Integrating the Study of Mind, Brain, Behavior, and Language

Our aim is to represent a leading center for the multidisciplinary study of mind, brain, behavior, and language - including such phenomena as perception, thinking, learning, memory, attention, action, personality, speech, language processing, and linguistic structure. The department examines the functional organization of these capacities, the representational and computational processes that underlie them, their neural bases, their development across the lifespan, and how they shape individual and social behavior. (See more...)


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

Upcoming Events

  • Rory Turnbull, Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, École Normale Supérieure Download Rory Turnbull, Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, École Normale Supérieure to my desktop calendar

    February 8, 2016 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Michael S. Goodman '74 Memorial Lecture Series. Title: An investigation of probabilistic phonetic reduction. Abstract: Abstract: Speech is intrinsically variable, yet humans do a remarkably good job at retrieving the original message from noisy input. Multiple factors intervene between the retrieval of a word-form from the lexicon and the word's articulation in the mouth. Many of these factors are irrelevant from a linguistic or cognitive point of view - for example, idiosyncratic differences in vocal tract morphology. However, some factors are relevant, and can shed light on cognitive processing and linguistic representations. Probabilistic phonetic reduction is one such factor, and the focus of this talk. Probabilistic phonetic reduction is a phenomenon whereby words which are more contextually predictable tend to be pronounced less clearly than words which are less predictable. This talk has two major components. First, the extent of this phenomenon is explored. Through corpus-based and experimental studies, I present evidence that probabilistic reduction is active in two novel phonetic domains, namely, nasal place assimilation and pitch variation, suggesting a cognitive rather than articulatory locus for this phenomenon. These studies also suggest that differing definitions of "predictability" can yield markedly different results. Next, I address the explanatory adequacy of a cluster of related theories that purport to explain why probabilistic phonetic reduction occurs. Through an individual differences approach, I demonstrate that none of the contemporary theories are able to provide a satisfactory account without extensive modification. Desiderata for a satisfactory model are discussed. Taken together, these data suggest that probabilistic phonetic reduction is not a simple phenomenon amenable to easy explanation. This investigation further suggests that the study of phonetic reduction is able to inform research both at an acoustic level and at a cognitive level. Future research in this vein will likely yield fruitful results for both areas of inquiry. Metcalf Research Building, Room 101, Friedman Auditorium Colloquia, Open to the Public, Dept: CLPS, First Years, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, For Masters candidates only, Audience, Brain Science Program, Biology and Medicine, Lectures, Conferences, and Meetings, Faculty, Staff, Postdocs, Departments
  • Perception Action Seminar Series Download Perception Action Seminar Series to my desktop calendar

    February 18, 2016 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Michael S. Goodman '74 Memorial Seminar Series. Speaker: Dan Yamins, PhD, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT. Title: Using Behaviorally-Driven Computational Models to Uncover Principles of Cortical Representation. PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK WILL BE HELD IN METCALF 104 > Other location: see description for details Dept: CLPS, Lectures, Conferences, and Meetings, Departments, Seminars