Linguistics Seminar - Jared Novick
26 May 2021, 4:00 pm–6:00 pm
Direct Impact of Cognitive Control on Sentence Processing and Comprehension: The Importance of Cognitive States vs. Traits
Richard JardineThe seminar will take place on Zoom. Please contact the organiser for the sign up details.
Seminar Title: Direct Impact of Cognitive Control on Sentence Processing and Comprehension: The Importance of Cognitive States vs. Traits
Abstract: Incremental language processing means that listeners often confront temporary ambiguity about how to structure the input, which can generate misinterpretations. I will discuss various experiments from my lab designed to test whether the engagement status of cognitive control – a system that detects and resolves information conflict – assists revision during real-time comprehension. To this end, we have developed a method that manipulates how dynamic modulations of cognitive control over the course of seconds affects language processing behavior. We ask: How do people compare with themselves under different states of cognitive engagement? What are the real-time consequences of these subtle manipulations on language processing performance? Such an approach deliberately diverges from traditional individual differences methods where ‘executive function’ (EF) measures are taken as a snapshot in time of a person’s ability. But people’s cognitive engagement naturally fluctuates through the day; within-person variation therefore can influence in-the-moment performance, and suggests that EF abilities are not necessarily fixed or static. In this talk, I will illustrate how, across a range of studies, we observe fewer comprehension errors, and earlier revision in time, when cognitive control is “on”, which prevents interpretation procedures from running aground. Moreover, such effects cannot be ascribed to “paying more attention” (and I will show you why).
About the Speaker
Associate Professor at University of MarylandMore about Jared Novick