “restructures” cognition language you speak determines concepts/categories you use shapes what we can think about o Also possible that labels by language draw our attention to certain distinctions practice in thinking about distinction improvement in ease/skill in thinking about the distinction  Language influences what we pay attention to shapes experience influences how and how well we think  Can often undo effects of language by using some other means to redirect attention - Human language-guided thoughts differ from thoughts of non-linguistic primate relatives CH 11 - (Galton) introspect and report own mental contents self-report data = participants could “inspect” their images like a picture (picture-like most of representation) o scenes represented as if viewed from certain position/distance o reported being able to “read off” from image details of colour/texture o mental images = “pictures in the head” to be inspected with the “mind’s eye” o individual differences many described images of photographic clarity, rich in detail, almost as if seeing imaged scene (vs. visualizing it)  others reported very sketchy images or none at all can think, but not “see”; self- reports devoid of any visual qualities (i.e. colour, size, viewing perspective) o limits: self-report data = some cautious in description while others more extravagant differences in how people talk about imagery (vs. differences in imagery) Chronometric studies – “time-measuring”; give more accurate portrait of mental imagery o ask people to do something with their images (i.e. read info, manipulate) examine accuracy/speed of responses (+ comparisons = measurement basis for nature of imagery) o allow to ask: what sorts of info prominent/not in mental image?  use evals as basis for asking how “picture-like” mental images really are  pattern of what info inc./prominent depends on mode of presentation  i.e. written description = distinctive/strongly associated features prominent, vs. drawn depiction = size/position prominent (distinctiveness/association don’t matter) - info quickly avail. In image follows rules for pictures, not paragraphs o people have option to think via imagery + without imagery as mode of representation changes, so does pattern of info availability Image-scanning procedure – participants memorize image (i.e. map) form mental image o participants scan across images at constant rate doubling scanning “distance” doubles time required for scan (tripling distance triples time) - “zoom” task = response times directly proportional to amount of zoom required travel in imaged world resembles travel (timing) in actual world - Clear relationship between “travel time” and “travel distance” similarity between mental images and actual out-in-the-world pictures o Images represent scene in way that preserves all distance relationships within that scene  Image preserves spatial layout of represented scene  Represents info about all shapes/sizes in the scene + preserves diverse set of spatial relationships (i.e. between, alignment)  images rep. Geometry (depict scene, vs. describe) > similar to pictures/maps (vs. propositional descriptions) Mental rotation task – participants imagine 1 of the forms rotating into alignment with other (once forms oriented in same way) make judgement o response time depends on how much rotation needed (positive relationship; > angle of rotation = > response time) imagined “movement” resembles actual movement o no trouble with mental rotation in depth few errors (95% accuracy; data similar to picture- place rotation)  can represent 3D forms in images (as well as 2D) + imagine forms moving in depth  in some circumstances, visual images = mental sculptures - distance relations also in mental rotation (like mental scanning) > travel = > time (spatial layout) - limits: participants may be sensitive to demand character (cues that might signal how they are “supposed” to behave) of experiment o people know manipulations should take > time do best to simulate process  not true! Evidence proves otherwise - forming a visual image interferes with seeing; forming auditory image interferes with hearing o visualizing/perceiving = similar mechanisms one activity serves to prime the other o many of same structures required for vision = crucial for imagery evidence = neuroimaging  visual perception relies on tissue in occipital cortex (activated when examining visual stimulus) activity high when visualizing stimulus before “mind’s eye”  Different areas of occipital cortex involved in different aspects of visual perception + during imagery (i.e. Areas V1 and V2 in visual cortex) o i.e. Area MT/MST = sensitive to motion active when imaging movement patterns; same with faces, colour, fine detail, etc. Neglect syndrome – could only see right or left (half) side (of image, text, etc.) o same pattern evident in imagery Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) – creates series of strong magnetic pulses at specific location on scalp causes temporary disruption in brain region  illustrates problems in vision parallel problems in visual imagery  i.e. Area V1 crucial for processing of visual info + creation/maintenance of visual images o machinery occupied for 1 function = not available to other; machinery disrupted = both activities compromised - functional equivalence between many aspects of visual imagery/perception Visual acuity – ability to see fine detail; in vision = > at center of visual field (vs. periphery)  measurements of “two-point acuity” in vision = greatest when people look directly at the dots, so even minuscule gaps can be detected  dots positioned 10 degrees away from line of vision = acuity far worse  correspondence between performance with actually perceived + imagined dots qual/quantitatively, imagery data = perceptual data - blind individuals yield data similar to sighted participants use “spatial imagery” to represent series of imagined movements (body/motion imagery) o visual imagery = how things look (i.e. colours), vs. spatial imagery = movements/body feelings (mental rotation/scanning) - exceptions = brain damage = problems in imagery but not perception/vice versa o i.e. bilateral occipital lobe lesions = blindness but patient does well on many imagery tasks o visual imagery relies on brain areas needed for vision damage disrupts both imagery/vision  spatial imagery relies on different brain areas damage to visual areas ≠ disrupt imagery; damage to areas need for imagery ≠ disrupt vision Eidetic imagery – vastly more detailed (vs. ordinary imagery) 5% of all children (< in adults) - choice between forms of imagery influenced by individual’s ability levels (of visualization/ spatialization) 10% deficient in seeing mental pictures o studies find no differences between vivid/sparse imagers in how they do mental rotation or how quickly/accurately they scan across images  but these tasks require spatial judgements/manipulations (spatial imagery) “vivid” = how much image experience is like seeing  self-report = assessment of visual imagery no relationship between self- report/performance of (spatial) tasks visual imagery ≠ spatial performance - relationship between image vividness/how well people perform on visual tasks o “vivid” = perceptual data - Imagery self-reports = differences in quality of imagery experience - Differences = career choices i.e. visual imagers succeed in arts, spatial imagers succeed in science/engineering - Mental (esp. visual) images ≠ always mental pictures o i.e. Necker cube = neutral in interpretation, but perception not neutral goes beyond info given by specifying configuration in depth o + perception specifies figure/ground organization, orientation, etc.  serve to organize form impact on subjective appearance (= resemblance/recognition, memory evoking) - Percepts (mental representations of perceived stimuli) = depictions represent key aspects of 3D layout of world (not descriptions) like pictures + organized/unambiguous o We have 100% failure in reinterpreting forms with images + 100% success a moment later with drawings  images = inherently organized/understood (like percepts) images = entirely unambiguous/strongly resistant to reinterpretation (i.e. Duck/rabbit figure) - mental images surprise/remind us of things; we consult images in solving problems/making decisions; can invent new forms/devices by inspecting/manipulating their images o mental image = (package of) depiction itself + perceptual reference frame  hints can alter image’s reference frame large effects  i.e. nonsense shape’s frame of reference = un/identification of Texas  discovery relies on understanding change in understanding (i.e. frame of reference) = change in performance o change understanding of form = difficult/depends on specific instruction/training examples  initial understanding of form = enormous impact on what can/not be discovered - limits to image-based process (i.e. architecture) some discoveries > likely if put on paper and then inspected in drawings (drawing on its own has no reference frame easier to impose new) o putting thoughts into imagery can shape flow/sequence of ideas - images ≠ pictures inherently organized differently, contain > info o but images share crucial properties with pictures are picture-like - images stored in memory in piecemeal (piece-by-piece) fashion o to form image, first have to activate nodes specifying the “image frame” which depicts form’s global shape elaborations to frame = full/detailed image  images containing > parts + > detail take longer to create  imagers have some degree of control over how complete/detailed their images will be images can be sketchy or elaborate (first create frame add detail)  i.e. 4 columns takes longer/more difficult to maintain (because > # of units, vs. rows) o info to construct image drawn from image files in long-term memory inc. info (something like of instructions) to create image frame + elaborate  info may not be picture-like (in long-term memory) represented via propositions or verbal label (description) i.e. > colour vocab = > colour memory  colour memory > in cultures with > # of colour terms  memorize description = recreate picture on basis of description of previously viewed object  memory improved when appropriate label/description is available o but people can recall picture in way that is distorted by their understanding of it or their selective description o knowledge that seems visual may be stored in memory in some non- visual representation o reasoning depends on propositional knowledge (not mental images/maps) at least some of our spatial knowledge relies on symbolic/propositional code (non-spatial reasoning)  i.e. Montreal north of Seattle problem - images influence + improve memory i.e. participants learn high-imagery words > readily than low-imagery words o imagery mnemonics (improving memory) poorest recall by just rehearsal, intermediate performance by generated sentences, best recall by imagery  memory best if images formed show objects to be remembered as interacting in some way organization  most effective if mental picture = bizarre (distinct, vs. ordinary) Dual coding – (Paivio) imageable materials (i.e. high-imagery words) = doubly represented in memory word itself + corresponding picture (both provide info) o double chance of locating info eases process of memory search o access to symbolic memories easiest
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