Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC)

We study how people communicate with each other and how computer systems can be taught to communicate with us.

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TiCC Colloquia

This page will provide you with an overview of all TiCC colloquia. If you have questions or suggestions for the TiCC colloquium, please contact us.


  • 14 Dec 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Sarah van der Land
    What: Three of a kind? The differential roles of social presence, electronic propinquity, and conversational human voice in an online complaint handling context
    Where: AZ 414
    When: Wednesday, 14 December 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 30 Nov 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Antske Fokkens
    What: Beyond the f-score: Evaluation in NLP
    Where: AZ 414
    When: Wednesday, 30 November 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 16 Nov 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Tony Veale
    What: t.b.a.
    Where: AZ 414
    When: Wednesday, 16 November 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 02 Nov 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Henriette Prast
    What: Metaphor use and gender in financial communication
    Where: AZ 414
    When: Wednesday, 2 November 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 19 Oct 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Jos Bartels
    What: Organizational communication and stakeholder behaviours
    Where: AZ 414
    When: Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 05 Oct 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: t.b.a.
    What: t.b.a.
    Where: AZ 414
    When: Wednesday, 5 October 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 21 Sep 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Simon De Deyne & Gert Storms
    What: Using large-scale empirical semantic networks to study meaning in the mental lexicon
    Where: TZ 3
    When: Wednesday, 21 September 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 31 Aug 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Jorrig Vogels
    What: The Index of Cognitive Activity as a measure of cognitive load in language comprehension
    Where: WZ 103
    When: Wednesday, 31 August 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 22 Jun 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Loes Janssen
    What: A self-control account of resisting and yielding to persuasion
    Where: AZ 210
    When: Wednesday, 22 June 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 08 Jun 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Sander Bakkes
    What: Can we Replace the Game Designer with an Algorithm?
    Where: AZ 210
    When: Wednesday, 8 June 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 25 May 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Khiet Truong
    What: Beyond words: recognizing affective and social signals in speech for socially interactive technology
    Where: AZ 210
    When: Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 11 May 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Rick Dale
    What: T.b.a.
    Where: TZ 005
    When: Wednesday, 11 May 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 21 Apr 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Jelena Krivokapic
    What: Prosodic Structure in Speech Production and Speaker Interaction
    Where: DZ 4
    When: Thursday, 21 April 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 30 Mar 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Guda van Noort
    What: Personalization in Persuasive Communication
    Where: AZ 210
    When: Wednesday, 30 March 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 16 Mar 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Jean Vroomen
    What: The predictive multisensory nature of our mind
    Where: TZ 005
    When: Wednesday, 16 March 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 11 Mar 201611:00Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Art Glenberg
    What: Embodied Cognition for Kids
    Where: DZ 04
    When: Friday, 11 March 2016, 11:00 - 12:00 hours Read more

  • 02 Mar 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Emmanuel Keuleers
    What: The lab has left the building: What mass behavioral experiments tell us about vocabulary and lexical processing
    Where: TZ 005
    When: Wednesday, 2 March 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 17 Feb 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Bart van den Hooff
    What: Enterprise Social Media as a Multifunctional Public Good: The Role of Perceived Critical Mass in Motivating Differential Use
    Where: TZ 005
    When: Wednesday, 17 February 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 10 Feb 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Erica de Vries
    What: Unexpected effects of visualizations of cultural symbols and values
    Where: CZ 008
    When: Wednesday, 10 February 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 03 Feb 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Marie Postma
    What: The role of leisure activity and occupational complexity in cognitive performance
    Where: AZ 210
    When: Wednesday, 3 February 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 26 Jan 201612:30Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Henry Brighton
    What: Distinguishing Bayesian and Ecological Rationality
    Where: WZ 103
    When: Tuesday, 26 January 2016, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 15 Jan 201615:00Event

    TiCC Colloquium: Mark Steedman
    What: A Theory of Content for Natural Language Processing
    Where: PZ 046
    When: Friday, 15 January 2016, 15:00 - 16:00 hours Read more

  • 09 Dec 201512:30Event

    Erik van Ingen
    What: Online Coping after Negative Life Events
    Where: DZ 4
    When: Wednesday, 9 December 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 25 Nov 201512:30Event

    Desmond Elliott
    What: Multilingual Image Description with Neural Sequence Models
    Where: DZ 4
    When: Wednesday, 25 November 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 18 Nov 201509:30Event

    TiCC Event
    What: TiCC PhD Day
    Where: t.b.a.
    When: Wednesday, 18 November 2015, whole day Read more

  • 11 Nov 201512:30Event

    Jan Engelen
    What: What looking at objects can tell us about text comprehension
    Where: DZ 4
    When: Wednesday, 11 November 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 06 Nov 201512:30Event

    Chen Yu
    What: Statistical Word Learning: Behaviors, Mechanisms and Models
    Where: WZ 201
    When: Friday, 6 November 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 21 Oct 201512:30Event

    TiCC Event
    What: Upcoming call for H2020 proposals
    Where: WZ 201
    When: Wednesday, 21 October 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 14 Oct 201512:30Event

    Kevin Wright
    What: More than Medicine: Online Support Groups for Individuals Facing Stigmatized Health Conditions
    Where: CZ 8
    When: Wednesday, 14 October 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 30 Sep 201512:30Event

    Mike Kestemont
    What: t.b.a.
    Where: CZ 8
    When: Wednesday, 30 September 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 23 Sep 201512:30Event

    TiCC Event
    What: Writing project proposals and project support within TiCC
    Where: WZ 201
    When: Wednesday, 23 September 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 16 Sep 201512:30Event

    Alwin de Rooij
    What: Emotion and Creativity: Hacking into Cognitive Appraisal Processes to Augment Creative Ideation
    Where: WZ 103
    When: Wednesday, 16 September 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 24 Jun 201512:30Event

    Olivier Rukundo
    What: On Computer Vision
    Where: DZ 003
    When: Wednesday, 24 June 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 17 Jun 201512:30Event

    Emiel Krahmer
    What: Deciding what to say
    Where: DZ 003
    When: Wednesday, 17 June 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 10 Jun 201512:30Event

    No Colloquium
    What: −
    Where: −
    When: Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 03 Jun 201512:30Event

    Marc Swerts
    What: Asymmetric forms of linguistic adaptation in interactions between Flemish and Dutch speakers
    Where: WZ 103
    When: Wednesday, 3 June 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 28 May 201512:30Event

    Mandy Visser
    What: Better use your head: How people learn to signal emotions in social contexts
    Where: DZ 004
    When: Thursday, 28 May 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 20 May 201512:30Event

    Menno van Zaanen
    What: Pattern-based Sequence Classification
    Where: WZ 103
    When: Wednesday, 20 May 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 13 May 201512:30Event

    Jan Sprenger
    What: Explanatory Power and Probabilistic Reasoning
    Where: WZ 202
    When: Wednesday, 13 May 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 29 Apr 201512:30Event

    Ad Backus
    What: The slow lane to methodological innovation: Recent studies on language change in contact linguistics
    Where: DZ 003
    When: Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 22 Apr 201512:30Event

    No Colloquium
    What: −
    Where: −
    When: Wednesday, 22 April 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 15 Apr 201512:30Event

    Jaap Denissen
    What: Dynamic person-environment transactions: Towards a model of self-regulated individual differences
    Where: DZ 003
    When: Wednesday, 15 April 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 08 Apr 201512:30Event

    Marije van Amelsvoort & Lisanne van Weelden
    What: Conceptual metaphor in (data) visualizations
    Where: DZ 003
    When: Wednesday, 8 April 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 01 Apr 201512:30Event

    Jelle Zuidema
    What: Nonsymbolic models of compositional semantics
    Where: DZ 003
    When: Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 30 Mar 201512:30Event

    Padraic Monaghan
    What: How prevalent and influential is sound symbolism in natural language?
    Where: DZ 004
    When: Monday, 30 March 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 25 Mar 201512:30Event

    Marielle Stel
    What: Effects of mimicry in understanding the emotions of others
    Where: DZ 003
    When: Wednesday, 25 March 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 11 Mar 201512:30Event

    Grzegorz Chrupula
    What: Introduction to R
    Where: DZ 003
    When: Wednesday, 11 March 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 04 Mar 201512:30Event

    Daniël Lakens
    What: Practical Recommendations to Increase the Informational Value of Studies
    Where: WZ 104
    When: Wednesday, 4 March 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 25 Feb 201512:30Event

    Naomi Kamoen and Maria Mos
    What: A hotel that is not bad isn't good. The effects of framing in online reviews on text, reviewer and product appreciation
    Where: DZ 003
    When: Wednesday, 25 February 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 11 Feb 201512:30Event

    Johan Hoorn
    What: Emotion, emotion regulation, artificial intelligence, and social robots
    Where: WZ 103
    When: Wednesday, 11 February 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 04 Feb 201512:30Event

    Alexander Schouten
    What: Either online impressions of job applicants or discussion about grant proposal
    Where: DZ 003
    When: Wednesday, 4 February 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 28 Jan 201512:30Event

    Bart Joosten
    What: Voice Activity Detection based on Facial Movement
    Where: WZ 104
    When: Wednesday, 28 January 2015, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 24 Dec 201412:30Event

    No Colloquium
    When: Wednesday, 24 December 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 17 Dec 201412:30Event

    Asmir Gracanin
    What: TEARS - The role of human tearful crying for social functioning and well-being
    Where: DZ 3
    When: Wednesday, 17 December 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 10 Dec 201412:30Event

    No Colloquium
    When: Wednesday, 10 December 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 03 Dec 201412:30Event

    No Colloquium
    When: Wednesday, 3 December 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 26 Nov 201412:30Event

    Joris Janssen
    What: Connecting people through physiosocial technology
    Where: WZ 104
    When: Wednesday, 26 November 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 19 Nov 201412:30Event

    Mariek vanden Abeele & Marjolijn Antheunis
    What: Being alone together or being together alone: The influence of social media use on relational processes and outcomes
    Where: WZ 104
    When: Wednesday, 19 November 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 12 Nov 201412:30Event

    Bart Joosten
    Cancelled Read more

  • 05 Nov 201412:30Event

    Hans IJzerman
    What: A theory of social thermoregulation in human primates
    Where: C 186
    When: Wednesday, 5 November 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 29 Oct 201412:30Event

    Annemarie Quispel
    What: The Role of Familiarity in Data Visualization Aesthetics
    Where: WZ 104
    When: Wednesday, 29 October 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 15 Oct 201412:30Event

    Paul Vogt
    What: Communicative intention of infant-directed gestures in three prototypical learning environments
    Where: WZ 103
    When: Wednesday, 15 October 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 24 Sep 201412:30Event

    Wouter Steijn
    What: Developing a sense of privacy: comparison of adolescents', young adults', and adults' behaviour on social network sites and their privacy concerns
    Where: WZ 203
    When: Wednesday, 24 September 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 17 Sep 201412:30Event

    Afra Alishahi
    What: Bringing experimental and computational techniques together: The case of syntactic bootstrapping
    Where: WZ 204
    When: Wednesday, 17 September 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 25 Jun 201412:30Event

    Annette Hohenberger
    What: The role of complex working memory, language, and evidentiality in Turkish children's Theory of Mind development
    Where: TZ 5
    When: Wednesday, 25 June 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 18 Jun 201412:30Event

    Mandy Visser
    Cancelled Read more

  • 11 Jun 201412:30Event

    Mariek vanden Abeele
    Candelled Read more

  • 04 Jun 201412:30Event

    Wouter Steijn
    What: Developing a sense of privacy: comparison of adolescents', young adults', and adults' behaviour on social network sites and their privacy concerns
    Where: DZ 3
    When: Wednesday, 4 June 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 28 May 201412:30Event

    Eric Postma
    What: Big Behavioural Data
    Where: DZ 3
    When: Wednesday, 28 May 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 21 May 201412:30Event

    Johan Bos
    What: Building a large semantically annotated corpus: The Groningen Meaning Bank
    Where: TZ 5
    When: Wednesday, 21 May 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 14 May 201412:30Event

    Asifa Majid
    The TiCC Colloquium on Wednesday 14th has been cancelled. Read more

  • 07 May 201412:30Event

    Martijn Balsters
    The TiCC Colloquium on Wednesday 7th has been cancelled. The talk of Martijn Balsters will take place on a later date. Announcement will follow asap. Read more

  • 30 Apr 201412:30Event

    Kiek Tates & Marie Postma-Nilsenová
    What: Health communication research: room for cooperation!
    Where: DZ 3
    When: Wednesday, 30 April 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 16 Apr 201412:30Event

    Khalil Sima'an
    What: The Hierarchical Structure of Translation Data
    Where: DZ 3
    When: Wednesday, 16 April 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 02 Apr 201412:30Event

    Huib Tabbers
    What: Waving to the screen: Embodied understanding of animations
    Where: TZ 5
    When: Wednesday, 2 April 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 19 Mar 201412:30Event

    Per van der Wijst and Marije van Amelsvoort
    What: ClubMed: Disputes will Disappear
    Where: DZ 3
    When: Wednesday, 19 March 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 12 Mar 201412:30Event

    Marc Dingemanse
    What: Sound-symbolism and iconicity: what we can learn from ideophones
    Where: WZ 103
    When: Wednesday, 12 March 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 26 Feb 201412:30Event

    Menno van Zaanen
    What: Unsupervised learning of syntactic structure in large linguistic datasets
    Where: DZ 4
    When: Wednesday, 26 February 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 19 Feb 201412:30Event

    Bart de Boer
    What: Investigating evolution of speech
    Where: TZ 5
    When: Wednesday, 19 February 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 12 Feb 201412:30Event

    Martijn Goudbeek
    What: How emotions affect the perception of dynamic arm gestures
    Where: TZ 5
    When: Wednesday, 12 February 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 05 Feb 201412:30Event

    Marjolijn Antheunis and Alex Schouten
    What: Social networking sites & adolescents’ social development / Impression formation based on profile pictures
    Where: TZ 5
    When: Wednesday, 5 February 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 29 Jan 201412:30Event

    Giuseppe Maggiore
    What: Casanova, a language for building games
    Where: DZ 4
    When: Wednesday, 29 January 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 08 Jan 201412:30Event

    Gabriele Trovato
    What: "Hello human!" Greeting gestures in human-robot interaction
    Where: DZ 3
    When: Wednesday, 8 January 2014, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 16 Oct 201312:30Event

    TICC-TILC Colloquium by Martin Reynaert
    Who: Martin Reynaert
    What: Your boldest wishes concerning online corpora: OpenSoNaR and you
    Where: AZ414
    When: Wednesday, 16 October 2013, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 09 Oct 201312:30Event

    TICC-TILC Colloquium by Data J Lab
    Who: Data J Lab
    What: We Make Data <3: Meet the newborn Data J Lab
    Where: WZ105
    When: Wednesday, 9 October 2013, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 02 Oct 201312:30Event

    TICC-TILC Colloquium by Max Louwerse
    Next Wednesday we will have our TiCC-TiLC colloquium talk (that is, the Tilburg Language and Computation branch of TiCC colloquium):

    Who: Max Louwerse
    What: Multimodal Behavior in Humans and Their Digital Conversational Partners: From Synchrony to Human-Computer Interaction
    Where: WZ 206
    When: Wednesday, 2 October 2013, 12:30 - 13:30 hours Read more

  • 25 Sep 201312:30Event

    TICC-TILC Colloquium by Paul Vogt
    Next Wednesday we will have our first TiCC-TiLC colloquium talk (that is, the Tilburg Language and Computation branch of TiCC colloquium):

    Who: our own Paul Vogt
    What: Theoretical limitations of cross-situational word learning
    Where: DZ01
    When: Wednesday, September 25 from 12:30-13:30 Read more

  • 18 Sep 201312:30Event

    Talks by Pieter Spronck and Armon Toubman
    We will have two talks by our very own games group. The first talk will be by Pieter Spronck, in which he will explain the importance and role of machine learning in games research, illustrated by some of his recent work. Read more

  • 11 Sep 201312:30Event

    Expression Dynamics for Face Analysis
    Hamdi Dibeklioglu
    Location: Dante building, DZ3


    The face is a rich source of social signals, and research in social signal processing creates new ways of automatically reading the human face, with attention to subtle expressions and dynamics. Read more

  • 25 Jun 201311:00Event

    Naturalistic Studies on Facial Expression
    Jose-Miguel Fernández-Dols (Faculty of Psychology, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid)
    Location: Tias building, TZ003


    Do emotions produce the facial expressions predicted by the mainstream basic-emotion theory?
    Read more

  • 12 Jun 201312:30Event

    TICC-TILC Colloquium by Erik Tjong Kim Sang
    Who: Erik Tjong Kim Sang (Meertens Instituut)
    What: Twiqs.nl: Search through Billions of Dutch Tweets
    Where: DZ4
    When: Wednesday, 12 June 2013, 12:30 - 13:30 hours

    We present twiqs.nl, a website for searching through billions of Dutch tweets. We discuss the methods for collecting, processing, storing and visualizing the Twitter data. This includes automatic estimation of the language of a tweet. Next, we present some examples of studies that can be performed with the data collection: linking word frequency to real-life events, finding related words and studying conversations. Read more

  • 01 May 201312:30Event

    Starting small, reaching big: Strategies in processing complex recursive structures
    Jun Lai (Tilburg University)
    Location: Dante building, DZ 3


    How do children acquire the highly complex grammatical rules of their language? Linguistic theories (Chomsky, 1980) claim that children master natural grammar by means of an inborn language device. Empirical psychological studies and computational studies, however, have indicated that grammar induction could be achieved from experience (Reber 1967; Elman 1991). The latter indication was further supported by studies of statistical learning and information sampling. In the present study, we look at how simple sample characteristics of the linguistic stimulus environment might help inducing grammar knowledge. Read more

  • 06 Mar 201313:45Event

    Data Journalism in the context of the current challenges
    Miren Gutierrez
    Location: Warande building, WZ 103


    The session will examine the context in which data journalism has emerged and these new trends in journalism, and focus on pioneering initiatives in data journalism, trying to point to what the future will bring in terms of their sustainability. Read more

  • 27 Feb 201312:30Event

    Mixing descriptions and depictions in everyday discourse
    Herbert H. Clark (Stanford University)
    Location: Academia building, AZ 210


    In everyday discourse, we communicate with others by means of three distinct methods: We describe things for others; we indicate things for others; and we depict things for others. But how do people combine these methods on the fly in everyday discourse? And how do they integrate information from such disparate methods? Herbert H. Clark (Stanford University) will focus on spontaneous depictions and how people combine them with descriptions. Read more

Me, myself & my mobile: status, identity and belonging in the Mobile Youth Culture

  • Mariek Vanden Abeele
  • 5 December 2012

Researchers increasingly use the concept of Mobile Youth Culture to refer to the central place that the mobile phone occupies in the life of adolescents. The concept can be situated in theories about mobile phone use on the one hand, and in theories about youth culture on the other. Three aspects of the mobile phone impact on the life of youngsters: the socialngsters: the social, the network and the personal aspect. The social aspect deals with the essentially social nature of mobile communication: the mobile phone provides new ways to enhance social interaction among young people, not only by allowing them to communicate anywhere/anytime but, moreover, by offering them additional ways to enhance their interactions. In this ‘age’ of smartphones, they can manifest their friendship ties by sharing music, exchanging pictures, etc. The network aspect lies in the ‘emancipatory’ effect of the mobile for youngsters, by allowing them access to and control over their social networks. The personal aspect, finally, is related to the possibility of using the mobile as one of the ways for youths to express their identity and their ‘self’. The Mobile Youth Culture concept implies a functional definition of youth culture, i.e.: it refers to shared behaviors and attitudes of youngsters that reflect a common developmental trajectory. This functional approach also reveals the weakness of the concept of Mobile Youth Culture, namely its lack of attention for differences in developmental trajectories. These may strongly affect the challenges that youths face in growing up, and thus also how they use the mobile phone to deal with them. Two such differences in developmental trajectories are adolescents’ position in the school system and in the peer group. Based on the results of my dissertation research project, which entailed a survey study among 1144 tweens (10-12y) and 1943 teens (12-18y), I will address how these factors affect the importance of the mobile as a status object, motives for mobile use in the context of youth friendship ties, and behaviors like ‘sexting’ and the possession of pornographic images on the mobile.

Cloud Protesting: Collective Action in Times of Social Media

  • Stefania Milan (Our newest colleague!)
  • 14 November 2012

Social media are changing the way people organize, mobilize, and protest. Organizing has become easier and quicker. Organizational patterns have transformed, as individuals become more prominent at the expense of traditional movement organizations. Protest tends to be temporary and elusive. The narrative of the action is no longer centralized and controlled by movement organizations, but any activist can contribute, by creating a digital identity and producing, selecting, and diffusing texts and audiovisual material. Surveillance, too, has become diffused and can be outsourced to the movement itself. Borrowing the metaphor from computing, I call this type of mobilizing 'cloud protesting'. Contemporary mobilizations can be seen as a cloud, that is to say an imagined online space where a set of soft resources facilitating mobilization (such as identities, narratives, and know-how) coexist. They are selected and shaped by individuals who can in this way tailor their participation to collective action. In this talk, I will explore different aspects of the 'cloud' seen in relation to the technical properties of social media, including organizational patterns, identity building, tactics, and surveillance mechanisms.

Keeping your place: The role of the visual modality in reference tracking in sign and gesture

  • Pamela Perniss (Deafness, Cognition an Language Research Centre, UCL)
  • 3 October 2012

Reference tracking – knowing who does what to whom – is a crucial part of discourse and depends in large part on marking the referential status of referents. In spoken languages, consistent linguistic devices mark referents occurring in different referential contexts, i.e. maintenancevs. (re-)introduction contexts (Givón 1984; Hickmann & Hendriks 1999). In contrast, we know little about how referential context influences expression in the visual modality, i.e. in co-speech gesture and signed language, where the iconic and deictic affordances of the hands and space provide unique means of identifying and representing referents (Gullberg 2006; McNeill 1992; So et al. 2009, for co-speech gesture). In this talk, I investigate the use of the visual modality in marking referential context by comparing German Sign Language and German co-speech gesture, looking at the types of signs and gestures used and the use of space for referent localization and identification. Findings are discussed in terms of similarities and differences between sign and gesture, demonstrating, on the one hand, the influence of the shared affordances of the visual modality on marking referential context and, on the other hand, the differential modulation of these affordances when using the visual modality within a one-channel (sign) vs. a two-channel (co-speech gesture) system. The results contribute to our understanding of the influence of modality on shaping not just grammatical structure, but also discourse structure.

Casanova: a language for making games

  • Giuseppe Maggiore (NHTV University of Applied Sciences)
  • 12 September 2012

The main aim of Casanova is to offer a hybrid language that mixes elements of declarative, imperative, and functional programming language in order to simplify game making while retaining as much as possible of the expressive power that traditional game development tools offer. Casanova keeps the developer's focus on the game mechanics, and tries to prevent the "drift" into deep technicalities that is widespread among game programmers; the language does so by requesting specification only of those details which are strictly needed to define the game, and filling the gaps with boilerplate code.

Promoting Flexible Translations and Preventing Multiword Expressions from Polluting the Phrasetable

  • in Statistical Machine Translation
  • Rico Sennrich
  • 31 August 2012

While SMT systems can learn to translate multiword expressions (MWEs) from parallel text, they typically have no notion of non-compositionality, and thus overgeneralize translations that are only used in certain contexts. I describe a novel approach to measure the flexibility of a phrase pair, i.e. its tendency to occur in many contexts, in contrast to phrase pairs that are only valid in one or a few fixed expressions. The measure learns from the parallel training text, is simple to implement and language independent. I argue that flexible phrase pairs should be preferred over inflexible ones, and present experiments in which we observe performance gains of up to 1.1 BLEU points.

Self-organisation of quality dimensions in conceptual spaces

  • Paula Roncaglia-Denissen
  • 31-05-2012

In this event-related potential (ERP) study we investigated the role of rhythm in the disambiguation of syntactic structures during auditory sentence processing. We presented participants with syntactically ambiguous German sentences embedded in regular and irregular rhythmic patterns. Rhythmically regular pattern was ensured by constant inter-stress interval which created rhythmic groups with constant size. Accuracy rates reveal that participants made less errors in rhythmically regular sentences than in rhythmically irregular ones. ERP results show a reduction in the P600 mean amplitude for object-first sentences in rhythmically regular context in comparison with their rhythmically irregular counterparts. This reduction suggests a facilitation effect through the decrease of processing costs for the less-preferred structure (object-first sentences). Our findings suggest that rhythmic regularity may be used as cue to facilitate the processing of syntactic complexity in auditory sentence processing.

Gaming in higher and professional education

  • Rens Kortman
  • 14-03-2012

Gaming is increasingly used in an educational setting. In my talk I will provide some background notions on the use of gaming in higher and professional education. The theory will be illustrated though a TU Delft teaching case study and projects. For instance, we have used Biggs’ theory on constructive alignment to design a game-based course on high-tech management. For Rijkswaterstaat, the Department of Waterways and Public Works in The Netherlands, we are currently developing a game-based professional training on leadership development. Finally, as part of the European network of excellence ‘Games and Learning Alliance’ (GALA) we participate in the development of a game-based curriculum for teaching entrepreneurship competencies to students of technical universities in Europe. The talk will provide ample room for discussion and exchange of ideas.

Connecting Semantic Argument Structure to Discourse

  • Alexis Palmer
  • 29-02-2012

Automated understanding of discourse requires identifying the participants in the discourse, the situations they participate in, and the various relationships between and among both participants and situations. To date, computational linguistics has had some success with some aspects of this problem, including coreference resolution and shallow semantic analysis of individual sentences. One of the next great challenges is to achieve semantic analysis of entire documents, an enterprise which suffers from both the low coverage of existing semantic resources (such as PropBank, FrameNet, and WordNet) and the need to capture many different types and levels of linguistic signals. In this talk I will discuss two pieces of work related to semantic analysis of full texts. First, we will look at the task of automatic semantic role labeling (SRL) in the FrameNet paradigm. The limited coverage of existing resources motivates the need for something beyond traditional supervised machine learning approaches, so we consider a model which extends nicely to instances not encountered in the training data. Second, I will present early work on an unsupervised approach which aims to link the semantic argument structure of individual sentences to the semantic context of the document in which they appear. Here we employ a notion of semantic schemas/scenarios to group related events and predicates. If time allows, I will conclude with a brief discussion of Modes of Discourse (Smith 2003) and their potential role in understanding the semantic content of a text. This talk includes joint work with Afra Alishahi, Jason Baldridge, Elias Ponvert, Carlota Smith, and Caroline Sporleder.

Investigating syntactic representations using structural priming

  • Roger P.G. van Gompel
  • 23-02-2012

The structural priming method has been a very fruitful method for investigating the syntactic representations that people access during language production (Pickering & Ferreira, Psychological Bulletin, 2008). I will present a series of structural priming experiments that investigated whether structural representations are lexically based (e.g., part of the verb's lemma information) or more abstract in nature. Research by Van Gompel, Arai, and Pearson (Journal of Memory and Language, in press) suggests that representations are lexically based, except monotransitive structures, because this is the most common, default structure in English. I will also present recent work that shows that lexically-based structures are represented as part of the head noun's lemma, but not as part of the lemmas of non-heads, consistent with most linguistic theories.

Does avatar appearance matter? The effects of similarity and self-identification on virtual team performance

  • Alexander Schouten
  • 30-11-2011

I will present (part of) the results of a recent study we conducted on the effects of similarity and self-identification on virtual team performance. Effective communication and collaboration for a large part depends on how well people can get along and their willingness to share information. It is not clear, however, how information sharing may be facilitated in virtual teams. On the one hand, identifiability of self and others may lead to enhanced information sharing because being identifiable reduces group dynamics such as social loafing. Moreover, avatar identification has shown to lead to better performance in virtual interactions. On the other hand, being similar to other leads to perceptions of common group membership resulting in a higher willingness to share information. In this study, we manipulate both similarity and self-identification by using avatars. Specifically, we compare 3-person teams that need to solve a hidden profile task while being represented by avatars that are either similar or not (different vs. similar avatars for the team members) and either self-identifiable or not (avatar that resembles self vs avatar that not resembles self). Results show that groups that are both similar as well as personally identifiable outperform teams in the other three conditions. However, the exact mechanisms through which this happens is still unclear.

Aldebaran's NAO Humanoid robot

  • Pascal Morel, Aldebaran Robotics
  • 23-11-2011

NAO is a research platform used by more than 350 prestigious universities and research labs around the world. NAO is a versatile platform used to explore a great variety of research topics in the robotics field as well as in computer science, man-machine interaction and social sciences. The fully programmable robot comes with a programming environment suitable even for researchers with no programming experience. NAO’s many sensors and actuators, convenient size and attractive appearance combined with sophisticated embedded software makes it a unique humanoid robot ideal for many research fields. NAO has for example capacity for face and object recognition, automatic speech recognition, text to speech capacity in seven languages and whole body motion. In this presentation, NAO's capacities and suitability for research will be demonstrated. For more information: http://www.aldebaran-robotics.com.

Dialogue Reference in a Visual Domain

  • Jette Viethen
  • 12-10-2011

In this talk I will give an overview of my recent work on generating dialogue reference in a visual domain, which was done incollaboration with colleagues at Macquarie University, Sydney. When people refer to visually available objects, they are likelyto take intoaccount the visual context. however, work in psycholinguistics has shown that reference produced as part of an ongoing dialogue is also influenced by the discourse context. We used a simple machine learning approach in order to investigate the impact of these visual and discourse factors on the content of referring expressions in a corpus of dialogues. The dialogues were collected in a controlled route description task involving schematic maps. The aspects we explored include the impact of priming/alignment compared to identification, interdependency between the use of different attributes that can be used for identification, and the size of the visual context that people take into account when they refer to objects on a map.

From an Image to a Description

  • Margaret Mitchell
  • 12-10-2011

In this talk, I will be discussing preliminary work on building a vision-to-language generation system. The system generates captions of images from computer vision output by leveraging knowledge of visible features and word co-occurrence statistics. It employs a new kind of generative grammar, specifically developed to generate semantically and syntactically well-formed structures from the seeds provided by computer vision detections. This follows work my group did at the Johns Hopkins Workshop on visually descriptive text (http://www.clsp.jhu.edu/workshops/ws11/groups/ehlvdt/), where we focused on characterizing what it means to describe an image, and how to filter computer vision output in the face of heavy noise.

Language learning as a unified probabilistic process

  • Afra Alishahi
  • 28-9-2011

I will present computational models that simulate various aspects of language learning from naturalistic input data. In particular, I will discuss the process of learning word meanings, lexical categories, and argument structure constructions from a combination of linguistic and perceptual input in the presence of noise and uncertainty. The proposed computational models exploit statistical regularities of the input in a probabilistic framework to learn the structural properties of language. They demonstrate that robust knowledge of language can be acquired from usage data, and provide explanations for the observed behavioural patterns in humans.

Numbers in Space

  • Diane Pecher
  • 22-6-2011

People often use spatial metaphors for number magnitude, as in expressions like “prices are going up” or the use of a horizontal historical timeline. This implies that numbers might be mentally understood by grounding in spatial orientation, where small numbers are represented as low or to the left and large numbers are represented as high or to the right. In a first series of experiments we investigated whether number magnitude affects spatial attention. Central presentation of a relatively small (1,2) or large (8,9) number was followed by a target presented at the left or right. Only when number magnitude was task relevant did it affect spatial attention: targets were detected faster on the left after small numbers and on the right after large numbers. In a second series we investigated both vertical and horizontal spatial attention. In addition, we compared concrete and abstract magnitude. We presented numbers in concrete (7 shoes in a shoe shop) or abstract (29 – 7) contexts and asked participants to make relative magnitude judgments. Following the judgment a target letter was presented at the top or bottom, or left or right of the visual field. Participants were better at identifying letters at congruent than incongruent locations, but this effect was obtained only when numbers were presented in concrete contexts. We conclude that numbers do not automatically direct spatial attention. In addition, spatial grounding might have a smaller role for numbers in abstract than in concrete context.

Dynamic and task-dependent encoding of speech and voice in the auditory cortex

  • Milene Bonte
  • 15-6-2011

In speech perception, extraction of meaning and speaker identity from complex streams of sounds is surprisingly fast and efficient. This efficiency depends on the crucial capability of our speech recognition system to deal with the acoustic variability of the input signal and to form invariant abstract representations. Furthermore top-down cues such as linguistic context and task demands may bias and facilitate this process and can be used to predict incoming information. In this talk, using examples from EEG, MEG and fMRI studies, I will illustrate temporal as well as spatial neural mechanisms enabling the adaptive decoding of speech signals into abstract representations of words, speech sounds and speaker identity.

Seeing Signs. How do people recognize meaningful hand movements?

  • Jeroen Arendsen
  • 1-6-2011

In this lecture dr ir Jeroen Arendsen will talk about his dissertation entitled ‘Seeing Signs’. It contains the results of a series of studies on the appearance of manual movements in gestures. The main goal of this research is to increase our understanding of how humans perceive signs and other gestures (and how this is related to the perception of other human behavior such as fidgeting with the hands). Generated insights from human perception may aid the development of technology for recognizing gestures and sign language automatically with cameras and computers. One example of an application of automatic gesture recognition that has played a role in shaping the research in this dissertation is ELo, an Electronic Learning environment for deaf and hearing impaired children to practice Sign Language of the Netherlands (SLN) signs. The questions addressed in the research focus on a number of aspects including temporal processing of signs, discrimination of gestures from other human behaviour, and how humans handle variation in signs (this last item will be addressed in more detail, focusing on the question ‘how can the acceptability of variation be explained or predicted, for example using SLN phonology (e.g. Van der Kooij, 2002), and what is the role of iconicity?’)

Towards a better understanding of human emotional tears

  • Ad Vingerhoets
  • 11-5-2011

Crying (with tears) is a unique and typically human emotional expression, that has hardly received the attention of researchers. Nevertheless in the popular literature there are two major claims. First, crying is said to bring relief and it is considered to be healthy. Second, it has been speculated that tears in addition have strong inter-personal effect and stimulate social bonding. But what is the scientific status of these claims? In my presentation, I will provide an overview of the state-of-the-art with respect to research on (adult) crying. In addition, I want to launch some hypotheses about the development of crying over the life span and about the possible relationship between crying and morality.

PoliticalMashup

  • Maarten Marx
  • 13-4-2011

We present a large scale data integration project, PoliticalMashup, in which we connect all kind of political data. We show several applications of structure-extraction from textual data, and list a number of natural language processing and machine learning challenges.

Generating medical narratives from raw data: From summaries to stories

  • Albert Gatt
  • 2-3-2011

Data-to-text systems are a subclass of Natural Language Generation (NLG) systems which produce textual summaries of raw data. The BabyTalk Project was concerned with building a family of data-to-text NLG systems to summarise large, high-density datasets collected in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). One of these systems, BT-Nurse, summarized twelve hours of patient data to produce a nursing shift summary. Patients in the NICU are continuously monitored and data is collected both through sensors (such as ECG and blood pressure monitors) and via manual input. Thus, the available information is heterogeneous and includes numerical, symbolic and raw textual information. Moreover, the generated summaries can be fairly lengthy and report on a diversity of events which need to be adequately linked together if the summary is to serve its purpose, namely, to support clinical decision-making. This talk will first give an overview of the NLG architecture adopted in BabyTalk and identify some of the key challenges in generating coherent text from NICU data. Foremost among these challenges is the construction of an adequate narrative which allows a clinician to (a) identify the clinically salient events that occurred in relation to a patient during a given period; (b) understand the temporal and causal relationships between these events. Meeting these two requirements has consequences at all stages of the generation architecture. The second part of the talk focuses on how the data-to-text technology developed in the project was evaluated. An initial prototype system, BT-45, was evaluated in a controlled setting, in which it was compared to graphical presentations and human-written summaries. The larger-scale BT-Nurse system was deployed on-ward over a number of months, and used by nurses to generate summaries of live, previously unseen data. The latter evaluation, involving deployment of a system in its target environment, was one of the first of its kind in NLG. Both evaluations gave positive and encouraging results. They also served to highlight some new research challenges. Foremost among these is the problem of creating good computational models of narrative that adequately handle its complex structural and temporal aspects.

Gesture as an embodied and/or communicative act-Evidence from brain and behavior

  • Asli Ozyurek
  • 22-2-2011

Gesturing during language use, a form of meaningful action, is an integral part of everyday communication. People use gestures in all ages, cultures and in all kinds of communicative contexts and even in various communicative impairments (e.g., autism, aphasia etc.). Yet we know little about the processes underlying use of gestures in production and/or comprehension. In this talk I will compare evidence for two currently debated views on gesture use; namely what I call as “Gesture as a window into thought” versus “Gesture as a communicative act” view. By focusing on a subset of gestures subset of gestures, namely the representational ones that accompany speech (e.g., making a POURING gesture while saying “pour”), I will argue that such gestures that speakers use are better understood not simply as a window into what goes on in producer’s mind (e.g., embodied actions or images) but rather in terms of what representation the speaker wants to create on “the other’s” mind. Thus I will emphasize the main role of gesture as a communicative act integrated with speech/language processing. I will provide evidence for the latter claim from both production and comprehension, from crosslinguistic investigations of gesture use , behavioral experiments, and finally from how the brain processes cospeech gestures.

Hidden-Unit Conditional Random Fields

  • Laurens van der Maaten
  • 22-12-2010

In this talk, I will introduce a new Conditional Random Field (CRF) model, called the hidden-unit CRF. The most prominent feature of the hidden-unit CRF is that it has stochastic binary hidden units that are conditionally independent given the data and the label sequence. The hidden units drastically improve the complexity of the decision boundaries that can be learned by the CRF model. In fact, it can be shown that the individual predictors (i.e., predictors that ignore the temporal correlations) are universal approximators for discrete data. At the same time, the conditional independence properties allow us to efficiently compute (1) the exact gradient of the conditional log-likelihood, (2) the most likely label sequence for a given time series, and (3) marginal distributions over label sequences. We develop and investigate various training algorithms for hidden-unit CRFs. Our experiments reveal the strong performance of hidden-unit CRFs on a wide range of tasks, including optical character recognition, sentence labeling, protein secondary structure prediction, and part-of-speech tagging. Hidden-unit CRFs outperform the respective state-of-the-art techniques on three of the four tasks. This talk describes joint work with Max Welling (University of California Irvine) and Lawrence Saul (University of California San Diego).

Surprise!

  • Marret Noordewier
  • 8-12-2010

Surprise is widely recognized as a fundamental emotion that helps people deal with unexpected events. Interestingly, however, the scientific knowledge of its nature is still very limited. One of the most salient lacunas in our knowledge of surprise is the valence of this emotion. With this research, we hope to fill this void. Based on the reasoning that surprise interrupts ongoing activities and frustrates people’s need for predictability, we argue that surprise has a negative valence. Once the unexpected stimulus is understood, surprise dissipates and is followed by other emotions. This account is tested in four studies, ranging from personal experience to facial expression and attention.

"Multiple-instance learing", or "set classification"

  • David Tax
  • 10-11-2010

Standard pattern recognition and machine learning most often assumes that it is possible to represent objects by a (single) feature vector. For some classification problems this is too restrictive, in particular in situations where the objects are complex and compounded of different subparts. This can happen in general images, time series, videos, etc. For these situations multiple-instance learning (MIL) can be used. In MIL it is assumed that an object is represented by a set of feature vectors. If at least one feature vector is labeled 'positive', the whole object is labeled positive, and otherwise it is labeled negative. In this talk I would like to discuss the basic assumptions of multiple instance learning, show some algorithms, and give some criticism of the model. Finally I will show some applications in the classification of images and timeseries.

Finding the connectome of the visual system: Computational systems neuroscience weighs in

  • Michael Capalbo
  • 27-10-2010

How the human brain is wired has always been of great interest to the scientific community, yet we are still a long way from understanding human brain connectivity. Recently the pace of the quest has been picking up and has been coined the ‘ search for the human connectome’ . In our opinion, understanding the human connectome requires state-of-the-art experimental methods, advanced mathematical tools and sophisticated computational models. In this talk I will discuss some of the advances we have been making. First I will discuss the work we have done to model the large-scale structure of the visual system combining both functional and structural brain data. I will argue that although the hierarchy of the system is not fixed our method reduces the indeterminateness in the model and highlights the importance of sub- cortical routes. Second I will discuss our attempts to visualize the connections between the functional modules of the human brain in vivo. Using a combination of Diffusion Weighted Imaging and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging we can visualize the major pathways in the brain. Using tensor tracking and graph theory we can arrive at a first approximation of the connectome of the human visual system.

Surgical pathology, humanity and computing

  • Marius Nap
  • 29-09-2010

Surgical pathology is a medical specialty dealing with knowledge of disease processes, diagnostic classification of the status of either human single cells, (cytology), cells in syncitial arrangement, (histology), complete or partial organs, (gross inspection) and post mortem full body examination (autopsy). Traditionally this is done by describing visual or palpatory observations in texts that are presented to the treating physician who will use this information while planning further treatment options with his patients. These human observations as well as the structure of reporting will be affected by variable levels of subjectivity, influenced by knowledge, experience and discipline. Increasing demands are posed to health care providers to formalize their work process, reduce subjectivity and improve their auditability. However, strict protocols also risk to create loss of human interaction that characterises the expert. A combination of speech recognition as data input for a report, storage of large volume text files, directly linked to an individual observer with a high degree of repetitive phrasing combined with the availability of comprehensive textbook knowledge on diagnostic criteria may offer an ideal opportunity to apply computer support for an individualised report generation and control. In recent years “whole slide imaging” has been introduced both in research as well as in clinical setting. Digital images from complete histological or cytological specimens are available and can be used to apply computer vision techniques, image analysis and identification of normal components of the tissue in combination with the presence of abnormal structures as rare events in the specimen or the comparison of different grading characteristics. Combining computational analysis of text and image may stimulate the acceptance of individualised or humanised “protocols” and improve the correct identification and use of diagnostic hallmarks. This approach may effectively link computers, humanity and surgicalpathology with each other, resulting in a higher level of quality in health care.

On the distributed nature of mutual understanding

  • Dale Barr
  • 19-05-2010

Mutual understanding is one of the most important topics in the study of language use; it is also one of the most perpelexing. How is it that people understand one another given the fundamentally ambiguous nature of communication? Why do language users find conversation so effortless and unproblematic, while theories of language use suggest that it requires inordinately complex processes and representations? I will suggest that such paradoxes arise out of a tendency to localize processes of mutual understanding in the minds of individual language users. Instead, I will suggest that the work of mutual understanding is distributed more broadly, over individual, interactional, and cultural levels of language use. This approach offers a new way of understanding of the functional significance of certain psycholinguistic phenomena, such as apparent failures of perspective taking in referential communication.

Computer mediated communication and making friends, social effects of the internet, and marketing

  • Marjolijn Antheunis
  • 28-04-2010

The internet and ICT technology in general, is becoming a more and more social phenomenon. We share, befriend (and unfriend), sell, buy and negotiate via email, chat, twitter and social network sites such as hyves and facebook. In this talk I will give an overview of three area's of research that investigate the effect of these technologies on friendship formation, social relations and marketing. First I will present a general overview of my work, after which several studies will be discussed in depth.

Parts and places: Object-centered geometries

  • Jürgen Bohnemeyer
  • 21-04-2009

The studies to be presented probe the role of linguistic resources for reference to object parts in the linguistic and cognitive representation of regions of space. The background of these studies is the still-growing controversy over the use spatial frames of reference (FoRs) in language and cognition. FoRs are cognitive coordinate systems used to identify places and directions. Levinson (1996, 2003) and Pederson et al. 1998 show that speakers� selection of types of FoRs in discourse predicts their use of the same types of FoRs in recall memory and spatial inference. They advance a relativistic interpretation according to which language determines FoR selection in internal cognition. Li and Gleitman (2002) instead argue that the alignment is the result of cultural factors such as literacy, education, and the adaption to topography and ecology. The lecture focuses on a case study conducted as part of the project Spatial language and cognition in Mesoamerica ('MesoSpace' for short; NSF Award # BCS-0723694, PI J. Bohnemeyer), which investigates 15 indigenous languages of the Mesoamerican (MA) linguistic and cultural area. MesoSpace examines two unusual traits of spatial reference in MA: i) the widespread absence or paucity of use of relativeFoRs and ii) the highlyproductive use of 'meronymic' terminologies that identify object parts in terms oftheir shape. Competing accounts fortheunusually high productivity of MA meronymies invoke global analogical domain mappings(MacLaury 1989) and local shape-analytical algorithms (Levinson 1994). The overarching hypothesis informing MesoSpace is the idea that the availability of productive geometric meronymies may disfavor the use of relative FoRs in both language and internal cognition. If confirmed, this 'meronymy-allocentrism pattern' would represent evidence for a purely linguistic determinant of reference frame selection. Part descriptions and placement descriptions were collectedfrom five pairs of adult native speakers of Yucatec, a Mayan language of Mexico, with a referential communication task involving objects of unfamiliar shape. These data are complemented by part and location descriptions elicited from seven speakers using line drawings and photographs. The Yucatec meronym system is distinct from those proposed by MacLaury for Ayoquesco Zapotec and Levinson for Tseltal Maya. Yucatec meronymy distinguishes between three semi-autonomous subsystems, which label surfaces, volumes, and curvature extremes (edges and points), respectively. The subsystems for surface and curvature extreme naming are fully productive. In contrast, the use of the volume part terms appearsto be conventionalized. Spatial descriptions that are to be interpreted in intrinsic or relative FoRs must be formed with a surface meronym in Yucatec. The meronym may head either the 'ground phrase' itself - the place-denoting co-constituent of the verb - or the complement of a semantically nearly empty 'generic' preposition. If the ground phrase is formed without a meronym, or with a volume or edge/point meronym, it will be interpreted 'topologically', i.e., perspective-free. A second referential communication task, this one involving picture-to-picture matching, examined preferences for FoRs in reference to indoor-scale spatial configurations. The task involved four sets of 12 pictures each, all featuring a ball and a chair in varying configurations, and was conducted with five pairs of speakers. The results confirm the preference for intrinsic over relative FoRs predicted by the meronymy-allocentrism hypothesis: of the total 240 locative descriptions, 45% were intrinsic, 23% absolute, 22% topological, and just 10% relative. In Yucatec, the use of both intrinsic and relative FoRs presupposes the ability to consistently reference object geometry. But the relative use of meronyms requires speakers to assign these disregarding the geometry of theground, superimposing it with a projection of the observer's body instead. I hypothesize that Yucatec speakersdispreferthis because the frequent use of geometric meronyms habituates them to mentally encoding object geometry.

From PhD to Post-doc

  • Kristian Spoerer
  • 24-03-2010

In this talk I will present two main parts. First I will discuss the research from my PhD thesis and closely related studies on the game of Lemmings. In the second part I will provide an overview of the research being carried out here at JAIST where I am a Post-doc researcher, along with some initial thoughts on a new project.

Modeling of Strategic Behavior and Goals in Large Organizations

  • Prof. Aske Plaat
  • 17-03-2010

Public and private sector organizations find it hard to achieve policy goals on time and on budget. Large organizations employ large numbers of people, whose behavior is determined in part by their own interests. Achieving organizational goals requires effectively dealing with conflicting interests and strategic behavior. Managers need skills in addressing this task. The goal of this project is to increase the effectiveness of organizations by better understanding goals, behavior and cooperation. We will use artificial intelligence techniques to model social relations between people. Creating such a model requires a multidisciplinary approach. Simulated agents need to understand social conventions and power, and need to understand the social significance of actions. In this talk I will give an overview of our research plans.

Mine your own business

  • Bernard Veldkamp
  • 03-02-2010