Posters and Talks

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.

Temporal Dynamics of lexical and semantic features of spoken words: an MEG study

Date: 

July, 2019

Venue: 

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

The temporal dynamics of spoken word recognition are highly debated. While some studies suggest serial processing of sublexical and lexico-semantic information (e.g., Kocagoncu et al., 2017), others reported parallel processing since early stages (e.g., Lewis & Poeppel, 2014). The current study employed multiple linear regression to predict MEG-evoked responses in 20 native Italian speakers during the semantic judgment of 438 Italian spoken words.

Discovering the Lexicon's Statistical Structure in Reading

Date: 

June, 2019

Venue: 

Interdisciplinary Advances in Statistical Learning, San Sebastian, Spain, June 27-29, 2019

Humans are known to detect probabilistic regularities in learning materials. In language, this ability is particularly well-evidenced for the auditory modality. In two experiments, we tested if learners rely on statistical regularities also when processing text. Italian speakers performed a lexical decision task on a large set of letter strings, distinguishing between nonword strings and strings that were words in a novel language. Participants successfully detected that novel words complied with the statistics of the Italian lexicon, and used this information to perform the task.

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