Vol. 16, No. 1
Professors Maria Polinsky and Marta Kutas have been appointed as Co-Directors of the Center for Research in Language effective November 1, 2004.
Dr. Polinsky, is professor and past chair in the department of Linguistics whose research interests include language universals and their explanation, comparative syntactic theory, and the expression of information structure in natural language. Her laboratory is currently pursuing issues of "Variation in Control Structures".
Dr. Kutas, a professor in the department of Cognitive Science, is an expert on human cognition and neuropsychology, electrophysiological and experimental methods of assessing human information processing, and language comprehension and production. These days her laboratory is pursuing issues of pre-activation (prediction) in language, hemispheric differences, role of mood in cognitive processing, role of aging in memory and language, and analytic advances in understanding event-related brain potentials (ERPs).
In early January, CRL held a townhall meeting for the community of researchers to discuss new directions for the Center. We decided to hold a series of workshops and seminars in the upcoming year. The first workshop will be held in March on automated speech recognition, which will be given by UCSD Linguistics alumnus Bill Byrne, Director of Voice Solutions at the SAP Labs.
Some of the topics of this first workshop will include:
- How "human" should automated speech-recognition applications be?
- To what extent do the patterns of spoken discourse influence users of such applications?
- How cognitively distinct are human-to-human spoken interactions vs. human-to-computer speech-based interactions?
- How could we measure this difference?
Other workshops planned are on Aphasia, integrating theory with clinical practice for communication disorders, and neuroimaging of language, among other topics.
New Researchers at CRL
Jennie Pyers began her postdoctoral position on September 3rd, 2004. She is currently working with Dr. Karen Emmorey on a project on the bilingual-bimodal language processing in hearing children of deaf adults. She has begun a study specifically examining the conditions of code-switching of ASL and English.
In addition to this work, Jennie has presented her work on the relationship between language and cognition in learners of Nicaraguan Signers at the Theoretical Issues in Sign Langauge Research Meeting in
She has also been working on a paper on the emergence of theory of mind understanding in learners of an emerging language for Child Development, and a chapter on the use of space in role shifting in Nicaraguan Sign Language.
Frederic Dick was given an appointment as an Assistant Research Scientist in CRL, effective September 1, 2004-June 30, 2006. Fred was a graduate student in CRL. He now works as a lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London. He recently received a "New Investigator Award" from the British Medical Research Council.
New graduate students in the JDP in Language & Communicative Disorders
Marguerite McQuire came to us from
Herbert Pickell, better known as Bert, grew up in
Josée Poirier has a First-Class Honours BA in Linguistics with a minor in Psychology from
Jan 10-14: Heike Behrens from the
Feb 7-9: Mary Hare,
NIH Fellowship Opportunities at CRL
The Center for Research in Language has a training program, "Language, Communication, and the Brain." The NIDCD-funded grant supports 2 post-doctoral trainees and 6 pre-doctoral trainees. Applications for postdoctoral positions are solicited every March 1. (See our website for details.) Predoctoral trainees are selected by the executive committee of the training grant. Graduate students who are interested in participating in this program, or your faculty advisor, should contact a member of the committee to indicate your interest. The executive committee members are: Marta Kutas, Cognitive Science (Director of Program); Jeffrey Elman, Cognitive Science; Maria Polinsky, Linguistics; Martin Sereno, Cognitive Science; David Swinney, Psychology; and Beverly Wulfeck, Language & Communicative Disorders.
In addition, the Institute for Neural Computation offers pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships. The application deadline is April 1. For details, please refer to the INC website at http://inc.ucsd.edu .