[Intelligence Seminar] June 7, 3:30pm:, Presentation by Brian Murphy

Dana Houston dhouston at cs.cmu.edu
Mon Jun 6 08:34:07 EDT 2011

> JUNE 7 AT 3:30PM, IN GHC 4303
> SPEAKER: BRIAN MURPHY (University of Trento)
> Host: Bob Frederking
> For meetings, contact Stacey Young (staceyy at cs.cmu.edu)
> Over recent decades, linguistics has produced an abundance of
> theoretical models, while suffering from a lack of empirical
> robustness. Judgments elicited from native speakers can provide
> nuanced insights into the psychological states underlying
> communicative behavior, but are distorted by pervasive cognitive
> biases. Corpora (large collections of text) have clear advantages of
> authenticity and size, but are divorced from the communicative
> context. Recordings of neural activity can provide a happy medium,
> giving an objective and direct snapshot of the language faculty in
> action, though the data is noisy and contains confounding activations
> due to other cognitive processes that typically accompany a language
> task. In this talk I will describe work we have carried out here at
> CIMeC, which uses machine learning methods to attempt to distinguish
> linguistic states and processes in the brain. I will concentrate on
> decoding lexical meaning, and in particular deal with the many
> systematic perceptual and performance-based confounds that can make
> this difficult.
> Brian Murphy is a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Mind/Brain
> Science, of the University of Trento, Italy. Before moving into
> research, he gained a degree in engineering and spent 5 years working
> in software development in Germany and China. He holds an M.Phil.
> (2001) and Ph.D. (2007) from Trinity College, Dublin, both in
> computational linguistics, with an emphasis on language semantics and
> its interaction with sentential syntax. Since coming to Trento, his
> main topic of research has been word meaning, using machine learning
> methods to discover conceptual organization both from large language
> corpora and recordings of neural activity (EEG, MEG and fMRI).

Dana M. Houston
Language Technologies Institute
School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University
5407 Gates Hillman Complex
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

T:  (412)268-6591
F:  (412)268-6298

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