Evidence of syntactic working memory usage in MEG data

Martin van Schijndel, Brian Murphy, William Schuler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

While reading times are often used to measure working memory load, frequency effects (such as surprisal or n-gram frequencies) also have strong confounding effects on reading times. This work uses a naturalistic audio corpus with magnetoencephalographic (MEG) annotations to measure working memory load during sentence processing. Alpha oscillations in posterior regions of the brain have been found to correlate with working memory load in non-linguistic tasks (Jensen et al., 2002), and the present study extends these findings to working memory load caused by syntactic center embeddings. Moreover, this work finds that frequency effects in naturally-occurring stimuli do not significantly contribute to neural oscillations in any frequency band, which suggests that many modeling claims could be tested on this sort of data even without controlling for frequency effects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th Workshop on Cognitive Modelling and Computational Linguistics, CMCL 2015
PublisherThe Association for Computational Linguistics
Pages79-88
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-5108-0437-1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Event2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics – Human Language Technologies (NAACL HLT 2015) - Denver, United States
Duration: 31 May 201505 Jun 2015

Conference

Conference2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics – Human Language Technologies (NAACL HLT 2015)
CountryUnited States
CityDenver
Period31/05/201505/06/2015

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    van Schijndel, M., Murphy, B., & Schuler, W. (2015). Evidence of syntactic working memory usage in MEG data. In Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Cognitive Modelling and Computational Linguistics, CMCL 2015 (pp. 79-88). The Association for Computational Linguistics. https://www.aclweb.org/portal/content/2015-workshop-cognitive-modeling-and-computational-linguistics-cmcl