CRL Talks

Talks are every Tuesday at 4:00pm in CSB 280.

Join us in the CRL lab for happy half-hour at 3:30pm in CSB 215.

May 2, 2017

Harry Potter and the Chamber of What?: Brain potentials to congruous words are systematically related to knowledge

Melissa Troyer (UCSD Cognitive Science)

To understand language, we must connect linguistic input with long-term knowledge of words and concepts. Though such knowledge will vary from person to person as a function of experience, discussions of language processing often neglect this variability. In this talk, I describe two experiments that investigate how variability in specific domain knowledge may influence access to semantic information during real-time language processing. We recorded EEG while participants more or less knowledgeable about the narrative world of Harry Potter (HP) read sentences. In Experiment 1, participants read control sentences (about general topics) and sentences taken from the world of Harry Potter. As expected, participants showed N400 predictability effects for general-knowledge sentences, but only those with high HP knowledge showed predictability effects for sentences about Harry Potter. This effect was driven by graded responses to predictable endings as a function of knowledge. In Experiment 2, we asked participants to make judgments as they read sentences about Harry Potter. We observed greater semantic activation (inferred from N400 effects) for HP items that participants reported knowing compared to those they did not. Notably, this was true for both high- and low-knowledge groups. In addition, our data suggest that high-knowledge (compared to low-knowledge) participants further show greater semantic activation overall, especially for items they reported not knowing/remembering. These findings suggest that during real-time language comprehension, knowledgeable individuals may benefit from rapidly, and perhaps implicitly, accessing knowledge structures that differ in amount and/or functional organization. Future studies will ask how knowledge may shape the organization and use of such knowledge structures during language processing.

 

Spring 2017 Schedule

April 11

A speech core: Evidence from structural and functional brain connectivity and genetic phenotyping
Jeremy Skipper
UCL

April 18

Prosodic and gestural prominence cues in multimodal speech processing
Diana Dimitrova
UCSD Psychology

April 25

Mommy only really cares about my grammar! Child-mother dyads integrate a dynamical system
Fermin Moscoso del Prado Martin
UC Santa Barbara

May 2

Harry Potter and the Chamber of What?: Brain potentials to congruous words are systematically related to knowledge
Melissa Troyer
UCSD Cognitive Science

May 9

Jayden Ziegler
Harvard University

May 16

Arturs Semenuks
UCSD Cognitive Science

May 23

Aline Ferreira
UC Santa Barbara

May 30

Eric Meinhardt
UCSD Linguistics

June 6

Till Poppels
UCSD Linguistics

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CRL Talks

May 2, 2017
Harry Potter and the Chamber of What?: Brain potentials to congruous words are systematically related to knowledge
Melissa Troyer (UCSD Cognitive Science)

CRL Newsletter

CRL is excited to present the latest CRL Newsletter, featuring technical report:
Language Skills and Speed of Auditory Processing in Young Children
J.A. Avenzino, M. Gonzalez Robledo, & G.O. Deák