Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provides the opportunity to examine the functional brain anatomy of language, albeit without the temporal resolution of other brain measures such as electroencephalography (EEG) or magnetoencephalography (MEG). I will review fMRI findings about the role of Broca's area in language, including the influence of developmental history. I will also discuss how model-based analyses of brain activation data may enhance interactions between neural and computational approaches towards understanding human language.
John D. E. Gabrieli
Associate Member, McGovern Institute
Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
MIT address: 46-4033B
John Gabrieli is the director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center at the McGovern Institute. He is an associate member of the Institute, with faculty appointments in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, where is holds the Grover Hermann Professorship. He also co-directs the MIT Clinical Research Center and is Associate Director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, MGH/MIT, located at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior joining MIT, he spent 14 years at Stanford University in the Department of Psychology and Neurosciences Program. Since 1990, he has served as Visiting Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital and Rush Medical College. He received a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience in the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 1987 and B.A. in English from Yale University in 1978.
For more information, please refer to his homepage:
Word Learning by Kids and Computers: How Can Research on One Inform the Other?
Suzanne Stevenson, University of Toronto
Words are the building blocks of language, and the notion of learning about words is central both to natural language processing systems and to linguistic and cognitive theories of human language abilities. In computational linguistics, this has been realized in the growth over the last two decades of the subfield of lexical acquisition, which is concerned with the automatic creation and extension of lexical resources to include new words or new properties of existing words. In cognitive theories, word learning – especially the mapping of word forms to meanings – is seen as one of the fundamental aspects of human language acquisition, and much work has aimed to explain the developmental pattern of word-meaning mapping in children. Interestingly, despite this shared focus on learning about words, there’s been limited interaction between CL and cognitive science. In this talk, I’ll describe some of the work in my lab that has used results from each to inform the other, thus taking some steps towards the goal of bringing these fields together in a mutually beneficial way. I’ll first talk about research in interpreting neologisms that makes critical use of linguistic and cognitive properties of the novel words. Then I’ll turn to a computational model of word learning that extends probabilistic techniques from CL to explain various key aspects of child language acquisition in a natural way. I’ll conclude with some discussion of the current challenges faced in bringing CL and cognitive science research on word learning closer together.
Department of Computer Science
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3G4, CANADA
Suzanne Stevenson received a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Linguistics from William and Mary, and master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park. She was a visiting researcher and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, 1991-94. From 1995-2000, she was on the faculty at Rutgers University, holding joint appointments in the Department of Computer Science and in the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science (RuCCS). She returned to the University of Toronto in July, 2000, where she is now Professor of Computer Science, and Vice Dean, Teaching & Learning in the Faculty of Arts & Science.
Professor Stevenson's primary areas of research are computational linguistics and cognitive science, specifically focusing on the automatic acquisition of semantic and syntactic knowledge from large text corpora, and on computational modeling of child language acquisition. In July 2000, she received an NSERC University Faculty Award for her research on these topics. In 1997, she received the NSF CAREER award for her work in computational modeling of ambiguity resolution in human language understanding.
For more information, please refer to her homepage:
The Essence of Ancient Chinese Culture － Art of Guqin (Chinese Zither)
Li Xiangting, Central Conservatory of Music
The art of playing Guqin (Chinese zither) used to be a major pursuit of scholars and nobles in ancient China. Since originating over 3,000 years ago, it has been passed on until the present to become an extremely mature and lively art form. Guqin skills were regarded as essential by the ancient ruling class of China. It’s linked to literature, history and philosophy; simultaneously simple, elegant, noble, profound and sacred.
Xue Yijian(742AD -756AD), a master of Guqin during the Tang Dynasty, once said “Guqin can reflect the current ethos and culture, enlighten us, reveal our hidden angers and delights, amuse us, relieve us, encourage us, give us a connection to the world beyond, and touch upon the supernatural.”
There are a large variety of Guqin styles, many famous tunes and lyrics, as well as a rich improvisational tradition in both playing and singing accompaniment. As the most influential Guqin artist in the modern age, Li Xiangting (李祥霆) has been dedicating himself to its propagation and research. Today he is going to give a lecture on the origin, playing skills and appreciation of Guqin art, and also the close relation between Guqin and ancient Chinese poetry. He will perform live the classic melodies, Guangling Episode, Secluded Orchid, Bitterness from Ancient Times, Clouds and Water of the Xiaoxiang River, Flowing Water and Three Stanzas of Plum-blossoms. Besides these, he will improvise according to poems suggested by the audience. Through the perfect combination of music and poetry, he will exchange thoughts and feelings with them, and help them to understand the essence of Guqin in its fusion with poetry.
Li Xiangting, Professor
Central Conservatory of Music
Professor Li Xiangting’s family is originally from Xiuyan in Liaoning province and is of Manchu ethnicity. His expertise is in playing and improvising on the guqin (Chinese zither) and playing the dongxiao (Chinese flute), as well as poetry, Chinese calligraphy, painting, and singing. Born in Liaoyuan City, Jilin Province in April 1940, in 1957 he began learning the guqin under the tutelage of Zha Fuxi, and Chinese painting from Pu Xuezhai and Pan Su in. In 1958, he was accepted into the Central Conservatory of Music (CCM) to study guqin under Wu Jinglüe, and began teaching at the Conservatory after graduating in 1963. In March 1989, he accepted a fellowship to Cambridge University, London, for research on guqin improvisation and then began to lecture on guqin and dongxiao in 1990 as a visiting fellow at the Music Department of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He returned to China in 1994 and resumed teaching at the Central Conservatory of Music. Currently, he is a Professor at the Central Conservatory of Music, Vice-President of the Beijing Guqin Research Association, President of the Chinese Orchestral Music Association Guqin Committee, a member of the China Musicians' Association, an executive member of the International Cultural Exchange Center of China, a senior advisor to the North America Guqin Association, an advisor to the Youlan Qin Association of London and the honorary president of the Guqin Association of Macau.
Prof. Li held a solo art exhibition at the University of London Chinese Gallery in 1989. In 1991, he gave invited talks on "The Dot and Line Aesthetics of Chinese Painting and Guqin Music" at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. A recital he gave in 1992 at the De Laville Theatre in Paris (with a seating capacity of 1000), attracted a full house, making it the largest ever attendance for a guqin recital. In 1999, he was selected by The International Bibliography Center of Cambridge as an "Outstanding Figure of the 20th Century". Li Xiangting has staged over 40 performances in many countries including the USA, UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland, Austria, Italy, Singapore and New Zealand. He has also lectured at various universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, and the University of California, Berkeley. In 2007, the Culture Ministry of China elected him "The Representative Inheritor for a National Intangible Cultural Heritage" for his guqin art.