Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winter Storm Daily Digest - 01.15.2013

Please note that changes have been made Wednesday's schedule. The entire week's schedule is viewable on the website. Highlights from Special Interest Groups: From Giovanna Morini, Less Is More SIG "We discussed a paper that relied on different methods (other than the commonly used SRT task) to examine implicit learning and language abilities. Data from this paper suggested that the ability to correctly reproduce auditory or visual sequences is highly correlated with a spoken language measure that assesses sensitivity to word predictability in speech. Given that we are interested in age-related changes associated with working memory and implicit learning, next time we will examine ways in which these types of tasks can be used with children."

From Shota Momma, Working Memory in Sentence Production "Today, we discussed the agreement attraction in production and potential roots of the phenomenon in working memory. Specifically, we compared the encoding-based account and the retrieval-based account, and thought about potential consequences of adapting each model. Also, we discussed the potential model of working memory that is compatible with language production more generally."

Events for Wednesday: 1/16/13
1. Language Analysis Workshop Participants work in specialized groups to continue their investigation of the Zazaki language.
2. Lunch Talk: Ellen Lau, Linguistics Department Predictive facilitation in lexical processing: mechanisms and neural implementations: Although many language researchers now assume an important role for predictive mechanisms in comprehension, it has been surprisingly difficult to show that early contextual facilitation effects--such as the N400 effect in ERP--are due to prediction rather than passive long-term memory processes such as spreading activation. In order to determine which cortical regions contribute to early predictive facilitation, we used a within-subjects multimodal neuroimaging design (EEG-MEG and fMRI) that supplements the high spatial resolution of fMRI with the excellent temporal resolution of EEG-MEG. The results show not only that prediction contributes significantly to the N400 priming effect in ERP, but that the effect of spreading activation is surprisingly small. fMRI and MEG source localization indicate that early effects of predictive facilitation are due to reduced activity in left anterior temporal cortex, a region variously implicated by previous literature in semantic storage and semantic combination. I will argue that together these results provide new evidence for predictive facilitation in lexical processing, and suggest that facilitated conceptual access is an important contributor to the N400 effect.
3. Language Analysis Workshop Groups will have an extra elicitation session with the native speaker. 4. Special Interest Groups Research planning groups meet for the fifth time. Please come prepared! Check the website for individual SIG pages, which contain group agendas and member contact information. If there is any information you would like included in a future Winter Storm daily digest, please forward this information to the WS Committee ( Thank you for your participation! The Winter Storm Committee

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