CRAIG CHAMBERS, Psychology, University of Toronto at Mississauga
Title: Linguistic reference and visual objects: At the intersection of percepts, concepts, and social cognition
Ebbinghaus Empire Series 2017-2018
Abstract: At first glance, using words to refer to things in the immediate visual environment seems to be one of the simplest instances of language use. Yet even in this context, the task facing the listener is often far from trivial. I will describe research using this scenario to explore listeners' ability to simultaneously (i) manage indeterminacies in unfolding speech, (ii) adjudicate among linguistic, perceptual, and conceptual information sources, and (iii) model the knowledge state of the person speaking. In this work, fixation patterns are used as a means to track the nature of real-time spoken language comprehension. Whereas the results in some cases show rapid and impressive information integration (especially in relation to classic models of cognitive architecture), other cases show less stellar performance. Nonetheless, the overall patterns point to a system that ensures language processing is as optimal as possible across a broad range of circumstances.
Watch video of Craig Chambers talk at https://play.library.utoronto.ca/uwj_Zp6J87K
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