Search Abstracts | Symposia | Slide Sessions | Poster Sessions | Lightning Talks

Can we investigate linguistic modularity in the brain with non-modular NLP systems?

Tuesday, October 24, 1:30 - 3:30 pm CEST, Auditorium

Organizer: Shailee Jain1,2; 1The University of Texas at Austin, 2The University of California, San Francisco

The rise of natural-language-processing (NLP) systems has led to an overwhelming paradigm shift in language neuroscience. These systems jointly capture linguistic information at many different levels like syntax, semantics and discourse. Proponents of NLP-based brain modeling believe that this integration facilitates investigation of multiple brain processes simultaneously, unlike traditional paradigms that target specific manipulations. Critics believe that their lack of modularity and “black-box” nature hampers isolation of distinct processes and leads to biases. Our field has reached an impasse where “global organization” claims from NLP-based models often contradict “functional localization” claims from controlled experiments, lesion-mapping and neural disorders. In a rare event, we bring together neurolinguists/psychologists/computer-scientists for a general audience to discuss which brain mechanisms we can infer from these vastly different artificial systems, perils of NLP-systems not grounded in linguistic theory vs. pigeonholing brain function into known theories and utility of NLP interpretability tools to isolate distinct brain processes. View Talks

Origin and function of hemispheric asymmetry for language: insights from neuroscience, animal models and clinical practice.

Wednesday, October 25, 8:00 - 10:00 am CEST, Auditorium

Organizers: Benjamin Morillon1,2; 1Aix Marseille Université, 2Inserm

Our interdisciplinary symposium aims to shed light on the origin and function of hemispheric asymmetry for language through fundamental and clinical research, language perception and production research, as well as comparative evolutionary approaches across primates. It offers the latest perspectives on this historic question in cognitive neuroscience, with the comparison of complementary and even incompatible points of view. In particular, the sensory or motor origin of brain asymmetry will be debated, together with the presence or absence of lateralization of specific cognitive processes. The symposium is suitable for students and faculty interested in cognitive neuroscience, linguistics, and communication disorders. Attendees will benefit from gaining knowledge on the latest theories and empirical findings that describe the complex relationship between brain asymmetry and language processing. Overall, this symposium offers a unique opportunity to explore the cutting-edge research on hemispheric specialization in the brain and its implications for language and communication. View Talks

Unveiling the Neural Substrates of Early Language Development through Precision fMRI

Thursday, October 26, 1:30 - 3:30 pm CEST, Auditorium

Organizers: Ola Ozernov-Palchik1, Ev Fedorenko1; 1MIT

Linguistic skills develop extremely rapidly early in life: by age 3-4, children can already understand and express complex ideas. Furthermore, formal education, including learning to read, fosters the development of vocabulary and the acquisition of complex structures. Despite comprehensive behavioral characterization, the neural substrates of early language learning and processing remain poorly understood. This symposium focuses on the individual-subject (precision) fMRI approach and tackles several open questions in the field: 1) Is the language network already selective and left-lateralized early in life? 2) What role do non-linguistic capacities play in language learning? 3) How does learning to read (or struggling to do so) affect the language system and the brain in general? Jointly, these talks from an all-female panel from different institutions, countries of origin, ethnic backgrounds, and career stages highlight complementary lines of work at the cutting edge of the neurobiology of language development. View Talks

SNL Account Login

Forgot Password?
Create an Account