Cognitive,Linguistic and Psychological Sciences

Integrating the Study of Mind, Brain, Behavior and Language

We are delighted to announce the formation of the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences (CLPS) as of July 2010. CLPS is dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of mind, brain, behavior, and language.

As part of the University's ongoing Plan for Academic Enrichment, CLPS has been formed from the former faculties of the Department of Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences and the Department of Psychology, as well as several new hires. CLPS is housed in a newly renovated 36,000 sq ft building.

Using electrophysiology & optogenetics to probe memory. How do we make decisions and learn from experience? How do we select an appropriate action, given our goals? How does the brain develop & change in response to cues? How do people decide to blame others for their behavior? A stroke leads to resolution of foreign accent syndrome. Which variables influence control over learning and action? New software automatically identifies behaviors of laboratory mice. Searching for memory. How do we integrate higher-order cognitive processes & actions? Using an immersive virtual environment to test perception & action.

Upcoming Events

  • Social Cognitive Brown Bag Series Download Social Cognitive Brown Bag Series to my desktop calendar

    September 19, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Speaker: Andrew E. Monroe, Florida State University Title: Not so motivated after all? Taking a closer look at the process of blame Abstract: Over the past 20 years, moral judgment has typically been described as a motivated process wherein people’s intuitive desire to blame biases information processing and results in a tendency to over-blame. Yet, such a process of blame would be largely maladaptive and incongruent with using blame for everyday social-regulation. By examining how people update moral judgments in response to new information, I contrast the motivated-blame account with a systematic-blame hypothesis. I present new data showing that people carefully attend to causal and mental state information – regardless of its mitigating or exacerbating content – when making and updating blame judgments. This pattern of data sharply contrasts with the motivated blame account, favoring instead the systematic-blame hypothesis. These effects persist across different stimuli modalities, population groups, and are robust against bottom up effects (e.g., cognitive load). While systematic blame best captures everyday moral judgment, I discuss several new studies that highlight potential limits to systematic blaming, including: judging different moral tribes, the influence of emotion, power altering the social expression of blame, and moral beliefs biasing ascriptions of mind. http://www.brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/events Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 305 Dept: CLPS, Brain Science Program, Biology and Medicine, Departments
  • Cognition Seminar Series Download Cognition Seminar Series to my desktop calendar

    September 19, 2014 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Speaker: Joshua Abbot, UC Berkley Abstract: When people are asked to retrieve members of a category from memory, clusters of semantically related items tend to be retrieved together. A recent article by Hills, Jones and Todd (2012) argues that this pattern reflects a process similar to optimal strategies for foraging for food in patchy spatial environments, with people making a strategic decision to switch away from a cluster of related information as it becomes depleted. We demonstrate that similar behavioral phenomena also emerge from a random walk on a semantic network derived from human word association data. Random walks provide an alternative account of how people search their memory, postulating an undirected rather than a strategic search process. We show that results resembling optimal foraging are produced by random walks when related items are close together in the semantic network. These findings are reminiscent of arguments from the debate on mental imagery, showing how different processes can produce similar results when operating on different representations. http://brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/Events Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 305 Dept: CLPS, Departments
  • FYP/QP Presentations Download FYP/QP Presentations to my desktop calendar

    September 23, 2014 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM 4:00 Denise Werchan, Title: Eight-Month-Old Infants Spontaneously Learn and Generalize Hierarchical Rule-Sets. 4:30 Evan Cesanek, Title: Illusion effects on grasping are corrected by online visual and haptic feedback. 5:00 Elena Luchkina, Title: Eighteen-Month-Old Toddlers Prefer to Learn Words From Reliable Speakers. Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 101, Friedman Auditorium Open to the Public, Dept: CLPS, Audience, Departments
  • The Richard B. Millward Colloquium Download The Richard B. Millward Colloquium to my desktop calendar

    September 24, 2014 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Speaker: Sharon L. Thompson-Schill, University of Pennsylvania. Title: Costs and benefits of cognitive control Abstract: Prefrontal cortex is a key component of a system that enables us to regulate our thoughts, behaviors and emotions, and impairments in all of these domains can readily be observed when this cognitive control system is compromised. Here, I explore a somewhat less intuitive hypothesis, namely that cognitive control has costs, as well as benefits, for cognition. I will provide evidence from several experiments in which we manipulated frontally-mediated cognitive control processes using noninvasive brain stimulation (transcranial direct current stimulation; TDCS) of prefrontal cortex and observed the consequences for different aspects of cognition. Using this experimental methodology, we demonstrate the costs and benefits of cognitive control for categorization, language production, learning, and creative problem solving. I will suggest that this framework for thinking about cognitive control has important implications for our understanding of cognition in children prior to maturation of prefrontal cortex. http://www.brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/events Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 101, Friedman Auditorium Colloquia, Open to the Public, Dept: CLPS, First Years, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, For Masters candidates only, For PhD candidates only, Audience, Brain Science Program, Biology and Medicine, Lectures, Conferences, and Meetings, Faculty, Staff, Postdocs, Departments
  • FYP/QP Presentations Download FYP/QP Presentations to my desktop calendar

    September 25, 2014 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM 4:30 Ceyda Sayali. Title: Discounting of Monetary Reward by Mental Effort. 5:00 Christine Gamble, Title: TBA. Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 101, Friedman Auditorium Open to the Public, Dept: CLPS, Audience, Departments
  • FYP/QP Presentations Download FYP/QP Presentations to my desktop calendar

    September 26, 2014 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM 4:00 Boyoung Kim, Title: Why social blame is social: Because it follows norms. 4:30 Greg Dachner, Title: Behavioral Dynamics of Alignment in Pedestrian Following. 5:00 Stephen Emet, Title: Negative Polarity Items in Affective Environments. Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 101, Friedman Auditorium Open to the Public, Dept: CLPS, Audience, Departments