Calendar of Events

  • LingLangLunch Download LingLangLunch to my desktop calendar

    October 29, 2014 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Friedman Family Lecture in Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences. Speaker: Sophia Malamud, Brandeis University. Title: Utterance modifiers and the emergence of illocutionary force. Abstract: Recent years have seen much research addressing expressions whose contribution to meaning seems to modify the illocutionary force of an utterance, rather than its truth-conditions. These expressions range from clause-type morphology (e.g. Portner 2007, Starr 2010), to utterance-level adverbial modifiers (Potts 2005; Scheffler 2008, among others), to discourse connectives (e.g. Blakemore 2002; Webber 2004), to evidentials (e.g., Murray 2009, 2014). This research has shown that the tools of formal semantics are useful in modelling grammatical constraints on illocutionary force. It has also shown that illocutionary force modifiers can provide insight into a number of questions that arise at the semantics-pragmatics interface: Which aspects of illocutionary force arise compositionally from the grammatical meaning of the utterance and the modifier, and which aspects are computed through general reasoning based on speakers’ assumptions about rationality? Do context and rationality serve simply to resolve underspecified or ambiguous grammatical representations, or do they provide additional meaning above and beyond the literal and direct? Is (in)directness a categorical distinction, or is it a gradient – and if the latter, how can this be modelled? What are the universals and what is the cross-linguistic variation in the way illocutionary force is conveyed? I explore these questions using Mandarin particle ba, as well as English tag questions and rising intonation; time permitting, I will suggest a follow-up study using English please and its Russian translational equivalentpo┼żalujsta. The Mandarin particle ba occurs with a variety of speech acts and clause types, typically declarative and imperative, but in rare cases interrogative as well. The English reverse-polarity tags (John is here, isn’t he?) occur with declarative utterances, as does rising intonation (John is here↑) which also occurs in other types of utterances (Congratulations↑). English please and its Russian translational equivalent po┼żalujsta are canonically used in imperative requests, but occur in other clause types (Can you help me, please?) and other speech acts (Can I sit?—Please do.). I build on my prior work (Ettinger and Malamud 2013, Malamud and Stephenson 2014, inter alia) to offer a model of conversation where a unified semantics of clause types (cf. Starr 2010) constrains the range of interpretations for an utterance. A pragmatic conversational scoreboard tracks speakers’ public commitments to propositions, issues, and actions/preferences (cf. Farkas & Roelofsen forthcoming). These commitments constitute a target for collaborative updates; conversational moves may fall short of this target. Moves that fall short place their at-issue content on different parts of the Table, depending on the degree of authority the speaker and the hearer exercise over this content. Mandarin ba signals a lower degree of speaker authority, and potentially higher degree of hearer authority than would otherwise be expected for assertions and requests; pragmatic reasoning then derives the various effects of the utterance modifier. http://brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/events Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 305 Dept: CLPS, Lectures, Conferences, and Meetings, Departments, Lectures
  • Dan P. McAdams, Northwestern University Download Dan P. McAdams, Northwestern University to my desktop calendar

    October 29, 2014 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Michael S. Goodman '74 Memorial Lecture Series. Speaker: Dan P. McAdams, Northwestern University. Title: The Redemptive Self: How Generative Adults Narrate Their Lives. Abstract: Generativity is an adult's concern for and commitment to promoting the well-being of future generations. Past research has shown that adults who score high on self-report measures of generativity tend to be positively and meaningfully engaged in their families, communities, and societal institutions. But generativity is hard work, involving thankless tasks and long-term commitments to uncertain ends. Accordingly, many highly generative adults construct and draw upon an especially powerful story for their lives to support their generative commitments -- a story I call the redemptive self. The story describes how a gifted protagonist journeys forth into a dangerous world, equipped with moral steadfastness and overcoming adversity on the way to leaving a positive legacy of the self for future generations. I will describe empirical research that links this kind of redemptive life narrative to generative lives, and I will examine cultural variations on the redemptive self that appear in narratives of atonement, recovery, personal emancipation, and upward social mobility. The findings suggest that shaping one's life into a redemptive form may bring with it the benefits of strong societal engagement and enhanced well-being for American adults, even as the story hints at certain cultural shortcomings and limitations. Department of Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences, Friedman Auditorium, 190 Thayer Street. 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
  • Cognitive Seminar Download Cognitive Seminar to my desktop calendar

    October 31, 2014 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Friedman Family Lecture in Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences. Speaker: Rebecca Burwell, Brown University. Title: Optogenetic Modulation of Recognition Memory. Abstract: Perirhinal cortex has a well-established role in the identification and recognition of individual items and objects. Animals and humans with perirhinal damage are unable to distinguish familiar from novel objects or images in recognition memory tasks. In single-unit recording studies, perirhinal neurons respond to both novelty and familiarity of presented objects by increasing or decreasing firing rates. How novelty and familiarity are signaled to other brain regions, however, is unknown. In my talk, I will present our evidence that perirhinal neurons are involved in signalling novelty and familiarity to other brain regions by firing in phase with specific frequencies. During exploration of novel and familiar images, optogenetic stimulation of perirhinal cortex at 30 Hz caused animals to treat an image as if it were novel by exploring it more. Stimulation at 11 Hz caused animals to treat an image as familiar by exploring it less. Subsequent experiments confirmed that perirhinal stimulation at these frequencies is neither appetitive nor aversive, ruling out valence as a possible mechanism. We also confirmed that the optimal frequency band to signal novelty is 30-40 Hz and the optimal frequency band to signal familiarity is 10-15 Hz. These results provide evidence that information about novelty may be modulated, independently, by different temporal codes. This modulation may be accomplished by medial prefrontal-perirhinal interactions. http://brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/events Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 305 Dept: CLPS, Brain Science Program, Biology and Medicine, Lectures, Conferences, and Meetings, Departments, Lectures
  • LingLangLunch Download LingLangLunch to my desktop calendar

    November 5, 2014 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Friedman Family Lecture in Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences. Speaker: Chigusa Kurumada, University of Rochester. Title: TBA http://brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/events Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 305 Dept: CLPS, Lectures, Conferences, and Meetings, Departments, Lectures
  • CANCELLED - Richard Davidson, University of Wisconsin-Madison Download CANCELLED - Richard Davidson, University of Wisconsin-Madison to my desktop calendar

    November 5, 2014 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM - CANCELLED - 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
  • Social Cognitive Brown Bag Seminar Series Download Social Cognitive Brown Bag Seminar Series to my desktop calendar

    November 7, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Friedman Family Lecture in Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences. Speaker: Nina Mazar Ph.D (Johannes Gutenberg-University. Professor of Marketing, University of Toronto Dr. Mazar investigates consumer behavior and how it deviates from standard economic assumptions. In addition, she studies moral decision-making and its implications for policy. Her research topics range from irrational attraction to free products, to the paradoxes of green behavior, to temptations to be dishonest. http://clps-scbb.weebly.com/ http://www.brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/events Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 305 Dept: CLPS, Brain Science Program, Biology and Medicine, Lectures, Conferences, and Meetings, Departments, Lectures
  • Cognitive Seminar Download Cognitive Seminar to my desktop calendar

    November 7, 2014 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Friedman Family Lecture in Cogntive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences. Speaker: Norbert Fortin, University of California, Irvine. Title: The neurobiology of the memory for sequences of events: a synergistic approach in rats and humans. Abstract: It is well established that the ability to temporally organize information is fundamental to many perceptual, cognitive, and motor processes. Temporal organization is also critical to memory. In fact, since many of our memories have overlapping elements, including specific items and locations, our capacity to distinguish individual memories critically depends on remembering their unique temporal context. Unfortunately, while our understanding of how the brain processes the spatial context of memories has advanced considerably in recent years, our understanding of their temporal organization lags far behind. The overall objective of our research is to understand the fundamental neurobiological mechanisms underlying the memory for sequences of events and the memory for elapsed time. In this seminar, I will primarily focus on our recent work in rodents in which we used localized brain inactivations and single-cell recordings to help elucidate the contributions of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. I will also present recent findings from our parallel work in human subjects, which suggests that rats and humans use similar strategies, cognitive processes and neural circuits to remember sequences of items. I will conclude by discussing the importance of developing integrated, cross-species approaches to advance basic and clinical memory research. http://brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/events Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 305 Dept: CLPS, Brain Science Program, Biology and Medicine, Lectures, Conferences, and Meetings, Departments, Lectures
  • Robin Clark, University of Pennsylvania Download Robin Clark, University of Pennsylvania to my desktop calendar

    November 12, 2014 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Michael S. Goodman '74 Memorial Lecture Series. Speaker Robin Clark, University of Pennsylvania. Title: The Emergence of Linguistic Diversity. Abstract: We are immersed in language variation---from different languages to social and regional variation within a language. But how does language variation begin? In this talk, I will report on an Agent-based modeling project that investigates the workings of linguistic variation by spreading agents armed with a simple form of concept formation and spreading them over space and time. The object of the simulations was to explore the space of possible mechanisms that could account for social variation in language; how such variation emerges; the trajectory that variation can take over time; and how such variation, in certain circumstances, can be sustained. We'll show that variation can arise in a linguistics homogeneous population that is contains segregated networks of language leaders. Along the way, we will try to demonstrate ancillary results about the wave model of linguistic change that arise from the spatial array of our agents. In sum, we will argue that understanding language variation and change must involve the interplay of psychological factors and social factors. 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
  • Social Cognitive Brown Bag Series Download Social Cognitive Brown Bag Series to my desktop calendar

    November 14, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Friedman Family Lecture in Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences. Speaker: Joachim Krueger Ph.D (Oregon). Professor, Brown University Professor Krueger’s research interests focus on inductive reasoning in social context. This includes the areas of self-perception, intergroup perception and relations, as well as behavior in social dilemmas. He is particularly interested in social projection, which determines how and when people assume that others will behave as they themselves do. He has found that social projection can increase the accuracy of social perception, and make people more willing to cooperate with others. However, social projection also contributes to ingroup favoritism and conflict between groups. http://clps-scbb.weebly.com/ http://www.brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/events Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 101, Friedman Auditorium Dept: CLPS, Brain Science Program, Biology and Medicine, Departments
  • LingLangLunch Download LingLangLunch to my desktop calendar

    November 19, 2014 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Friedman Family Lecture in Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences. Speaker: Scott AnderBois, Brown University. Title: TBA http://brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/events Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 305 Dept: CLPS, Lectures, Conferences, and Meetings, Departments, Lectures
  • Social Cognitive Brown Bag Seminar Series Download Social Cognitive Brown Bag Seminar Series to my desktop calendar

    December 12, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Dan Kahan, J.D. (Harvard Law). Professor of Law and Psychology, Yale Law School Professor Kahan’s primary research interests are risk perception, science communication, and the application of decision science to law and policymaking. He is a member of the Cultural Cognition Project, an interdisciplinary team of scholars who use empirical methods to examine the impact of group values on perceptions of risk and related facts. His research has investigated public disagreement over climate change, public reactions to emerging technologies, and conflicting public impressions of scientific consensus. http://clps-scbb.weebly.com/ http://www.brown.edu/Departments/CLPS/events Metcalf Research Laboratory, Room 101, Friedman Auditorium Dept: CLPS, Brain Science Program, Biology and Medicine, Departments

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