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Seven ages of Max. Andy Young Psychology University of York England. Maxschrift, MACCS March 2009. Overview. Max Coltheart is a towering figure in cognitive psychology.

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Seven ages of max

Seven ages of Max

Andy Young

Psychology

University of York

England

Maxschrift, MACCS

March 2009


Overview
Overview

  • Max Coltheart is a towering figure in cognitive psychology.

  • Cognitive psychology uses evidence to understand human mental abilities such as perception, memory, language and reasoning. It has its roots in work from the 1940s and 1950s, but it was Neisser’s 1967 book defined it as a distinct enterprise.

  • Max’s PhD was submitted in 1968, so his career has been largely synchronous with the huge explosion of interest in the field that followed Neisser’s setting the scene.

  • Max’s contributions have been notably wide-ranging, covering many areas of the field and using all of its major approaches – a number of which he himself pioneered or was there from the outset.


  • During the period covered by Max’s career, cognitive psychology has itself grown enormously – metamorphosing into the much grander and all-embracing cognitive science – a development that many fear has represented a takeover of the core psychology curriculum for which Max has been in no small part responsible.

  • Max has therefore become the cognitive psychologist's cognitive psychologist.

  • So how has he achieved this commanding position?

  • We will look at some of Max’s contributions to a selection of topics covering the entire span of his career to date.


Monologue from Shakespeare’s 'As You Like It': psychology has itself grown enormously – metamorphosing into the much grander and all-embracing cognitive science – a development that many fear has represented a takeover of the core psychology curriculum for which Max has been in no small part responsible.

“All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages.”

Seven ages of Max...


The first age minimax
The first age: psychology has itself grown enormously – metamorphosing into the much grander and all-embracing cognitive science – a development that many fear has represented a takeover of the core psychology curriculum for which Max has been in no small part responsible. MiniMax

“At first the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;"


"And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel psychology has itself grown enormously – metamorphosing into the much grander and all-embracing cognitive science – a development that many fear has represented a takeover of the core psychology curriculum for which Max has been in no small part responsible.

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school.”


1957-1964: undergraduate and postgraduate student at University of Sydney

  • acquiring essential academic skills

  • see if you can spot at least one other well-known Australian prof in this picture…


The second age eyemax
The second age: University of SydneyEyeMax

1965-1966: lecturing at University of Sydney

1967-1969: lecturing at Monash University


A classic problem solved - use of retinal size University of Sydney

Participants viewed a disc of light and judged its distance.

All visual distance cues other than retinal size eliminated:

  • monocular viewing through pinhole - no stereopsis

  • room was dark - no cues from surroundings

  • no knowledge of room - blindfolded and brought via a circuitous route

  • But retinal size is ambiguous - a three-inch disk at three feet could be a six-inch disc at six feet.

  • so disambiguating verbal or tactile information was given…

  • participants could use this - so they can use retinal size!

  • Coltheart, M. The effects of two kinds of distance information upon visual judgments of absolute size. Nature, 1969, 221, 383.


T Q R D University of Sydney

M X N K

D H P Z

Visual memory without cueing

With a cue immediately after presentation, the cued item can be reported, leading to Sperling's idea of a short-lived 'iconic' visual memory store


Developing the iconic memory approach University of Sydney

  • an artifact of tachistoscope technology?

  • Coltheart, M., Lea, C.D., and Thompson, K. In defence of iconic memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1974, 26, 633-641.

  • more than one form of persistence is probably involved…

  • Coltheart, M. Persistences of vision. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 1980, 290, 57-69.

  • Newell’s (1972) critique of 1960s experimental psychology – need for overarching theory and value of problems that come from outside the psychology laboratory

  • Coltheart, M. Ecological necessity of iconic memory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1981, 6, 17-18.

Shift to Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) and other paradigms

  • e.g. Veronika Coltheart's studies


The third age logomax
The third age: University of SydneyLogoMax

1969-1972: University of Waterloo, Canada

1972-1975: University of Reading, UK


1969-1972: University of Waterloo, Canada University of Sydney

It took a while to get used to life in the opposite hemisphere…


A neuropsychological application (cerebral asymmetry) building on elements of the iconic memory technique

  • brief visual hemifield presentation

  • letter strings

  • hemifield report

  • Coltheart, M., and Arthur, B. Visual hemifield differences in tachistoscopic performance with visual hemifield report. American Journal of Psychology, 1971, 84, 355-364.


1972-1975: University of Reading, UK building on elements of the iconic memory technique

  • reading words

  • Forster and Chambers (1973)

  • mental chronometry - e.g. time to read words, time to decide whether or not a string of letters is a word


BPS invited paper – Imperial College, London, December 1973 – “The organisation of word recognition”


We can use more than one way of converting print into sounds - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading

Nonwords

  • rint, sint

    Regular words

  • hint, mint

  • Irregular words

  • pint

  • Homophones

  • so and sew

  • Pseudohomophones

  • brain and brane


Visual information we use in reading - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading

mixedfontscriptisreadable

AnD sO iS mIxEd CaSe

  • So, to some extent, we can make use of abstract letter identities

  • Coltheart, M., and Freeman, R. Case alternation impairs word identification. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 1974, 3, 102-104.


Orthographic information we use in reading - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading

The orthographic neighbourhood – aka Coltheart’s N

  • an orthographic neighbour is a word that differs from the original string by changing only one letter

  • for example, orthographic neighbours of the word 'cat' include 'bat', 'fat', 'cot', 'cab', etc.

  • Coltheart, M., Davelaar, E., Jonasson, J.T., and Besner, D. Access to the internal lexicon. In Dornic, S. (Ed.), Attention and Performance VI. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1977.


The fourth age neuromax
The fourth age: - the corner stone of dual-route models of readingNeuroMax

1975-1987:

Birkbeck College, University of London, UK


Acquired disorders of reading - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading

Marshall and Newcombe 1973 - deep dyslexia

Semantic errors

  • dinner read as "food"

  • uncle - "cousin"

  • Derivational errors

  • wise - "wisdom"

  • Visual errors

  • stock - "shock"

  • Problems with function words

  • some - "one of them horrid words again"

  • Inability to read nonwords

  • wux - "don't know"

  • Mixed errors

  • sympathy - "orchestra"


Marcel - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading

Morton

Patterson

Newcombe

Sasanuma

Marshall

Shallice

Marin

The first deep dyslexia meeting

Saffran

Allport

MAX


The deep dyslexia book - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading

  • Coltheart, M. Deep dyslexia: a review of the syndrome. In Coltheart, M., Patterson, K., and Marshall, J.C. (Eds.), Deep Dyslexia. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1980.

  • Coltheart, M. Reading phonological recoding, and deep dyslexia. In Coltheart, M., Patterson, K., and Marshall, J.C. (Eds.), op.cit.

  • Coltheart, M. The semantic error: types and theories. In Coltheart, M., Patterson, K., and Marshall, J.C. (Eds.), op.cit.

  • Coltheart, M. Deep dyslexia: a right hemisphere hypothesis. In Coltheart, M., Patterson, K., and Marshall, J.C. (Eds.), op.cit.


Cognitive Neuropsychology - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading

Defining the field and its approach:

  • using theories of normal performance to account for effects of brain injury

  • using effects of brain injury to test theories of normal performance

and founding the journal…

  • and committing the first heresy - the right hemisphere account of deep dyslexia

  • Coltheart, M. Deep dyslexia: a right hemisphere hypothesis. In Coltheart, M., Patterson, K., and Marshall, J.C. (Eds.), op.cit.


But summer barbies in London could be a bit disappointing… - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading


It was time to return to Australia… - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading


Welcome home! - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading


The fifth age modelmax
The fifth age: - the corner stone of dual-route models of readingModelMax

1987-1997: Macquarie University


Functional architecture - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading

  • dual-route theory - evidence

  • Coltheart, M. and Rastle, K. Serial processing in reading aloud: Evidence for dual-route models of reading. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 1994, 20, 1197-1211.

  • Functional modelling

  • Dual-Route Cascaded (DRC) implemented model

  • Coltheart, M., Rastle, K., Perry, C., Langdon, R., & Ziegler, J. (2001) DRC: A Dual Route Cascaded model of visual word recognition and reading aloud. Psychological Review , 108, 204 - 256.


Understanding developmental disorders - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading

Dyslexia

  • possibility of different types of developmental dyslexia, and their relation to theories of reading

  • Castles, A. and Coltheart, M. Varieties of developmental dyslexia. Cognition, 1993, 47, 149-180.

    Congenital prosopagnosia

  • heterogeneity of symptoms between different members of same family with problems in face recognition

  • Schmaltzl, L., Palermo, R. and Coltheart, M. Cognitive heterogeneity in congenitally based prosopagnosia: a family study. Journal of Neuropsychology, 2008, 2, 899-117.


  • Teaching and rehabilitation - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading

  • theory-driven rehabilitation

  • rehabilitation as a strong test of underlying theory

  • Coltheart, M. Bates, A. and Castles, A. Cognitive neuropsychology and rehabilitation. In Humphreys, G.W. and Riddoch, M.J. (eds): Cognitive Neuropsychology and Cognitive Rehabilitation. London: Lawrence Erlbaum 1994.


The sixth age mad max
The sixth age: - the corner stone of dual-route models of readingMad Max

2000 onwards: MACCS

Cognitive neuropsychiatry

  • applies logic of cognitive neuropsychology to 'psychiatric' phenomena such as delusions and hallucinations


Studying and simulating false beliefs - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading

  • mirror misidentification

  • Breen, N., Caine, D. & Coltheart, M. (2001) Mirrored-self misidentification: Two cases of focal-onset dementia. Neurocase , 7, 239-254

  • Barnier, A.J., Cox, R.E., O’Connor, A., Coltheart, M., Langdon, R., Breen, N., & Turner, M. (2008). Developing hypnotic analogues of clinical delusions: Mirrored-self misidentification. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 13, 406-430

  • Dual-factor theory

  • a generic model applicable to a wide range of delusions

  • Langdon, R. & Coltheart, M. The cognitive neuropsychology of delusions. Mind & Language, 2000, 15, 184-218.


The seventh age: Double Max - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading

A national treasure…

  • ARC Foundation Fellow

  • Fellow of the British Academy

  • Commonwealth Centenary Medal

  • Bartlett Lecturer

  • Australian Museums Eureka Prize

  • etc., etc., etc.


How does he do it? - the corner stone of dual-route models of reading

  • clever ideas

  • always ready to push a point as far as it will go

  • quick to identify new areas and techniques

  • able to see how to bring different lines of research together in beneficial ways

  • extraordinary capacity for hard work

  • exceptional talent for collaboration






Max the bon viveur room…

  • encyclopaedic knowledge of wine, clearly based on in-depth practical tasting sessions

  • familiar with the finest restaurants in Sydney, and warmly greeted by the owners and shown to the best table


Paradoxes of Max room…

  • he must be hugely busy doing all these things - yet he responds immediately to all e-mails

  • Max in person and Max in print

  • strange parallel with Capgras delusion


The picture of

Dorian Coltheart


Shakespeare's final age room…

“Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion;

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”




Credits
Credits room…

Thanks to Veronika, Anne and other spies and informants...

And thanks to Max, for so much inspiration on so many levels!


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