Introduction to models of how human language is implemented in the brain, drawing on research in linguistics, psychology, neuroscience and computational modelling.
COSC 421 addresses one of the central questions in cognitive science: how language is implemented in the human brain. Answering this question draws on research in several disciplines: neuroscience, psychology, linguistics and computational modelling. The aim of the paper is to provide an accessible introduction to the relevant topics for students from each of these disciplines. The paper is unusual in that it includes students from several departments, each bringing a different perspective on the topic.
We will approach the topic by focusing on the interface between language and the sensorimotor system. We consider an observer perceiving a simple concrete event (a man grabbing a cup) and examine what is involved in converting the sensorimotor representation of this event to a linguistic representation - for instance, the English sentence, "The man grabbed a cup."
|Paper title||Neural Models of Language|
|Teaching period||Not offered in 2019|
|Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD)||$1,307.76|
|International Tuition Fees (NZD)||$5,517.77|
- NEUR 421
There are no formal prerequisites for the 400-level papers, but prior knowledge is assumed.
Computer Science Adviser (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- More information link
- View more information about COSC 421
- Teaching staff
- Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: to be advised.
- Paper Structure
- There are three parts to the paper:
- Part 1: Models of the perception, execution and representation of reach-to-grasp actions (visual attention, object classification, visuomotor control, action recognition, working memory representations)
- Part 2: Models of natural language syntax (Chomsky's Minimalism, construction grammar, statistical language models)
- Part 3: Models of language acquisition in infants (phonological, lexical and syntactic development)
40% exam and 60% assignments, split as follows:
- Assignment 1 - Phonological working memory 15%
- Assignment 2 - Word forms 15%
- Assignment 3 - Infant word-meaning learning 15%
- Assignment 4 - Learning syntactic structures 15%
- Teaching Arrangements
- There is one 2-hour lecture per week.
- A Knott: Sensorimotor Cognition and Natural Language Syntax (MIT Press)
- Course outline
- View the course outline for COSC 421
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Interdisciplinary perspective, Critical thinking.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Learning Outcomes
- The main general skill students will acquire is an ability to make connections between different scientific disciplines that use different methodologies.