Submitted Papers

Brain Network Reconfiguration for Narrative and Argumentative Thought

Journal: 

Communications Biology

Date: 

November, 2020

In this work, we test the neural basis of the understanding of narrative and argumentative thought via inter-subject correlational measures in fMRI. We find that both kinds of thought enhance functional couplings within the frontoparietal control system. However, while a narrative specifically implicates the default mode system, an argument specifically induces synchronization between the intraparietal sulcus and multiple perisylvian areas in the language system.

Knowledge of statistics or statistical learning? Readers prioritize the statistics of their native language over the learning of local regularities

Journal: 

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Language, Memory and Cognition

Date: 

November, 2020

A large body of evidence suggests that people spontaneously and implicitly learn about regularities present in the visual input. Although theorized as critical for reading, this ability has so far been demonstrated only for non-linguistic materials. We tested whether local statistical regularities are also extracted from materials that closely resemble one’s native language. In two experiments, Italian speakers saw a set of letter strings modelled on the Italian lexicon and guessed which of these strings were words in a fictitious language and which were foils.

Morpheme position coding in reading development as explored with a letter search task

Journal: 

Journal of Cognition

Date: 

November, 2020

in this project, we investigated the development of sensitivity to affixes -- and their position within words -- during reading acquisition via a letter search task. A pre-registered experiment was conducted in Italian with 3rd graders, 5th graders, and adults. Results indicated position-specific processing differences between suffixes and non-suffix endings that develop throughout reading development; however, some effects were weak and only partially in line with the hypotheses. Therefore, we conducted a second experiment, and the effects of position-specific suffix identification could not be replicated. A combined analysis additionally using a Bayesian approach suggest no processing differences between suffix and non-suffix endings in our task.

A pre-print and all data and scripts related to this project are available here.

Algorithms for the automated correction of vertical drift in eye tracking data

Journal: 

Behavior Research Methods

Date: 

June, 2020

We evaluate nine algorithms for the correction of “vertical drift” in eye tracking data — the vertical displacement of fixations that results from a gradual loss of eye tracker calibration over time. Our results — based on both simulated and natural eye tracking data — show that certain algorithms are better than others on particular kinds of vertical drift and reading behavior. We offer evidence-based advice to researchers on how to choose an appropriate technique and concrete suggestions on how drift correction software can be improved going forward. A preprint and all the materials related to this project are available here and here, respectively.

Does morphological structure mediate access to embedded word meaning in child readers?

Journal: 

Memory and Cognition

Date: 

June, 2020

Beginning readers have been shown to be sensitive to the meaning of embedded neighbors (e.g., CROW in CROWN). Moreover, developing readers are sensitive to the morphological structure of words (TEACH-ER). However, the interaction between orthographic and morphological processes in meaning activation during reading is not well established. We addressed this issue with a semantic categorization experiment with elementary school children.

Link to OSF (preprint, data, and script): https://osf.io/62w95/.

Timecourse and convergence of abstract and concrete knowledge in the anterior temporal lobe

Journal: 

bioRxiv

Date: 

June, 2020

Recent evidence points to the anterior temporal lobe (ATL) as a crucial semantic hub integrating both abstract and concrete conceptual features according to a dorsal-to-medial gradient. It is however unclear when this conceptual gradient emerges and how semantic information reaches the ATL during conceptual retrieval. Here we addressed this issue via a multiple regression approach to magnetoencephalography signals of spoken words, combined with dimensionality reduction in concrete and abstract semantic feature spaces. Results showed that the dorsal-to-medial abstract-to-concrete ATL gradient emerges only in late stages of word processing: Abstract and concrete semantic information are initially encoded in posterior temporal regions and travel along separate cortical pathways eventually converging in the ATL.

The paper is available as a pre-print on bioRxiv.

Morphological priming of inflectional suffixes

Journal: 

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition

Date: 

January, 2020

This paper investigates inflectional suffix priming in Slovene, and compare it to stem priming. Read more in the paper pre-print here

Masked morphological priming tracks the development of a fully mature lexical system in L2

Journal: 

Journal of Memory and Language

Date: 

June, 2019

This paper investigates masked orthographic and morphological priming in L1 Italian, L2 English readers, whose L2 proficiency profile was assessed with a wide battery of tests. Read more by clicking on the title or, to see what we found, check out our pre-print here

 

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