Friday, April 10, 2015

The future can shape past memory

In our seminar this past quarter, Penny and I were interested in how seemingly irrelevant details of an experience come to have meaning.  This paper, recently published in Trends in Cognitive Science has made us think about this in a bit more detail, is what we are reading now, along with related citations.

Kensinger, E. A. 2015. The future can shape memory for the present. Trends in Cognitive Science, 19, 178-79.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

We have a winner!!!

Well, the votes are in and the paper that inspired us the most this year is Adaptive Resonance Theory: How a brain learns to consciously attend, learn, and recognize a changing world by S. Grossberg.  I am looking forward to hearing all of your thoughts after you re-read the paper. The one thing that jumps out at me is that this paper did not, like the others, make us think of a follow up experiment.  It made us think of the possibilities, and it made us engage with literature and findings we might not have otherwise come across.  From our discussions, it was clear that it reminded us of the complexity of the processes and representations we are investigating, and I think, helped make many of us comfortable with (and even happy about) what we now call the "beautiful mess" of pilot data.  So, since we are voting on inspiration - the inspiration of a research program come full circle, a reminder that in our interdisciplinary efforts we can move ahead, but need to try our best not to slight any one discipline, and hope that over time all the parts will make a beautiful story as long as we conduct our studies with purpose - it is entirely fitting that this paper floated to the top.  And to reach all of our goals, we need to read, think, and share - so here's to a new year of reading, as we wind down the first one.

Dinner will be at Zibibbo on October 15 at 6pm.  Please read the paper one more time, and send me one "One thing I though about was ... " statement before dinner, so I can post them here and we can discuss them at dinner.  Thanks for pushing through our first attempt at a forum for keeping up-to-date with newly published work!

And, as a reminder of why we nominated this in the first place, here is the original post:

Grossberg, S. 2013. Adaptive Resonance Theory: How a brain learns to consciously attend, learn, and recognize a changing world.  Neural Networks, 37, 1 – 47.

Why it is inspiring: As daunting as it is, it does not oversimplify the highly complex process of spoken word recognition (which itself is only a part of the paper). And, it was a fun read … just as the reader believes it is a theory of everything, Grossberg assures us – it isn’t.

Something to think about: We read this in a graduate seminar in the fall with sociolinguistics, computational linguistics, phonology, and phonetics students.  We all were excited and invigorated to have this overview; as it addressed issues we felt were often left unconsidered in other work.  At the same time, the question of how we can make this more accessible in our own work and in the community was raised over and over again; it is dense and it is not a paper that is likely to be standard reading for linguists.  We decided more talking and reading were the answers, and this paper was the impetus of our Favorite Paper of the Year Contest.  We may not understand the mechanics behind everything yet, but we are talking about it! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Voting Weekend!!!

Yeah!  We are ready to vote!  Here's hoping a vote and a celebratory dinner (in addition to lots of fascinating reading) will encourage us all to keep reading just-published work to stay informed of recent trends in "the field" :o)

Here are links to the papers (where available) from our first attempt at instituting an annual paper of the year discussion and celebration!  Thank you all for participating and for choosing these papers!

1. The time course of perception of coarticulation. Beddor, McGowan, Boland, Coetzee, Brasher, 2013, JASA

No available link ... Paper is in Mendeley library.  Please let me know if you need access to our library!

2. An ERP investigation of regional and foreign accent processing. Goslin, Duffy, & Floccia, 2012, Brain & Language.

3. Adaptive Resonance Theory: How a brain learns to consciously attend, learn, and recognize a changing world. S. Grossberg, 2012, Neural Networks.

4. Sociophonetic Markers Facilitate Translation Priming: Maori English GOAT – A Different Kind of Animal. Szakay, Babel, & King, 2012, UPenn Working Papers.

5. Models of spoken‐word recognition. Weber & Scharenborg, 2012, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science.

No available link ... Paper is in Mendeley library.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013


We are nearing the end of the our first-ever nomination period!  This year served as a great trial run, and now we have a better understanding of what will work and what won't.  First, we realized that we want to encourage anyone working on phonetics-related topics to nominate papers.  This means that the number of paper nominations will increase.  To limit the number of papers we will read in September, we should now each nominate one paper.  BUT, we are each free to post papers we like, but also to change that nomination. This way, there is not so much pressure on any individual nomination.  In August, we must each choose a paper to put forward as a nominated paper.  Feel free to post and comment at will!  Starting September 1, we should each start searching recent publications for our 2013-2014 nominees.  As a reminder, the paper must be published from June 2013 - August 2014.  Remember (from initial post):

Each nomination must touch on two of the following broad areas (but need not be framed as such in the paper): phonetic variation, spoken word recognition, speech perception, memory, attention, or related areas in social-network theory or social psychology.

And, we are changing this so we can all post instead of sending everything to me to post:

To nominate a paper, you must POST: (1) the citation, (2) a “Why it is inspiring” statement (no longer than 4 sentences), and (3) a "something to think about" statement (no longer than 4 sentences).  

This is meant to be a place to be a forum for sharing ideas, so please don't be shy!

Coming back to our first year ... we are now in reading mode, reading the 5 nominated papers, and voting on September 21.  We will celebrate with dinner on Oct. 1!  Yeah!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nominations 1 - 5 - References only

If you want a quick list, and don’t want to sort through the posts, here are our current WITS that are up for paper of the year:

Beddor, P. S.; McGowan, K. B.; Boland, J. E.; Coetzee, A. W., & Brasher, A. (2013). The time course of perception of coarticulation. JASA, 133, 2350 – 2366.

Goslin, J.; Duffy, H.; and Floccia, C. 2012. An ERP investigation of regional and freign accent processing. Brain and Language, 122, 92 – 102.

Grossberg, S. 2013. Adaptive Resonance Theory: How a brain learns to consciously attend, learn, and recognize a changing world.  Neural Networks, 37, 1 – 47.

Szakay, A., Babel, M., & King, J. (2012). Sociophonetic markers facilitate translation priming: Maori English GOAT – a different kind of animal. In H. Prichard (ed.), UPenn Working Papers in Linguistics, 18: Selected Papers from NWAV 40, pp. 137 – 146.

Weber, A., & Scharenborg, O. (2012). Models of spoken-word recognition. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science3, 387–401. doi:10.1002/wcs.1178

Remember to nominate your papers, and upload the PDFs to our Mendeley library!!!