Informatics: Room 4.24 in the Informatics Forum, tel: 50-4425.
Psychology: N.B. My Psychology office (B4) is used as a laboratory; find me in 4.24 IF.
Times and Places
Lectures are 11.10-13.00 (with a ten-minute break). This course runs during the first semester. Lectures will take place in Seminar Room1 Crystal Macmillan Building. Details of this course, the lecture notes and readings for each week, etc., will be available on WebCT this year.
Aims and Objectives
This module provides an advanced introduction to the processing in the brain that underlies normal and atypical language use. We will look at the range of techniques by which we can investigate brain processing during listening, speaking, reading and writing, and the conclusions we can draw about these aspects of human cognition. We will look at how theoretical models of language use are developed and may be implemented computationally. We will look at a variety of ways in which language breaks down or is used atypically in acquired or developmental exceptional conditions, such as the varieties of dysphasia and dyslexia and a range of cognitive disorders. The aim is to provide MSc students with a rich range of current research data and theory on language and the brain, together with the relevant metatheoretical underpinnings, so as to stimulate students' individual departures into particular research topics at the level of the essay required for this course, the final MSc project, and future PhD research.
Older but still useful textbooks include:
Readings will be provided to accompany each lecture. The readings will be emailed out to the class in .pdf form. The identity of the readings is given in an early slide in each lecture (see below for .pdfs of slides). The goal is to provide students with current examples of critical research papers, recent reviews or book chapters dealing with controversies in the field, and examples of state-of-the-art research on language and the brain. As a guide, there will be around 40 pages of reading per week. Copies of the slides will be made available on this page as the course progresses. The slides will typically not contain a lot of text. There will be no printed lecture notes provided; attendance at the lectures and effective note-taking will be of prime importance in this course.
The nature of the problem as expressed in the range of crosslinguistic variation with which the brain must deal. Some of the range of facts which have conspired to shape language behaviour in anatomical and cultural evolution. Some of the ways in which we might conceive of the relation between language and the brain.
For additional reading for the first week, please take a look at any one of the introductory neuro- texts to familiarize yourself with the basic anatomy of the brain, the names and locations of the major structures of the brain. A useful website that allows a 3-D appreciation of brain structures is to be found here
Slides for Lecture 1 Introduction and meta-theoretical issues
Slides for Lecture 2 Language, modularity and brain location
Slides for Lecture 3 Systematicity and grounding in language and the brain
Slides for Lecture 4 Imaging technologies, language and the brain
Slides for Lecture 5 Language, the hemispheres and the corpus callosum
Slides for Lecture 6hemispheric specialization for language
Slides for Lecture 7 Visual information processing and the brain
Slides for Lecture 8 Auditory information processing and the brain
Slides for Lecture 9 Synaesthesia and language
Slides for Lecture 10 Deep dyslexia
Slides for Lecture 11 Brain areas for spoken and writeen wordforms
Slides for Lecture 12 The dyslexias
Slides for Lecture 13 Neglect dyslexia and peripheral dyslexias
Slides for Lecture 14 Syntax and the normal brain
Slides for Lecture 15 Binocularity and real reading
Slides for Lecture 16 Language exotica
Slides for Lecture 17 Autism and language
Slides for Lecture 18 Memory and language
Autism: Can the current accounts be reconciled?
Dimensions of dyslexia: A medical problem or a learning disability? An approach to the detection and management of the child and the adult dyslexic.
Psycholinguistic, neurolinguistic and neuroscientific study of simultaneous interpreting.
Segmenting the speech stream and the acquisition of morphemes: The role of phonology in linguistic development.
Deep dyslexia: Right hemisphere or damaged left hemisphere reading?
Is there a critical period for second language acquisition?
First language acquisition.
Constraint programming and connectionism as models of human language processing.
Coarse Semantic coding and the role of the right hemisphere in language processing.
The neuropsychological perspective of bilingualism: brain injury and recovery. Implications for the understanding of language function and dysfunction in bilinguals.
Acquisition and Expression. The role of conceptual and contextual keys in storage and retrieval for long term memory.
Syntax, semantics and the brain: Understanding the significance of event-related potentials.
A high-level cognitive model that considers emotional content for the assignation of semantic meaning.
Swearing in aphasia and Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome.
Savants: the phenomenon revisited. Smith and Tsimply's "The mind of a savant: Language learning and modularity" put in context.
Structure-driven or constraint-based parsing. Insights into different sentence comprehension models.
Broca's aphasics and syntax.
Language acquisition: First steps towards a cognitive approach?.
Foreign accent syndrome.
Models of syntactic parsing preferences in the light of ERP investigation.
Differences between the linguistic processing styles of brain's hemispheres .
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