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How the brain processes negative and positive polarity constructions

A guest lecture by Prof. Douglas Saddy from University of Reading, UK.

Info about event


Thursday 21 November 2013,  at 12:15 - 13:00


Aarhus University, Nobelparken, Building 1481, room 366


Ken Ramshøj Christensen, KenRC@hum.au.dk

Humans develop and maintain extremely elaborate models of themselves and the world they inhabit. These models are not simply self-referential, rather they are populated with other people whose own distinct world models are also represented and whose actions are predicted. Language provides the best tool for investigating the internal workings of these models.  In fact, careful study of the properties of language and how language is processed by the brain provide important insights into how we model the world.  In this talk we will approach this broad question by looking at a particular linguistic construction that showcases the tension between structure and meaning; negative and positive polarity constructions.  By looking closely at these constructions and using electro-encephalography, we will also learn something about the architecture of mental models.

Prof. Douglas Saddy is Director of the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics, and Professor for Language Sciences in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading in the UK. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied Linguistics and Psychology and held a fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Neurodegenerative Disorders.  His research focuses on the cognitive neuroscience of typical and atypical language processing, computational modelling and signal analysis.