COGNITIVE SCIENCE COLLOQUIUM

 

The Fall 2019/Spring 2020 COGNITIVE SCIENCE COLLOQUIUM SERIES schedule is shown below.  Details will be posted as soon as they are available.  As usual, the colloquium will be held on Fridays (unless otherwise noted), from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m., in the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Building, Room 205, 1131 E Second Street. Recordings of these talks are available on Panopto, which can be accessed with a UA NetID.

Since 2012, an annual feature of the colloquium series is a special talk given by the Roger N. Shepard Distinguished Visiting Speaker. Please follow the link for a list of past speakers.

If you would like to receive email announcements about these and other events, please contact Program Coordinator Sandra Kimball at skimball@email.arizona.edu to be added to the colloquium listserv.

Information about previous talks during this academic year can be found at the bottom of this list. Other past talks can be found at COGNITIVE SCIENCE COLLOQUIUM ARCHIVE.

 

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2019/20 COGNITIVE SCIENCE COLLOQUIUM SERIES

FALL 2019

December 6, 2019

PETER TURKELTAUB Talk - CANCELED

 

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SPRING 2020

 

 

January 24, 2020

JESSICA HALL, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Speech Language & Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona
TITLE:  TBA
ABSTRACT: 

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January 31, 2020

LINDA B. SMITH, Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, and The Program in Cognitive Science, Indiana University, Bloomington
TITLE:  TBA
ABSTRACT: 

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February 7, 2020

EVE ISHAM, Assistant Professor, Cognition and Neural Systems, Director, Consciousness-Action-Time Lab, Department of Pscyhology, University of Arizona
TITLE:  TBA
ABSTRACT: 

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February 14, 2020

KEVIN L LIN, Associate Professor, STEM Instruction, Department of Mathematics, University of Arizona
TITLE:  TBA
ABSTRACT: 

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February 21, 2020

JOEL LAWRENCE VOSS, Associate Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Neurology--Ken & Ruth Davee Department, and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University
TITLE:  TBA
ABSTRACT: 

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February 28, 2020

BARBARA LANDAU, Dick and Lydia Todd Professor of Cognitive Science, Department of Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University
TITLE:  TBA
ABSTRACT: 

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March 20, 2020

NATALIA ARIAS TREJO, Professor of Experimental Psychology, National Autonomous University of Mexico
TITLE:  TBA
ABSTRACT: 

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March 27, 2020

SAM GERSHMAN, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University
TITLE:  TBA
ABSTRACT: 

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April 3, 2020

GUS HAHN-POWELL, Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona
TITLE:  TBA
ABSTRACT: 

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April 10, 2020

RAYMOND J. MOONEY, Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin
TITLE:  TBA
ABSTRACT: 

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April 17, 2020

HEIDI HARLEY, Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona
TITLE:  TBA
ABSTRACT: 

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April 24, 2020

LEAH KAPA, Assistant Professor, Department of Speech Language & Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona
TITLE:  TBA
ABSTRACT: 

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May 1, 2020

STUDENT SHOWCASE 

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COLLOQUIUM SPEAKERS who have already visited 2019/20

 

 

September 6, 2019

VLADIMIR V. PRAVOSUDOV, Professor of Zoology, Department of Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, unr.edu/biology/people/vladimir-pravosudov
TITLE:  Environmental variation and the evolution of spatial cognition in food-caching birds
ABSTRACT:
Animals show large variation in cognitive abilities, both across and within species, and an important question is why such variation exists. Food-caching birds are well known to store extremely large numbers of individual food caches and to rely on these food caches to survive the winter and they rely on spatial memory to find their caches. Food-caching parids (chickadees and tits) make more food caches than any other bird species – some parids have been reported to store hundreds of thousands of individual caches every year. Compared to non-caching species, food-caching species appear to have better spatial memory and a larger hippocampus, a brain region associated with spatial learning and it is hypothesized that such differences have evolved because of extreme dependence on food caches. We have been investigating variation in spatial ability within two chickadee species by comparing birds living in environments with large differences in winter climate severity. More severe and longer winters should be associated with more dependence on food caching and hence on spatial memory for survival. Our work indeed confirms that populations from harsher winter environments have better spatial memory and a larger hippocampus, across latitudinal, longitudinal and elevation gradients of climate. Our data also show that spatial cognition is under natural selection and that selection is likely to produce differences in cognition associated with different environments.

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September 13, 2019

MARTIN M. MONTI, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology & Department of Neurology, Brain Injury Research Center, University of California at Los Angeles, www.psych.ucla.edu/faculty/page/monti
TITLE:  Disappearing into nothingness: Disorders of consciousness
ABSTRACT:
The neural mechanisms that give rise to the subjective feeling of consciousness remain debated and controversial. In this presentation I will focus on conditions typically acquired after severe brain injury, such as coma, the vegetative state, and the minimally conscious state, as a model to understand the neural mechanisms accompanying the loss and recovery of consciousness. Specifically, I will try to trace an arc through the main revolutions that have occurred in this field, from pinpointing the limits of our ability to understand who is conscious and who is not, to the functional and structural phenotype of patients with/without consciousness, to how this knowledge is helping us devise novel interventions to help restore consciousness and cognition in these patients. 

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September 20, 2019

ADELE E. GOLDBERG, Professor of Psychology, Princeton University, psych.princeton.edu/person/adele-goldberg

TITLE:  Meaning and metaphor*
ABSTRACT:
Words typically convey a rich and varied array of related meanings.  A common way that word meaning is extended is via conceptual metaphors. For instance, we can talk about experiences as if they were food (a bitter pill; a treat). Such metaphorically extended words and phrases are regularly used even when literal paraphrases exist, which raises the question as to why metaphorical language is so common.  fMRI work has found that literal meanings remain active even when words are used metaphorically, which may imply that metaphorical uses of words have richer semantic representations.  Moreover, recent work has found that metaphorical statements and short stories activate the amygdala more than carefully matched literal paraphrases, indicating that conceptual metaphors may be more emotionally engaging than their literal counterparts. 
*Much of the work discussed was done in collaboration with Francesca Citron of Lancaster University.

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September 27, 2019

GIORGIO CORICELLI, Professor of Economics & Psychology, University of Southern California, dornsife.usc.edu/coricelli

TITLE:  Brain, emotion and decision-making: Regret and envy learning
ABSTRACT:
In decision-making when we choose among alternatives, we may have the opportunity to compare the consequences of our choices with the consequences of foregone options, or with the consequences of choices other people made. In a private context, the unfavorable counterfactual comparison between obtained and foregone outcomes (what might have been) can generate regret. In a social environment, unfavorable social comparison might generate interpersonal negative counterfactuals and elicit envy. In my talk, I will discuss how private and social counterfactual emotions may be useful to improve our decision.

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October 4, 2019

JOSEPH L. SANGUINETTI, Associate Director, Center for Consciousness Studies, University of Arizona; Research Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico, www.jaysanguinetti.com

TITLE:  Sonication-enhanced mindful awareness: A new research direction
ABSTRACT:
The brain changes and adapts as a result of experience.  Learning to play the piano, for example, leads to structural and functional neuroplastic changes in the brain.  The same is true for mindfulness meditation, an attention-based practice that requires effortfully focusing on present-moment experience.  The neuroplastic changes induced by mindfulness correlate with enhanced physiological health, cognitive performance, emotional stability, and overall well-being.  Mindfulness-based interventions are growing in popularity as they help to ameliorate mental, physical, and emotional symptoms and facilitate positive behavior change.  However, mindfulness practice is difficult and time-consuming for most patients, creating a significant barrier to therapeutic effects.  Thus, a technology that accelerates mindfulness training would be clinically valuable because the benefits would be more accessible to patients.  In this talk, I present an overview of our recent work combining a novel form of brain stimulation, transcranial ultrasound, with mindfulness training.  Transcranial ultrasound is a form of noninvasive neuromodulation with millimeter precision where researchers sonicate the brain with non-thermal, low-intensity ultrasound.  By sonicating select brain networks during mindfulness training, we seek to promote neuroplasticity and facilitate the acquisition of the core attention skills at the heart of mindfulness.  The goal is to enhance the effectiveness of mindfulness training, thereby making mindfulness-based interventions and their benefits more widely accessible.  Specifically, we will discuss the efforts of our laboratory to create a sonication-enhanced mindfulness intervention that addresses pain management and addiction treatment.

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October 11, 2019

FRANCESCA FRASSINETTI, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, unibo.it/sitoweb/francesc.frassinetti

TITLE:  The link between spatial attention and time: Evidence in brain damaged patients
ABSTRACT:
Prism adaptation is a procedure used for studying visuomotor plasticity in healthy individuals, as well as for alleviating spatial attentional deficit in right brain damaged patients with neglect. The adaptation is achieved by performing goal-directed movements while wearing prismatic lenses that induce a lateral displacement of visual information. This results in an initial movement error that is compensated by a recalibration of sensory-motor coordinates; consequently, a lateral perceptual, motor and attentional bias occurs in the opposite direction after prism removal.
   Recent empirical studies demonstrated the modulatory effects of a shift of spatial attention induced by prismatic adaptation on different aspects of time, such as the abilities to estimate time duration and to mentally travel in the future and in the past.

   In young healthy participants, leftward and rightward shifts of spatial attentional through prismatic adaptation lead to an underestimation and overestimation of time duration, respectively. Right brain damaged patients present time underestimation deficits that are significantly greater when associated with neglect syndrome. This evidence highlights the role of a right hemispheric network in time perception, in addition to its control of spatial attention engaged in spatial representation of time. On the other hand, left posterior parietal cortex mediates the prismatic adaptation effects on time and the left middle frontal gyrus plays a key role in the maintenance of such effects over time.
   Recently, prismatic adaptation has proven effective in modulating  “conceptual” aspects of time, such as humans’ ability to travel mentally back and forward in time (mental time travel, MTT). In healthy participants, leftward and rightward shifts of spatial attention facilitates recognition of past and future events, respectively. Right brain damaged patients with neglect show a deficit in processing events that are yet to happen (relative-future) and this difficulty is correlated with their spatial deficit. Relevantly, leftward-prismatic adaptation, ameliorating spatial deficits, also reduces temporal impairment concerning the abilities to both correctly estimate time and travel in time. For this reason, the impact of a brain lesion and the prismatic adaptation effects on time processing can have relevant implication for rehabilitation.

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October 16, 2019, WEDNESDAY, 10AM, EDUCATION 351 - SPECIAL COLLOQUIUM
***PLEASE NOTE DAY/TIME/LOCATION***
 

MARTIN PICKERING, Director of Research, School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh, www.ed.ac.uk/profile/martin-pickering

TITLE:  Language use and social interaction
ABSTRACT:

We present a theory of dialogue as a form of cooperative joint activity.  Dialogue is treated as a system involving two interlocutors and a shared workspace that contains their contributions and relevant non-linguistic context.  The interlocutors construct shared plans and use them to “post” contributions to the workspace, to comprehend joint contributions, and to distribute control of the dialogue between them.  A fundamental part of this process is to simulate their partner’s contributions and to use it to predict the upcoming state of the shared workspace.  As a consequence, they align their linguistic representations and their representations of the situation and of the “games” underlying successful communication.  The shared workspace is a highly limited resource, and the interlocutors use their aligned representations to say just enough and to speak in good time.  We end by applying the account beyond the “minimal dyad” to augmented dialogue, multi-party dialogue, and monologue.  (This talk is based on my forthcoming CUP book with the same title, with Simon Garrod.)

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October 18, 2019

NO COLLOQUIUM SCHEDULED. Arizona State University will be holding a symposium on Predictive Coding to which members of the UA Cognitive Science community are invited. Information forthcoming. 

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October 25, 2019

BENJAMIN CLARK, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, psych.unm.edu/people/faculty/profile/benjamin-clark
TITLE:  Neurobiology of spatial disorientation: Insights from neurodegenerative and developmental disorders
ABSTRACT: 
The seminar will cover recent research from our laboratory investigating the neural mechanisms of spatial orientation with specific emphasis on a class of limbic system neurons called "head direction" cells. I will describe our work investigating the loss of this spatial capacity in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and in neurodevelopment disorders such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

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November 1, 2019
 

DONNA ROSE ADDIS, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, psych.auckland.ac.nz/people/d-addis
TITLE:  Episodic memory and episodic simulation: One and the same?
ABSTRACT: 
Over the past decade, episodic memory has been reconceptualised as future-oriented. Relevant psychological theories have started from the premise that remembering and imagining are distinct neurocognitive processes, and thus have to account for the overlapping cognitive and neural substrates. For instance, in our 2007 ‘constructive episodic simulation hypothesis’, Schacter and I argued that details from episodic memories of past events provides the content for simulating future events. Here, I draw on contemporary philosophical and psychological perspectives to update and refine this theoretical position. I will argue that, fundamentally, remembering and imagining are instantiations of the same neurocognitive process – constructive episodic simulation – and that differences between past and future events arise from differences in representational content.

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November 8, 2019

ANDREAS BLUME, McClelland Professor of Economics, Head, Department of Economics, University of Arizona, eller.arizona.edu/people/andreas-blume

TITLE:  Mediated talk: An experiment
ABSTRACT: 
Theory suggests that mediation has the potential to improve information sharing. This paper experimentally investigates whether and how this potential can be realized. It is the first such study in a cheap-talk environment. We find that mediation encourages players to use separating strategies. Behavior gravitates toward pooling with direct talk and toward separation with mediated talk. This difference in behavior translates into a moderate payoff advantage of mediated over direct talk. There are systematic departures from the equilibrium prediction, characterized by over-communication by senders in the initial rounds of direct talk, stable under-communication by senders under mediated talk, and over-interpretation (attributing too much information to messages) by receivers under both direct and mediated talk.

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November 22, 2019

MARTIN DUFWENBERG, Karl and Stevie Eller Professor of Economics, Director, Institute of Behavioral Economics, University of Arizona, u.arizona.edu/~martind1
TITLE:  Lies, peers & honest submissions
ABSTRACT: 

I present and combine three papers about graft & honesty. First, I introduce the notion of “perceived cheating aversion.” Second, I extend and apply this idea to “peer evaluation tournaments.” Third, in relation to the experimental results of that study, I make a proposal for how to best evaluate research papers submitted for publication.

[The three papers are “Lies in Disguise – A Theoretical Analysis of Cheating” which is joint with Martin A. Dufwenberg; “Peer Evaluation Tournaments” which is joint with Christina Gravert & Katja Görlitz; and “Sealed Envelope Submissions Foster Research Integrity” which is joint with Peter Martinsson.]

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December 3, 2019, 3-430pm, Student Union North Ballroom

2019 ANNUAL GIDP STUDENT RESEARCH SHOWCASE.
The showcase will include students representing each of the 18 GIDPs who will present a research poster at the event. Katie Esterline and Valeria Pfeifer will represent Cognitive Science. Refreshments will be provided as well as a raffle for all attendees. 

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