PSYCH 512: Perception, Cognition, and Development Seminar
Meets Mon 12:15-1:10pm in Uris Hall rm 205
November 26, 2007:
November 19, 2007:
- Luca Onnis
One of his paper titles: "Variability is the spice of learning, and a crucial ingredient for detecting and
generalizing in nonadjacent dependencies"
November 12, 2007:
- This Monday we will look at a new paper on an old problem: Molyneux's question. Here is some history on the problem:
- "In brief, the question Molyneux asked was whether a man who has been born blind and who has learnt to distinguish and
name a globe and a cube by touch, would be able to distinguish and name these objects simply by sight, once he had been enabled to see."
- Yuri Ostrovsky, Aaron Andalman, and Pawan Sinha (2006) Vision Following Extended
Congenital Blindness. 17, 1009-1014
November 5, 2007:
- Jennifer L. Miller
"The role of social ecology in shaping vocal structure and usage in cowbirds "
The aim of the current study was to determine the relationship between flock social
dynamics and vocal development in cowbirds (Molothrus ater). Previous work has found
that adult females, who do not sing, can shape male vocal development when housed in
pairs or triads in sound attenuation chambers. The present work extends this finding to
examine the role of adult versus juvenile female social behavior in shaping both vocal
structure and usage in juvenile males. In this study, I housed juvenile males with adult or
juvenile females in large flocks. Over the course of a year, I recorded their song and
social behavior. I found in early fall that males housed with adult females improvised
more than males housed with juvenile females. During late fall, the males were switched
across female age groups for a five-day period. The males switched to the adult female
condition increased the number of improvised elements in their vocal repertoires. During
spring, males housed with adult females sang more female directed songs than males
housed with juvenile females. These differences in song usage resulted in reproductive
differences. Social network analysis were used to link vocal structure with song usage
and social affiliations. For example, analysis of the sequences of female-male social
contact reveals juvenile females, but not adult females, interacted at a high rate with the
males. Virtually all male improvisation appeared to originate from contact with adult
females. These patterns of female-male interactivity were associated with different rates
of vocal development.
October 29, 2007:
- Hartmut Fitz - University of Amsterdam
"The role of the input in a connectionist account of the accessibility
hierarchy in development"
The accessibility hierarchy (AH) stratifies relative clause
constructions in terms of the relativized NP's syntactic role (Keenan &
Comrie 1977) and this is considered to be an implicational universal in
typology. We explore here an account where similarity and frequency of
substructures in the input are the primary sources of the AH. This
input-based account is consistent with some syntax acquisition work
(Diessel & Tomasello 2005). We adapted the Chang, Dell & Bock (2006)
sentence production model for the generation of multi-clause utterances.
The model was taught an English-like language through exposure to
message-sentence pairs and its behavior during development displayed the
AH ordering. We were able to manipulate and remove this ordering by
varying properties of the input, and that suggests that patterns of
interference and facilitation among structures can help to explain the AH
in processing and development within a connectionist learning model.
October 22, 2007:
- Heidi Waterfall - Cornell
"The Role of Variation Sets in Language Acquisition"
The present study investigates a property of child-directed speech
that has yet to receive systematic treatment: clusters of partial
repetitions, called VARIATION SETS (e.g. Go walky? Want to go walky?
Walky?). These partial repetitions were first identified in the
1960's (Brown, Cazden & Bellugi, 1969). However, only one study to
date has examined the impact of such clusters on language development
(Kuntay & Slobin, 1996). That study was based on one Turkish-speaking
mother-child dyad. The current study presents findings from the first
longitudinal examination of these clusters in English (Waterfall,
2006). Results indicate that variation sets are strongly related to
children's early noun and verb use, especially those nouns and verbs
used in children's earliest multi-word utterances. Results further
indicate that children's early production of some syntactic structures
are strongly related to parent's manipulation of those constituents in
October 15, 2007:
- Barlow's single unit doctrine paper [LINK]
- Quiroga RQ, Reddy L, Kreiman G, Koch C & Fried I. (2005). Invariant visual representation by single neurons in the human
brain. Nature 435, 1102-1107.
October 1, 2007:
- The Memory Code; July 2007; by Joe Z. Tsien; Scientific American
- Longnian Lin, Guifen Chen, Hui Kuang, Dong Wang, and Joe Z. Tsien, Neural encoding of the concept of nest in the
mouse brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 April 3; 104(14): 60666071
September 24, 2007:
- Susan Jones. (2007) Imitation in Infancy: The development of mimicry.
Psychological Science. 18, 593-599.
September 17, 2007: Gary Lupyan, "What do words do? The label feedback hypothesis"
- Russian blues reveal effects of language on color discrimination
Jonathan Winawer, Nathan Witthoft, Michael C. Frank, Lisa Wu, Alex R. Wade, and Lera Boroditsky
PNAS | May 8, 2007 | vol. 104 | no. 19 | 7780-7785
- Biological components of sex differences in color preference
Anya C. Hurlberta, and Yazhu Linga
Current Biology Volume 17, Issue 16, 21 August 2007, Pages R623-R625
September 10, 2007:
September 3, 2007:
- Thorpe S, Fize D, Marlot C. 1996. Speed of processing in the human visual system. Nature 381: 520-2 [PDF]
- VanRullen R, Thorpe SJ. 2001c. The time course of visual processing: from early perception to decision- making. J Cogn
Neurosci 13: 454-61. [PDF]
- (background reading) Johnson, J. S., & Olshausen, B. A. (2005). The earliest EEG signatures of object recognition in a
cued-target task are postsensory. Journal of Vision, 5(4):2, 299-312 [PDF]
August 27, 2007: Organizational meeting
- Gary F. Marcus, Keith J. Fernandes, and Scott P. Johnson. (2007) "Infant Rule Learning Facilitated by Speech"
Psychological Science [PDF]
- Jenny R. Saffran, Seth D. Pollak, Rebecca L. Seibel, Anna Shkolnik (2006) "Dog is a dog is a dog: Infant rule learning
is not specific to language." Cognition [PDF]