Departments participating in cognitive science have their own colloquia and other events. See the links below for more information.
The Linguistics Colloquium Series is having a talk next Friday, March 25th, 4:00pm, Oak 112
I would like to invite you to join us and see Prof. David Poeppel‘s (Max-Planck-Institute & NYU) talk “Speech is special and language is structured“ (abstract below).
Information about the speaker can be found here.
Abstract: I discuss two new studies that focus on general questions about the cognitive science and neural implementation of speech and language. I come to (currently) unpopular conclusions about both domains. Based on experiments using fMRI, and exploiting the temporal statistics of speech, I argue for the existence of a speech-specific processing stage and a specialized neuronal substrate that has the appropriate sensitivity and selectivity for speech. Based on experiments using MEG, I discuss the basis for abstract, structural processing. These results demonstrate that, during listening to connected speech, cortical activity of different time scales is entrained, concurrently, to the time course of linguistic structures at different hierarchical levels. Critically, entrainment to hierarchical linguistic structures is dissociated from the encoding of acoustic cues and statistical relations between words. The results demonstrate syntax-driven, internal construction of hierarchical linguistic constituent structure via entrainment of cortical dynamics. My conclusions — that speech is special and language structure driven — provide new neurobiological provocations to the prevailing view that speech perception is ‘mere’ hearing and language comprehension ‘mere’ statistics.