Interdisciplinary Neuroscience: Seminars/Events
Looking for Words in the Human Cortex
Presented by William Idsardi
Thursday, May 12, 4 p.m.
STAR Tower Audion
Like visual objects, words are more complicated than they first appear. Words are composed of sounds, which are in turn composed of even smaller pieces, and individual gestures made by moving the various parts of the mouth, which are associated with particular auditory patterns. The pairing of motor actions with perceptual patterns into phonetic features has important consequences for the representation of speech in human cortex. In this talk, William Idsardi will review work on the representation of phonetic features in auditory cortex, the organization of synchronized features into speech sound maps and suggest a format for speech sound sequences based on open bigram models of visual word recognition. The open bigram format for word representations solves an old experimental puzzle from young infants, and allows for a unified treatment of concatenative and non-concatenative word-formation processes.
Idsardi received his B.A. in mathematical linguistics from the University of Toronto in 1988, and his doctorate in linguistics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992. After graduating, he joined the Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of Delaware, which he chaired from 2002-2005. In 2005 he joined the Department of Linguistics at the University of Maryland (UMD), where he is currently the chair. He is affiliated with the program in neuroscience and cognitive science at University of Maryland, and with the Center for Language, Music and Emotion at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Esthetics in Frankfurt and New York University. He is also affiliated with the Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security, and the Center for the Advanced Study of Language, both at UMD.
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