CBMM Brains, Minds, and Machines Seminar Series: Boundary conditions for language in biological and artificial neural systems

Photo of Dr. Andrea E. Martin November 9, 2021 - 9:00 am to 10:30 am

Andrea E. Martin, Lise Meitner Group Leader, Max-Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Research website: http://www.andreaemartin.com


This seminar talk will be hosted remotely via Zoom; no in-person attendance.

Hosted by: Sam Gershman

Abstract: Human language is a fundamental biological signal with computational properties that are markedly different than in other perception-action systems: hierarchical relationships between units (e.g., phonemes, morphemes, words, phrases), and the unbounded ability to combine smaller units into larger ones. These and other formal properties have long made language difficult to account for from a biological systems perspective, and within models of cognition. I focus on this foundational puzzle – essentially “what does a system need to represent information that is both algebraic and statistical?” - and discuss the computational requirements, including the role of neural oscillations across time, for what I believe is necessary for a system to represent and process language. I build on examples from cognitive neuroimaging data and computational simulations, and outline a developing theory that integrates basic insights from linguistics and psycholinguistics with the currency of neural computation, in turn demarcating the boundary conditions for artificial systems making contact with human language.

Link to attend talk remotely via Zoom: https://mit.zoom.us/j/96069003349?pwd=dDkrYmkwRjhaT09hcllIbHVKdVNuUT09


November 9, 2021
9:00 am to 10:30 am
This seminar talk will be hosted remotely via Zoom.