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

Upcoming Events

  • Cognitive Science Seminar Series Download Cognitive Science Seminar Series to my desktop calendar

    November 21, 2014 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Friedman Family Lecture in Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences. Speaker: Justin Cox, Brown University. Title: Examining an Implicit Mechanism of Recognition Criterion Regulation. Abstract: A variety of factors influence how we make decisions about our own memories. When judging a person on the street as novel or familiar, one appeals to an internal cutoff value known as a decision criterion; if an individual is less familiar than this criterion value, he is judged as new, and vice versa. A host of research has demonstrated that people can explicitly and judiciously update their decision criteria based on a variety of factors such as the prevalence of old and new items, rewards and punishments, and simple instructions. One oft overlooked variable that affects criterion placement and movement is the type and history of reinforcement an individual has received. I will discuss evidence that this represents a second route of recognition criterion learning via incremental reinforcement-like learning. Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 305 Dept: CLPS, Lectures, Conferences, and Meetings, Departments, Lectures
  • Alexandra Freund, University of Zurich Download Alexandra Freund, University of Zurich to my desktop calendar

    December 3, 2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Michael S. Goodman '74 Memorial Lecture Series. Speaker: Alexandra Freund, University of Zurich. Title: On Gains and Losses, Means and Ends: Motivational Changes across Adulthood. Abstract: This talk will introduce two main motivational changes that stand out across adulthood: (1) Motivation shifts from a primary orientation towards gains in young adulthood to a stronger orientation towards maintenance in middle adulthood and loss-avoidance in older ages. The age-related differences in motivational orientation affects the the setting and pursuit of goals and seems adaptive regarding subjective well-being and persistent goal pursuit. (2) The cognitive representation of goals shifts from a stronger focus on the outcomes of goal pursuit in young adulthood to an increasingly stronger focus on the process of goal pursuit. Adopting a process focus contributes to affective well-being and to the persistent pursuit of goals that place high demands on self-regulation (e.g., dieting, starting to exercise). Studies investigating the age-related changes in motivational orientation and goal focus as well as their consequences for affective experiences and behavior will be presented and discussed in a lifespan framework. 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, Pre-Law, Faculty, Staff, Postdocs, Departments
  • Perception Action Seminar co-sponsored with the Center for Vision Research Download Perception Action Seminar co-sponsored with the Center for Vision Research to my desktop calendar

    December 4, 2014 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Friedman Family Lecture for Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences. Perception Action Seminar co-sponsored with the Center for Vision Research. Speaker: Randy Flanagan, Queens University. Title: Representing objects and actions when interacting with the world Abstract: Most manual tasks involve grasping and manipulating objects. In the real world, such tasks often involve choosing among several candidate objects to act upon, and then generating motor commands tailored to the properties of the selected object. In the first part of this talk, I will discuss evidence for the provocative idea that, when confronted with multiple potential reach targets, the sensorimotor system prepares full-specified actions for each target, prior to selecting between then. I will suggest that doing so may enable the motor system to ‘co-optimize’ competing action plans. In the second part of the talk I will discuss how the sensorimotor system represents object weight, the accurate prediction of which is essential for skilled and dexterous manipulation. In addition to evidence from psychophysical experiments, I will describe recent functional neuroimaging work examining the contribution of object-sensitive ventral visual stream areas during the planning of manipulation tasks. Finally, time permitting, I will discuss what we can learn about action observers by recording their eye movements while they watch manipulation tasks. Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 305 Dept: CLPS, Brain Science Program, Biology and Medicine, Lectures, Conferences, and Meetings, Departments, Lectures