Posters and Talks

Early morphological decomposition: MEG evidence from Fast Periodic Visual Stimulation

Date: 

December, 2019

Venue: 

Workshop on Australiasian Magnetoencephalography (WAM), Sydney, Australia, December 10-13, 2019

Here we investigate the neural representation of morphemes, both stems and suffixes, in a Fast Periodic Visual Stimulation (FPVS) paradigm combined with MEG. We find that the brain automatically detects morphological structure in stimuli that are entirely made up of morphemes, but not in nonwords that contain only a stem, or only a suffix. Further exploration of the neural sources behind these sensor-level data will provide more refined spatial information on the brain mechanisms underlying morpheme identification.

The role of affixes in the visual identification of words and nonwords

Date: 

November, 2019

Venue: 

International Morphological Processing Conference (MoProc), Tübingen, Germany, November 4-7, 2019

The exact mechanisms that govern the visual identification of complex words (e.g., build-er) are not entirely clear. In particular, it is not obvious why the system would identify (pseudo–)morphemes in words that only have an appearance of morphological complexity (e.g., corn–er, iron–y). One hypothesis is that this phenomenon is driven by letter co–occurrence regularity - morphemes are also recurrent clusters of letters.

Behavioural and Neural Correlates of Visual Word Learning

Date: 

September, 2019

Venue: 

21st conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology - Tenerife, Spain - 25-28 September 2019

We learn new words via our everyday reading experience, but the precise mechanisms behind this learning are still unclear. In this experiment we tracked the development of lexical representations in adults combining behavioural measures of lexical processing with EEG signatures of visual word sensitivity. Participants learned novel letter strings using two different routines, one based on the standard explicit procedure typically used in the literature, and one based on a more pro-active feedback-based learning.

Bigram coding as a general visual mechanism (Nothing special about reading?)

Date: 

September, 2019

Venue: 

21st conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology - Tenerife, Spain - 25-28 September 2019

We showed that bigram coding is a general visual mechanism that also applies to visual material that is very different from letters and words, for example because it's not arranged horizontally, or because it refers to abstract visual features that are not even spatially segregated. 

Morphological Decomposition: Deboosting affixes

Date: 

September, 2019

Venue: 

21st conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology, Tenerife, Spain, September 25-28, 2019

Words can be decomposed into smaller meaningful units, known as morphemes (e.g., BUILD–ER). Available data suggest this to happen in rightfully complex words (e.g., deal-er), pseudo-complex words (e.g., corn-er), and also when the stimulus is a nonword composed of a real stem and a real affix (e.g., chair-er). On the contrary, the absence of an affix (e.g., cash-ew) seems to result in a lack of decomposition. Are affixes necessary to trigger morphological analysis?

Pseudo-Letter Chunking in Novel Words Through Problabilistic Information

Date: 

September, 2019

Venue: 

21st conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology - ESCoP 2019, 25-28 September 2019, Tenerife

Semantic priming is mostly driven by local associations

Date: 

September, 2019

Venue: 

21st conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology, Tenerife, Spain, September 25-28, 2019

Access to word meaning outside of awareness is generally accepted now, at least as indexed by masked priming. Yet, it is not clear what kind of information is grasped subliminally, and whether the mechanisms underlying conscious and unconscious semantic processing are the same. Here, we address  this issue by comparing the state-of-art Distributional Semantic Model (DSM), found to successfully predict a wide range of language-related phenomena, with Pointwise Mutual Information (PMI), a measure of association between words based on their mere co-occurrence in language use.

Morpheme-specific neural representations in skilled adult readers: Evidence from fast periodic visual stimulation

Date: 

August, 2019

Venue: 

Society for the Neurobiology of Language (SNL) Annual Meeting, Helsinki, August 20-22, 2019

Morphemes constitute the smallest meaning-bearing units of language that are combined to create complex words (e.g., kindness consists of the stem kind and the suffix -ness). Despite considerable behavioral evidence that morphologically complex written words are processed and represented via their constituent morphemes, the neural underpinnings of morphological processing remain poorly understood (Leminen, Smolka, Duñabeitia & Pliatsikas, 2018).

Neural correlates of discourse-level comprehension for different text types

Date: 

July, 2019

Venue: 

Salzburg Annual Meeting (SAMBA), Salzburg (Austria), July 11 - 12, 2019

Default mode network (DMN) involved in discourse-level comprehension. Two hypotheses regarding its involvement (Jacoby & Fedorenko, 2018):

  • Content-Dependent Hypothesis: DMN involved due to situation model construction (Zwaan & Radvansky, 1998), specially for narratives, etc.

Orthography-semantic links in word identification: automatic activation of embedded stem meaning in the presence or absence of pseudosuffixes

Date: 

July, 2019

Venue: 

26th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, July 17-20, 2019, Toronto, Canada

Research shows that we access word internal structure during visual word identification. For example, we see embedded words (e.g., HAT in THAT) and we are sensitive to morphological structure (DEAL–ER, BASKET–BALL). The exact mechanisms that govern this process, however, are not well established yet—what determines access to embedded stem semantics? What is the role of affixes in this process? To address these questions, we tested the activation of meaning of embedded word stems in the presence or absence of morphological structure using two semantic categorization tasks in Italian.

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