Input and intake in verb acquisition
The challenges of lexical acquisition, and young children’s solutions to these challenges, have been well studied. In recent work, I’ve been focusing on two aspects of this research program: refining our understanding of how children use linguistic information to learn new verb meanings, and examining how parent input might be tailored to maximize children’s learning-–or their intake of this input. I will present results from experiments with typically developing children and their parents, and if time permits, talk about how we’re extending this research to children with autism spectrum disorder and late talkers. he neuroscience of meaning composition faces a principled challenge: the integration of words into complex messages is achieved by a cascade of tightly correlated and possibly simultaneous computations. Thus, understanding this process requires ways to unpack the constituent processes. A consensus is beginning to emerge about the “combinatory network” of the brain: the composition of sentences appears to recruit posterior and anterior regions of the left temporal lobe, left inferior and ventromedial areas of frontal cortex and areas around the temporoparietal junction. Of the various network nodes, the computational role of the left anterior temporal lobe has been systematically characterized in a series of MEG studies designed to incrementally narrow down the space of possible interpretations as regards the function of this region. Here I review our current understanding of this node, which appears to contribute an early process of conceptual combination, as well as our more elusive understanding of the workings of the rest of the network.
Location: Stiteler Hall, B21