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CLS Distinguished Language Science Colloquium

Friday, September 15 at 9:00am to 10:30am

127 Moore Building, UP

Dr. Ping Li, Professor of Psychology, Linguistics, and IST (PSU) and Benjamin Schloss, Graduate Student in Cognitive Psychology (PSU), present their research in the talk "Simultaneous Eye-Tracking and fMRI in L1 and L2 Readers of English". 

Abstract:  This talk will highlight several ongoing research projects from the Brain, Language, and Computation lab which make use of simultaneous eye-tracking and fMRI, a recently emerging methodology which allows researchers to simultaneously collect highly sensitive behavioral and neuroimaging data on various language processes in naturalistic reading environments. We will discuss how the current methodology makes it possible to tease apart the neural correlates of different linguistic processes that are used during reading, such as the processing of lexical variables like word length, frequency, concreteness, and we compare these results among a population of native English monolingual speakers and Chinese-English bilinguals. Furthermore, we discuss results from the native English monolinguals which begin to uncover how high level variables like reading comprehension modulate the integration of low lexical variables into oculomotor commands (predictions about upcoming linguistic information). We discuss the findings in light of current, motor centric theories of language acquisition. Finally, we discuss how we are using these methods to study the basic statistical learning mechanisms that underlie online changes in conceptual representations at the neural level during reading and then applying these methods to L2 learners to assess comprehension.

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