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Master thesis defense: "Language effects on concrete and abstract concepts: The temporal dynamics of semantic processing in a brain-constrained neural network model"

Fynn Dobler, a student assistant in the MatCo project, has successfully defended his master thesis on the temporal dynamics of semantic processing in the Potsdam Embodied Cognition Group (PECoG). The first supervisor was Prof Dr Dr Friedemann Pulvermüller, the second supervisor was Prof Dr Martin Fischer.

The talk was recorded and is available online here.

News from Nov 23, 2022

In his thesis, Fynn Dobler works with a brain-constrained network model to expand the results of Henningsen-Schomers & Pulvermüller (2021) on concrete and abstract concept learning with and without the help of linguistic symbols.

He investigated the functional unity of learned conceptual cell assemblies by evaluating the firing synchronicity of their neurons, as well as the duration of their activity. He found that the model easily learns concrete concepts with general feature overlap between all their instances without a linguistic symbol, but fails to do so for abstract concepts with only pairwise feature overlap between their instances. Once a linguistic symbol is introduced, however, abstract concepts are on par with concrete ones in terms on functional unity.

An interactive visualisation of the results can be found here.

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