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November 18, 2011-Diogo Almeida

Friday, November 18, 2011
12:00 AM
2001 LSA Building

Diogo Almeida from Michigan State University (Psycholinguistics/methodology)

One of the central problems for neurobiological theories of cognition in general, and language in particular, is how to articulate and integrate research, to borrow Marr's (1982) terminology, at the computational, algorithmic and implementational levels of analysis. In this talk, I will present results of behavioral and electrophysiological experiments that attempt to uncover indices of information retrieval from the mental lexicon. I will argue that these indices can be used to tie together research from different domains of psychology of language (from perception to comprehension) with research on theoretical linguistics, and can help establish a mutually constraining relationship across the different levels of analysis. Based on a series of electrophysiological experiments, I will suggest that the temporal dynamics of visual word recognition reveal (1) that access to actual linguistic information occurs at an earlier time frame than previously thought, (2) how we can begin to tease apart early, bottom-up lexical recognition from slightly later lexical integration processes in language comprehension, and (3) that continuous access to lexical level information over time can, in some circumstances, precipitate the generation or fine-tuning of specialized forward models in the early, putatively domain general, visual system.