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Guest lecture by Julia Uddén: Language is not enough for brains in conversation

30.11.2022 | 16:00 - 18:00

Guest lecture by Julia Uddén


Speaker: Julia Uddén (Department of Linguistics and Department of Psychology, Stockholm University)

Titel: Language is not enough for brains in conversation


Being able to communicate face-to-face with another person requires skills that go beyond core language abilities. In dialog comprehension, we routinely make inferences beyond the literal meaning of utterances. For instance, the now classical utterance "it is hot in here" will in some circumstances mean "can you open the window?". This would be an example of a so-called indirect speech act. It is however not known whether pragmatic skills such as recognizing speech acts, potentially overlap with core language skills or other capacities, such as Theory of Mind (ToM) skills. I will present a study where we investigated this using fMRI, while capitalizing on pragmatic individual differences in the general population. In this study, participants listened to dialogmaterial with indirect speech acts in the scanner. I will also present a second study in which participants were conversing themselves, from within the scanner, as if in a zoom-call. This latter study allowed us test where uniquely conversational processes are located, in relation to the core language network and other networks. Based on the results, I will argue that contextualized and multimodal communication partly require neurocognitive networks different from those associated with (1) core language, (2) ToM/complex emotion processing, and potentially also (3), so called cognitive control.

Zeit & Ort

30.11.2022 | 16:00 - 18:00

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