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.

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

Upcoming Events

  • Jeff Cockburn PhD Defense Download Jeff Cockburn PhD Defense to my desktop calendar

    January 26, 2015 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM What you should do (and what you really do) when you don't know what to do: Information seeking during value based decision making Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 101, Friedman Auditorium Open to the Public, Dept: CLPS, Audience, Departments
  • CANCELLED - Jessica Cohen, Kennedy Krieger Institute Download CANCELLED - Jessica Cohen, Kennedy Krieger Institute to my desktop calendar

    January 27, 2015 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Michael S. Goodman ’74 Memorial Lecture Series. Speaker: Jessica Cohen, Kennedy Krieger Institute. Title:Segregation and Integration of Functional Brain Networks in Health and Disease. Abstract: The brain’s ability to adaptively engage different functional networks in the face of a changing environment is an important characteristic that enables a wide variety of behaviors. The goal of my research program is to understand how distinct brain networks interact with each other and flexibly reconfigure when confronted with a dynamic environment, as well as how network integration contributes to individual differences in behavior. Further, I seek to understand the consequences of dysfunction in network integration. To investigate communication patterns among brain regions, I utilize functional neuroimaging and study network integration across a range of contexts, such as changing cognitive demands, transformations across typical development, and disruptions in healthy functioning due to disorders such as ADHD. I apply cutting edge multivariate methods from neuroscience, psychology, and mathematics, including functional and resting state connectivity and graph theory. My research provides evidence that the healthy brain systematically reconfigures to adapt to current demands, and that dysfunction in this dynamic network behavior underlies ADHD. http://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, Postdocs, Departments
  • CANCELLED - Robert Podesva, Stanford University Download CANCELLED - Robert Podesva, Stanford University to my desktop calendar

    January 28, 2015 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Michael S. Goodman '74 Memorial Lecture Series. Speaker: Robert Podesva, Stanford University. Title: The Social and Linguistic Distribution of Creaky Voice (Vocal Fry). Abstract: Creaky voice, or vocal fold vibration characterized by irregular pitch periods, has been noted as a feature of young women’s speech in the media and academic research alike. Media portrayals, in particular, vilify creaky voice and call into question the vocal health of its users. In spite of strong language ideologies surrounding creaky phonation, no study has documented a higher incidence of creak among young women. In this talk, I report on the results of a large-scale acoustic study of creaky voice in conversational speech samples with residents of three communities in Inland California. Results indicate a change in apparent time, such that both young women and young men are leading a change toward creakier phonation; young women additionally show evidence of creaking at higher pitch levels. Notably, creaky voice is also prevalent in the speech of older women. Linguistic factors further constrain the use of creaky voice, encouraging its occurrence, for example, at the ends of phrases and in syllables that do not carry prosodic prominence. In sum, all speakers use creaky voice to some extent, in accordance with the demands of the linguistic system, and the feature is by no means confined to the speech of young women. http://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
  • Vishnu Murty, New York University Download Vishnu Murty, New York University to my desktop calendar

    January 29, 2015 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Michael S. Goodman '74 Memorial Lecture Series. Speaker: Vishnu Murty, New York University. Title: Motivated Memory: Mesolimbic-Hippocampal interactions during memory encoding. Abstract: Memories are not direct representations of the environment; rather, an individual's goals can influence how experiences are stored into long-term memory. The mesolimbic dopamine system, in particular the ventral tegmental area (VTA), is critical for motivating this adaptive behavior. However, many questions remain as to how this system shapes individuals' representations of their environment. I will present a series of studies using human neuroimaging to investigate how motivational drive facilitates hippocampus-dependent memory encoding and consolidation. Together, these studies support a model by which dynamic interactions amongst the VTA, hippocampus, and neocortex facilitate enriched memory encoding. http://brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/events Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 101, Friedman Auditorium Colloquia, Open to the Public, Dept: CLPS, 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
  • Brice Kuhl, New York University Download Brice Kuhl, New York University to my desktop calendar

    February 2, 2015 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Michael S. Goodman '74 Memorial Lecture Series. Speaker: Brice Kuhl, New York University. Title: Decoding competitive remembering. Abstract: Overlap between memories can lead to competition during attempts to remember. This competition is a major cause of forgetting and memory lapses. Thus, successful remembering requires control over memory in order to selectively attend to or favor those memories that are relevant to current behavioral goals. I will describe a series of human fMRI studies that use multivariate decoding methods to understand (a) how competition between memories is expressed in patterns of neural activity (b) how these neural expressions of competition relate to behavioral outcomes and the engagement of cognitive control mechanisms, and (c) fronto-parietal control mechanisms that align reactivated memories with behavioral goals. http://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
  • Jeremy Manning, Princeton University Download Jeremy Manning, Princeton University to my desktop calendar

    February 4, 2015 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Michael S. Goodman '74 Memorial Lecture Series. Speaker: Jeremy Manning, Princeton University. Title: A neural signature of mental time travel. Abstract: Abstract: What defines our subjective experience of being in a particular moment? How (and why) do we mentally revisit that moment later? A leading hypothesis is that our subjective experiences are defined by a set of internal and external contextual cues. These contextual cues include incoming sensory information, where we are, who we are with, our mood, etc. When we remember past experiences, some of these contextual cues are reactivated in our minds, giving us the feeling of "traveling back in time." This process can also work in reverse: when we happen upon previously experienced contextual cues in the course of our daily lives, we often spontaneously recall the past. For example, hearing a song on the radio on your way to work might remind you of another time you heard that same song years ago, which might in turn dredge up other contextual cues present during that old experience. This deep association between contextual cues and moments in time has become a cornerstone of modern theories of how we remember events from our past. One of the most challenging aspects of studying the role of context in memory is that we do not typically have direct access to peoples' internal representations of context. Instead, we are left to study contextual cues indirectly through their effects on behavior. I will present a series of memory studies aimed at gaining insights into the elusive neural representations of contextual cues that allow us to "bookmark" our autobiographical timelines. Using a variety of brain recording modalities and computational modeling techniques, I will show how we can begin to tease out, manipulate, and examine in detail the neural underpinnings of mental time travel. http://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
  • Jane Wang, Northwestern University Download Jane Wang, Northwestern University to my desktop calendar

    February 9, 2015 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Michael S. Goodman '74 Memorial Lecture Series. Speaker: Jane Wang, Northwestern University. Title: Toward a cognitive neuroscience of information-based decisions and modeling during learning. Abstract: Learning often requires extensive interaction with the external environment, including complex sequences of decisions regarding how to acquire more information. This is especially true in dynamic or context-dependent settings, in which formulation of learning strategies to guide exploratory decisions allows more effective sampling of information and optimized learning. Although brain systems such as those of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus have been well-studied in decision-making and learning, little is understood about how these systems interact to support strategic decisions during exploratory learning or are disrupted in neuropsychiatric disorders in which problems with decision-making and exploratory learning are salient yet poorly understood symptoms. Resolving these issues poses challenges for conventional cognitive-neuroscience approaches, as it is difficult to isolate information-based decisions in static/passive learning tasks that are commonly employed. In this talk, I discuss recent efforts to merge together models of the information that individuals seek during learning with experimental approaches that allow identification and manipulation of exploratory decisions in order to develop a foundation for the cognitive neuroscience of information-based decisions. This combined modeling and experimental approach allows pinpointing of the interactive neural systems that underlie strategic and information-seeking decisions—decisions that would remain unobservable in more traditional static/passive learning experiments. I will describe results from recent studies in this spirit that have clarified the nature of dynamic changes in hippocampal-prefrontal and striatal-cortical systems during active, exploratory learning. I will also discuss our latest efforts to modulate these same brain systems using noninvasive brain stimulation and characterize how these manipulations produce changes in individuals’ learning abilities. Through the combined approach of information modeling, tight experimental control of active learning, and the measurement or manipulation of brain systems, we can establish much tighter linkages between brain and behavior in both healthy individuals and those afflicted by neuropsychiatric disorders. http://brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/events Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 305 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