Words as neural assemblies: New data from embodiment, language production and bilingualism

22.02.2017 | 16:00 c.t.

Gastvortrag im Rahmen der Brain Language Talks

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Presenter: Dr. Kristof Strijkers, Laboratoire Parole et Langage, CNRS - Aix-Marseille Université, Aix-en-Provence

Title: Words as neural assemblies: New data from embodiment, language production and bilingualism

Abstract:

According to assembly coding, neurons firing synchronously in response to a particular mental event are bound into large-scale distributed functional units (assemblies) representing that mental event as a whole (‘gestalt’). Extrapolating this neurobiological principle to language, the cerebral fingerprint of a word is thought to be engendered by inter-areal cell assemblies in which the different linguistic constituents of a word (e.g., semantic, lexical, phonological properties) are grouped together in action, perception and integrating/relaying brain systems, and become activated in parallel (e.g., Pulvermuller, 1999; Pulvermuller & Fadiga, 2010). In this talk, I will first briefly highlight some key dynamical and representational properties of this account as uncovered in neuroscientific investigations on language comprehension, and present a recent study we conducted on ‘embodied’ pupil responses to meaning understanding consistent with these properties. Next, I will discuss how these properties can be adopted to language production, and present recent EEG and MEG evidence from object naming supporting an assembly-based view. Finally, I will discuss how the assembly-based production model can serve to mechanistically explain some key phenomena in bilingual speech production. In this manner, this talk aims to demonstrate the potential of assembly coding to link processing at the psycholinguistic and the neural levels across various domains and modalities in language science.

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Zeit & Ort

22.02.2017 | 16:00 c.t.

Raum: JK 31/122
Habelschwerdter Allee 45