Modeling linguistic processes through experimental and naturalistic designs

Organizers: Shaonan Wang1, Jixing Li2; 1Institute of Automation Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2City University of Hong Kong

Recent trends in the cognitive neuroscience of language research have been shifting towards the use of naturalistic stimuli, such as story reading or listening. This approach provides more authentic linguistic processes compared to traditional controlled experiments. The relevance of naturalistic design is further amplified in the context of large language models (LLMs), which are trained on naturalistic texts or speech. However, there is also a growing body of research examining LLMs through various linguistic experiments to assess their linguistic competence. In this symposium, we bring together researchers at different career stages and from varied disciplines to explore the benefits and drawbacks of both controlled and naturalistic stimuli. Our objective is to assess the advantages and challenges associated with both controlled and naturalistic stimuli and to discuss the potential of computational models to advance our comprehension of linguistic processes within the human brain, leveraging insights from both research paradigms. View Talks

Leveraging intracranial recordings for detailed insights into language processing: Bridging gaps and advancing understanding

Organizers: Jill Kries1; 1Stanford University

Intracranial recordings (iEEG, ECoG) uniquely provide both high spatial and temporal resolution, enabling researchers to study local neural populations at a scale that approaches advances in animal models for behaviors other than language. Such precision is necessary for understanding the complex representations, computations and architecture underlying language processing. Symposium speakers will present recent advances in intracranial research, addressing (1)theoretical psycholinguistic debates, (2)the interface between acoustic/motor encoding and higher-level conceptual and cognitive processing, and (3)muscle-artifact-free speech production data that enable BCI applications. The panel discussion will entail debating future directions, addressing questions like: How can intracranial research contribute to furthering our theoretical understanding of language in ways that no other technique can? How can intracranial language studies support and augment non-invasive research? What promise does intracranial research hold for applications in individuals with language disorders? This symposium will identify future directions for intracranial language research and strengthen integration with non-invasive methods. View Talks

Towards modern, theory-driven approaches to grammar in aphasia

Organizers: Danielle Fahey1, Jeremy Yeaton2; 1University of Montana, 2University of California, Irvine

Traditional approaches to grammatical deficits in aphasia harken back to categorical definitions conceived in the 19th century. Though the methodologies have improved, much research has continued to integrate these definitions. We seek to move beyond nebulous characterizations of comprehension and production deficits in aphasia—receptive and expressive agrammatism and paragrammatism—towards theory-driven, modern empirical approaches to understanding what underlies syntactic deficits in aphasia. The investigations presented ask the basic questions of whether there are distinct syndromes of agrammatism and paragrammatism, where in the brain and/or linguistic process deviations arise, whether the deviations are strictly syntactic, and what methodologies will best serve to improve our understanding of these conditions, and how the brain does syntax. Therefore, we draw together researchers examining the issue from diverse theoretical perspectives, disciplines and training backgrounds, and empirical evidence from patients with various diagnoses, etiologies and language experiences. View Talks

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