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Understanding Action Verbs- Embodied Verbal Semantics Approach. Pavan Kumar Srungaram M.Phil Cognitive Science (09CCHL02) 2009-10 Supervisor: Prof. Bapi Raju, S. University of Hyderabad. Language in Two Different Perspectives. Chomskyan view: Based on structures and rules.

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Understanding Action Verbs- Embodied Verbal Semantics Approach


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understanding action verbs embodied verbal semantics approach

Understanding Action Verbs- Embodied Verbal Semantics Approach

Pavan Kumar Srungaram

M.Phil Cognitive Science (09CCHL02)

2009-10

Supervisor: Prof. Bapi Raju, S.

University of Hyderabad

language in two different perspectives
Language in Two Different Perspectives
  • Chomskyan view:
  • Based on structures and rules.
  • Syntax is autonomous free of meaning and general cognition
  • Human language is an abstract formal system
problems
Problems
  • In many cases it was observed that background knowledge, concept, meaning have come into the rules governing syntax.
language as a part of general cognition
Language as a part of General Cognition
  • Lakoff, Fauconnier – Language not to be studied in terms of structure/ Grammar but the way it is used
  • Language and thought are embodied, concepts arise from our sensorimotor experience and the neural substrates that give rise to it.
  • Metaphors We Live By !
embodiment
Embodiment
  • Acknowledge the role of body and its sensorimotor processes can and do play in cognition.
  • Understanding cognition in the context of biological function to support the activities of the body.
  • Cognition as real-time situated activity, inseparable from perception and action.
behavioural tests
Behavioural Tests
  • Considered the experiments by Bergen et al. (2010) and tried to replicate three of those tests in Telugu.
  • In addition to these tests, we tried to verify whether the results produced in those experiments were modality specific
behavioural experiment
Behavioural Experiment
  • There are 4 tasks in this experiment
  • Each subject participates only in one task
  • Task 1: Image-Verb Matching Task
  • Task 2: Verb-Image Matching Task
  • Task 3: Verb-Verb Matching Task
  • Task 4: Image-Verb (auditory) Matching Task
hypothesis
Hypothesis
  • If verb comprehension requires the activation of the motor areas related to the same effector with which the action is performed.
  • Windhorst Hypothesis: Motor and perceptual systems display lateral inhibitions among neural structures responsible for related but incompatible functions
materials and methods
Materials and Methods
  • Computer Based Test
  • Two Stimuli presented at specific times
  • Subjects are to judge as quickly as possible whether the two stimuli match
  • The response times of the subjects are recorded and analyzed
materials and methods1
Materials and Methods
  • The stimuli used in the tasks are:

a) Images: These contain a single character performing some action

b) Action Verbs written (or) typed both in program compatible formats.

c) Action Verbs (audio)

  • All these three are recorded and used in program compatible formats.
algorithm
Algorithm
  • First Stimuli: Presented for 1000 milliseconds
  • Inter stimulus interval: 500 milliseconds a) 450 milliseconds: Visual Mask

b) 50 milliseconds: Blank

  • Second Stimuli presentation: This is until the subject makes his decision by pressing the designated key.
task 1 image verb matching task
Task 1: Image-Verb Matching Task
  • Image is shown for a period of 1000 milliseconds
  • 500 milliseconds inter stimulus interval
  • This is followed by a verb in typed format
  • Show images and verbs!
results
Results
  • The observation is in accordance with the hypothesis.
  • Subjects took longer time to reject the image-verb pairs of non-matching same effector condition compared to those in non-matching different effector condition.
slide18
Condition 1: Matching ConditionCondition 2: Non-Matching Same effector ConditionCondition 3: Non-Matching Different effector Condition
results1
Results
  • The results obtained in the test provide evidence that understanding action verbs, language users recruit neural resources that are normally used for performing an action. This also supports the claim that understanding language might require simulation of action.
alternative explanation
Alternative explanation
  • An alternative explanation for the observed effect is that seeing images might have led subjects to activate representations of other actions using the same effector and that the verb presented might be the actions related to those activated actions that might have resulted in delay in rejection
task 2 verb image matching task
Task 2:Verb-Image Matching Task
  • Verb in typed format is shown for a period of 1000 milliseconds
  • 500 milliseconds inter stimulus interval
  • This is followed by an image
slide24
Condition 1: Matching ConditionCondition 2: Non-Matching Same effector ConditionCondition 3: Non-Matching Different effector Condition
results2
Results
  • As observed in task, the subjects took longer time to respond when the verb and image share the same effector.
  • Thus, to some extent it is evident that the results obtained in the test could not be due to the proposed alternative explanation for test 1 since the same effect is observed even when the order is reversed.
task 3 verb verb matching task
Task 3: Verb-Verb Matching Task
  • Verb in typed format is shown for a period of 1000 milliseconds
  • 500 milliseconds inter stimulus interval
  • This is followed by a verb in typed format
slide31
Condition 1: Matching ConditionCondition 2: Non-Matching Same effector ConditionCondition 3: Non-Matching Different effector Condition
results3
Results
  • When the images were replaced by verbs and the task became a lexical-lexical matching task, and still the effect, as hypothesized, was observed
question
Question
  • In all the above tests, the presentation of stimuli was through visual modality. This might raise a question whether the motor area activation is only due to presentation of stimuli in visual modality. To verify this, a study was conducted in which the images were displayed on the screen and the verbs are presented in auditory modality
task 4 image verb auditory matching task
Task 4: Image-Verb (Auditory) Matching Task
  • Image is shown for a period of 1000 milliseconds
  • 500 milliseconds inter stimulus interval
  • This is followed by a verb in auditory mode.
slide38
Condition 1: Matching ConditionCondition 2: Non-Matching Same effector ConditionCondition 3: Non-Matching Different effector Condition
result
Result
  • It is evident from the table that RT in the non-matching same effector condition is greater than those in non-matching different effector condition but it is found to be statistically insignificant.

.

summary1
Summary
  • We observe that irrespective of statistical significance, the response times to reject pairs in non-matching same effector condition is larger than those in non-matching different effector condition.
summary3
Summary
  • The higher rate of errors in the non-matching same effector conditions in all the tasks is to be tested and given an explanation.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • The results obtained in the various tasks though may not completely support the claims of embodied semantics, can also not disprove its claims. This study shows that the notion of embodied verbal semantics is to be carefully investigated in other languages to verify the universality of the effect.