In this course, we want to review and discuss relevant literature for
a currently ongoing research project within our new SFB. The goal of
the project is to design the natural language generation component
for a spoken dialog system which can adapt to the user (young
versus older adults) and the situation (using the system while being able
to fully concentrate on it versus using it while driving a car at the
same time). We here want to focus on the aging aspect.
Aging affects the brain's cognitive functioning, and therefore also affects older human's ability to process language. From the perspective of dialog system design, it is important to understand which aspects of language processing are affected to what extent. From a perspective of psycholinguistics, a better understanding of the effects of aging on language comprehension can inform us regarding general language cognition, and from the perspective of psychology, the effect of aging on language comprehension is particularly interesting as language is one of the very high-level cognitive functions, which nevertheless remain relatively well-preserved during aging.
The course is open to students with background in linguistics as well as students with background in psychology. The intention is for students to profit from the diversity of backgrounds and knowledge, through active discussion following the paper presentations.
We will form groups of 2-3 students, ideally mixing students with
background in linguistics and students who have a background in
psychology. Each of the small groups will pick a topic or question,
that they will try to answer by doing a literature search and giving
a presentation (20-25 min each presenter) to the rest of the
group. The groups can decide themselves on the focus of the
presentation, based on the original research question and their
Each group will choose one or two papers that the rest of the course
can read to prepare for their presentation.
During the first few weeks we will hold regular meetings in the form
of lectures, to lay the foundations that will help you understand
the papers, and bring students with different backgrounds up to a
common level of understanding.
MSc students can choose between a 4CP and 7CP version of the course. For the 7CP version, students additionally need to write a term paper. BSc students have to write the term paper.
|30.10.||Introduction to the Course, Administrative
Information, Distribution of Topics
Covering the problem we want to tackle: Safe driving with smartphones in an aging population.
|6.11.||For Psychology students:
Introduction to (Psycho-)linguistics
Covering and overview of basic notions in linguistics, linguistic structure, ambiguity, garden path sentences, center embedding, surprisal
|13.11.||Multi-tasking in the brain: how much parallel processing is possible? Serial bottlenecks.||Vera Demberg|
|20.11.||no meeting, but help with literature search and feedback on slides for presentation available on appointment|
|27.11.||Measuring Processing Difficulty: Naming latencies, reaction times, ERPs, fMRI, eye-tracking in reading, self-paced reading||students|
|4.12.||Effect of aging on the brain -- which general skills and regions of the brain are affected? In how far are language regions affected? How can good performance levels in language comprehension be maintained?||Melanie Schmitt, Lukas Schmitt, Elodie Banse|
|11.12.||Effect of sensory impairment on language processing (problems with eye sight or hearing)||Aline Becker, Anke Hirsch, Manisha Gandhi|
|18.12.||Working Memory: What's the effect of aging on working memory? How is working memory used during language processing?||Fabio Lu, Julia Dembowski, Sarah Schnebelt|
|8.1.||Long term memory: Naming latencies in younger vs. older people; Is retrieval generally slower in older adults, or is it just an effect of vocabulary size?||Lisa Jaguschewski, Max Paulus, Simon Ostermann|
|15.1. at 16:15||The Myth of Cognitive Decline: Non-Linear Dynamics of Lifelong Learning.||Michael Ramscar (Prof. in Tuebingen) at 16:15!!!|
|22.1.||no meeting, but help with literature search and feedback on slides for presentation available on appointment|
|29.1.||Multi-tasking and Aging: how is multi-tasking performance affected by aging? (suggested focus: driving and language processing)||Dave Howcroft, Marina Oberwegner, Enny Agamez Pajaro|
|5.2.||Language processing at different linguistic levels in younger vs.~older adults. Synatx, semantics, textual comprehension.||Betul Aksu, Katja Kravtchenko, Jorrig Vogels|
|12.2.||language processing and differnt linguistic levels; multilinguality and aging; wrap-up||Charlotte Fuerstenberger; Alina Karakanta; Vera Demberg|