Publicaciones

RL3

RL3, Publisher: Cognition, Link>

AUTHORS

Guedes B, Nespor M, Peña Garay M, Saksida A, Flo A

ABSTRACT

One of the prominent ideas developed by Jacques Mehler and his colleagues was that perceptual tuning, present from birth on, enables infants, and language learners in general, to extract regularities from speech input. Here we discuss language learners'' ability to extract basic word order (VO or OV) structure from prosodic regularities in a language. The two are closely related: in phonological phrases of VO languages, the most prominent word is the rightmost one, and in OV languages, it is the leftmost one. In speech, this prominence is realized as extended duration, or as elevated pitch, sometimes combined with changes in intensity. When learning the first (L1) or the second language (L2), exposure to relevant rhythmic structure elicits implicit learning about syntactic structure, including the basic word order. However, it remains unclear whether triggering the learning process requires a certain level of familiarity with the relevant rhythm. It is moreover unknown whether prosodic information can help L2 learners to extract and learn the vocabulary of a new language. We tested Spanish- and Italian-speaking adults' ability to learn words from an artificial language with either non-native OV or native VO word order. The results show that learners used prosodic information to identify the most prominent words in short utterances when the artificial language was similar to the native language, with duration-based prominence in prosody and a VO word order. In contrast, when the artificial language had a non-native prominence marked by pitch alternations and an OV word order, prominent words were learned only after a three-day exposure to the relevant rhythmic structure. Thus, for adult L2 learners, only repeated exposure to the relevant prosody elicited learning new words from an unknown language with non-native prosodic marking, indicating that, with familiarity, prosodic cues can facilitate learning in L2.


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RL3, Publisher: Scientific Reports, Link>

AUTHORS

Jara C, Moenne C, Peña M

ABSTRACT

Before the 6-months of age, infants succeed to learn words associated with objects and actions when the words are presented isolated or embedded in short utterances. It remains unclear whether such type of learning occurs from fluent audiovisual stimuli, although in natural environments the fluent audiovisual contexts are the default. In 4 experiments, we evaluated if 8-month-old infants could learn word-action and word-object associations from fluent audiovisual streams when the words conveyed either vowel or consonant harmony, two phonological cues that benefit word learning near 6 and 12 months of age, respectively. We found that infants learned both types of words, but only when the words contained vowel harmony. Because object- and action-words have been conceived as rudimentary representations of nouns and verbs, our results suggest that vowels contribute to shape the initial steps of the learning of lexical categories in preverbal infants.


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RL3, Publisher: PNAS, Link>

AUTHORS

J F, M & Werker, G Peña, Choi D, Dehaene-Lambertz

ABSTRACT

While there is increasing acceptance that even young infants detect correspondences between heard and seen speech, the common view is that oral-motor movements related to speech production cannot influence speech perception until infants begin to babble or speak. We investigated the extent of multimodal speech influences on auditory speech perception in prebabbling infants who have limited speech-like oral-motor repertoires. We used event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine how sensorimotor influences to the infant’s own articulatory movements impact auditory speech perception in 3-mo-old infants. In experiment 1, there were ERP discriminative responses to phonetic category changes across two phonetic contrasts (bilabial–dental /ba/-/ɗa/; dental–retroflex /ɗa/-/ɖa/) in a mismatch paradigm, indicating that infants auditorily discriminated both contrasts. In experiment 2, inhibiting infants’ own tongue-tip movements had a disruptive influence on the early ERP discriminative response to the /ɗa/-/ɖa/ contrast only. The same articulatory inhibition had contrasting effects on the perception of the /ba/-/ɗa/ contrast, which requires different articulators (the lips vs. the tongue) during production, and the /ɗa/-/ɖa/ contrast, whereby both phones require tongue-tip movement as a place of articulation. This articulatory distinction between the two contrasts plausibly accounts for the distinct influence of tongue-tip suppression on the neural responses to phonetic category change perception in definitively prebabbling, 3-mo-old, infants. The results showing a specificity in the relation between oral-motor inhibition and phonetic speech discrimination suggest a surprisingly early mapping between auditory and motor speech representation already in prebabbling infants.


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RL3, Publisher: Cognition, Link>

AUTHORS

Halberda, J, Jin W, M, Naiman, Peña, Gouet C, D Q

ABSTRACT

The importance of proportional reasoning has long been recognized by psychologists and educators, yet we still do not have a good understanding of how humans mentally represent proportions. In this paper we present a psychophysical model of proportion estimation, extending previous approaches. We assumed that proportion representations are formed by representing each magnitude of a proportion stimuli (the part and its complement) as Gaussian activations in the mind, which are then mentally combined in the form of a proportion. We next derived the internal representation of proportions, including bias and internal noise parameters -capturing respectively how our estimations depart from true values and how variable estimations are. Methodologically, we introduced a mixture of components to account for contaminating behaviors (guessing and reversal of responses) and framed the model in a hierarchical way. We found empirical support for the model by testing a group of 4th grade children in a spatial proportion estimation task. In particular, the internal density reproduced the asymmetries (skewedness) seen in this and in previous reports of estimation tasks, and the model accurately described wide variations between subjects in behavior. Bias estimates were in general smaller than by using previous approaches, due to the model's capacity to absorb contaminating behaviors. This property of the model can be of especial relevance for studies aimed at linking psychophysical measures with broader cognitive abilities. We also recovered higher levels of noise than those reported in discrimination of spatial magnitudes and discuss possible explanations for it. We conclude by illustrating a concrete application of our model to study the effects of scaling in proportional reasoning, highlighting the value of quantitative models in this field of research.


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RL3, Publisher: Complexity, Link >

AUTHORS

Tomas Veloz, Marta Lenartowicz, Pedro Maldonado, Shima Beigi, Francis Heylighen, Alejandro Bassi, Evo Bussseniers

Abstract

Reaction network is a promising framework for representing complex systems of diverse and even interdisciplinary types. In this approach, complex systems appear as self-maintaining structures emerging from a multitude of interactions, similar to proposed scenarios for the origin of life out of autocatalytic networks. The formalism of chemical organization theory (COT) mathematically specifies under which conditions a reaction network is stable enough to be observed as a whole complex system. Such conditions specify the notion of organization, crucial in COT. In this paper, we show that the structure and operation of organizations can be advanced towards a formal framework of resilience in complex systems. That is, we show that there exist three fundamental types of change (state, process, and structural) defined for reaction networks, and that these perturbations not only provide a general representation of perturbations in the context of resilience but also pave the ground to formalize different forms of resilient responses. In particular, we show that decomposing the network’s operational structure into dynamically decoupled modules allows to formalize what is the impact of a perturbation and to what extent any potential compensation to that perturbation will be successful. We illustrate our approach with a toy model of a farm that operates in a sustainable way producing milk, eggs, and/or grains from other resources. With the help of simulations, we analyze the different types of perturbations and responses that the farm can undergo and how that affects its sustainable operation.


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