"Neuropsychology of communication disorders: Evidence from acquired language impairments in a Turkish-English bilingual" by Dr. İlhan Raman, Middlesex University.
On April 22, 2015 at 14:00, in Law Building Room 211

"Processing Sentences in Turkish: Effects of Phrase Lengths and Syntactic Parsing Strategies in the Perceived Informativeness of Prosodic Cues" by Nazik Dinçtopal Deniz, Bogazici University.
On April 10, 2015 at 13:00, in Law Building Room 211

It has been reported that prosody (stress, rhythm and intonation) of an utterance can inform the sentence processing mechanism toward the correct syntactic structure of the utterance, preventing potential processing difficulties associated with temporarily ambiguous sentences. Other research showed that informativeness of prosodic cues is influenced by the lengths of phrases that a prosodic boundary flanks. According to the Rational Speaker Hypothesis (RSH) of Clifton and colleagues (2006), prosodic breaks flanking short constituents are treated as more informative about syntax than breaks flanking longer constituents since the former would not be motivated by optimal length considerations. This study investigated how rational speaker effects interact with syntactic parsing strategies not only when they align with each other but also when they conflict. Results support a role for both RSH and syntactic parsing strategies.

"Do you know what you know? Neural basis of metacognition" by Metehan Irak, Bahcesehir University.
On March 27, 2015 at 12:00, in Fine Arts Building Room 7E02

Metacognition is a multi-dimensional concept, which refers to an individual’s ability to monitor and control his or her own cognitive system. Among the variety of higher-order cognitive capabilities, monitoring information stored in memory is one of them that have crucial importance in everyday life. Metacognition includes both prospective and retrospective monitoring activated at different stages during acquisition, retention, and retrieval. Feeling of knowing (FOK) is one of the metacognitive processes that is characterized by the prospective judgments that are made about the future likelihood of recognition of previously non-recalled information. Cognitive control and monitoring have long been linked to frontal lobes in the literature however neurobiological basis of FOK judgment is still unclear. In this presentation results of several memory experiments which were conducted on a big sample to investigate neural basis of FOK using event-related potential (ERP) methodology will be discussed. Additionally, ERP correlates of different FOK judgments and effects of high vs low FOK judgments on ERPs will be highlighted.

"What does acquisition of irregularities in Turkish morphology reveal about rules in the brain?" by Assoc.Prof.Dr. Mine Nakıpoğlu, Bogazici University.
On March 20, 2015 at 13:00, in Law Building Room Z07

"Turkish Communicative Development Inventory (TCDI) is valid for assessing lexical, grammatical and communicative development of 8-36 month-old Turkish-speaking children" by Burçak Aktürk, University of Southern Denmark.
On December 26, 2014 at 13:00, in Fine Arts Building Room 7E04

Given the importance of early language development for later language and cognitive competence (e.g. Dickinson & Neuman, 2006; Marchman & Fernald, 2008; Snow, Burns & Griffin, 1998; Snow, 1999; Whitehurst & Lonigan, 1998, 2001), understanding the course and pace of language development is of interest to researchers in addition to the parents and practitioners. The current study presents a recently built maternal report checklist, the “Turkish Communicative Development Inventory (TCDI)” which is developed to assess language competence of Turkish-speaking children for the very beginnings of language learning. TCDI is the adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (MB-CDI) (Fenson, Dale, Reznick, Thal, Bates, Hartung, Pethick, & Reilly, 1993) and consists of two forms: TCDI-I aims to assess the communicative behavior and lexicon of 8-16 month-olds, TCDI-II aims to assess the lexical and grammatical competence of 16-36 month-olds. In this talk, the findings from the standardization process and the concurrent validity study of TCDI inventories will be presented. Results will be discussed in relation to the specific socio-economic factors and home environment in order to identify the sources of variability in early linguistic skills of Turkish-speaking children.

"Tackling Winograd Schemas by Formalizing Relevance Theory in Knowledge Graphs" by Assist. Prof. Dr. Peter Schüller, Marmara University.
On December 12, 2014 at 13:00, in Fine Arts Building Room 7E04

We study disambiguating of pronoun references in Winograd Schemas, which are part of the Winograd Schema Challenge, a proposed replacement for the Turing test. This talk will give an introduction to Winograd Schemas and some ideas for resolving them. In particular we consider sentences where the pronoun can be resolved to both antecedents without semantic violations in world knowledge, that means for both readings of the sentence there is a possible consistent world. Nevertheless humans will strongly prefer one answer, which can be explained by pragmatic effects described in Relevance Theory. We state formal optimization criteria based on principles of Relevance Theory in a simplification of Roger Schank’s graph framework for natural language understanding. We perform experiments using Answer Set Programming and report the usefulness of our criteria for disambiguation and their sensitivity to parameter variations. Finally we give an outlook into how knowledge graphs may be created automatically using existing resources on the Internet.

"Belief about Myself" by Prof.Dr. Stephen Voss, Bogazici University.
On October 22, 2014 at 14:00, in Fine Arts Building Room 105

What is it to have a belief about oneself, as oneself—an “I belief”? François Recanati suggests a cognitive account: perceptual evidence is uniquely appropriate to I belief. But the connection seems only contingent, and John Perry has observed that these beliefs also have motivational power: I am moved to act by the belief that I am making a mess. Hume’s theory of the moral passions offers a noncognitive model, but I beliefs really are beliefs. Instead, on an Aristotelian theory of motivational reason to act, a belief is an I belief if and only if for some non-I desire the two would provide a reason to act. That theory allows the derivation of an account that explains both the noncognitive and cognitive features of I belief: In I belief one conceives oneself, as oneself, as agent. The link with the minor premises of practical syllogisms provides the clue; the link with their conclusions answers the question.

“Linearization in Noun Phrases in Turkish Sign Language” by Prof. Dr. A. Sumru Özsoy, Boğaziçi University
On May 16, 2014 at 16.00, in Law Building Room 332.

In this talk I will focus on the order of constituents within a noun phrase in Turkish Sign Language (TID). In TID, as in many other sign languages (e.g., ASL, NGT, TSL), the order of constituents in a noun phrase (NP) is relatively free. It will be argued that the order of constituents in a NP in TID complies with the Dem>Num.Adj>N of Greenberg’s (1963) U20i, with the caveat that TID does not seem to differentiate between Num and Adj with respect to their relative order (i.e. hierarchical relation) within the NP. Consequently, we will argue that in TID (i) the nominal constructions are hierarchically ordered, (ii) nominal projections are DPs, (iii) NPs are underlyingly head final and (iv) the head-initial NP constructions are the output leftward movement of the N to the specifier position of the first adjunct phrase in an underlyingly head-final structure. We will ultimately argue that the NP structures in TID present evidence in favor of the derivational approach to constituent order variation as proposed by Cinque (2005).

"Individual and Cultural Differences in Color Vision" by Prof. Dr. Gökhan Malkoç, İstanbul Commerce University.
on May 9, 2014, in Law Building Room 332.

Color appearance models (De Valois & De Valois, 1993) propose certain colors organization mediating color perception. These models are consistent with universalist explanation of basic color terms. Opposite point of view indicates that basic color terms are defined based on cultural factors. In this study, I examined whether there is a cultural influence on primary and binary hues of focal color. With the same procedure, data were collected from 73 American and 68 Turkish college students. They have normal vision and their color vision were examined with Neitz Color Vision Test. Stimuli were shown on a computer monitor and viewed binocularly in an otherwise dark room from 250cm. The task was to set a ”best example” of a given color. The hue angle corresponding to each of the eight colors [four primary hues (red, green, and blue, yellow) and the four binary hues (yellow-green, blue-green, purple, and orange] were estimated by varying the hue of successive stimuli in two randomly-interleaved staircases. When a test stimulus was presented, subjects made a forced-choice judgment about its perceived color. Stimuli were displayed on a Sony 20SE color monitor or Phillips 202P4. Stimuli were presented for one second to control light adaptation and were ramped on and off with a Gaussian envelope. The colors were shown in a uniform gray background, and had fixed contrast throughout the experiment. The test field returned to gray for 3 seconds between each stimulus presentation. Luminance contrast of the stimuli was defined by Michelson contrast. The chromaticity of the stimuli was defined according to a scaled version of the MBDKL color space. Results showed that focal color choices for different cultures were in a comparable range. Different culture members show slightly different choices for blue and yellow-green. However the rest of tested colors were set more or less similarly. When we compare variations in both groups, Turkish group showed more individual differences than American group but the pattern of variations between two groups were similar. These results show that even if there are individual variations within group, the overall pattern are very similar for colors’ choices across different groups, thus supporting universalist explanation.

“Psychological Time and Decisions: An Overarching Approach” by Assist. Prof. Dr. Fuat Balcı, Koç University
On May 2, at 16.00, in Law Building Room 332.

Interval timing refers to the ability to perceive, remember, and organize responses around durations ranging from seconds to minutes. This fundamental ability is observed in many species (e.g., fish, pigeons, mice, rats, humans) with virtually the same statistical properties. In this talk, I will briefly introduce interval timing along with its psychophysics. Then, the relation of interval timing to decision-making will be explored at the level of the underlying processing dynamics and with respect to optimality (reward maximization). Different model-based approaches to time perception will be discussed and evaluated in terms of their neural plausibility. To this end, I will specifically introduce our drift-diffusion model of interval timing and extend the scope of its application to temporal decision-making. I will demonstrate that the processing dynamics that underlie interval timing and account for its psychophysical properties within the framework of the drift-diffusion model can also account for the accuracy and latency (i.e., response times) of decisions about time intervals. Finally, the importance of interval timing for reward maximization in temporal and non-temporal decision-making will be discussed with an emphasis on the role of temporal noise characteristics in determining optimal decision strategies.

“Belirsizlik Altında Karar Verme, Ellsberg Paradoksu ve Rasyonellik” -Dr. Hasan Bahçekapılı, Doğuş Üniversitesi
25 Nisan, Saat: 16.00, Hukuk 332.

İnsanların tercih yaparken belirsizlikten kaçınma eğiliminde olmaları bazı özel durumlarda tutarsız ve dolayısıyla rasyonel olmayan kararlar vermelerine yol açmaktadır. Bu durumun ekonomi alanında en çok tartışılmış örneklerinden biri Ellsberg paradoksudur. Paradoks bir yandan normatif bir teori olan beklenen fayda teorisi için yarattığı zorluklar bakımından tartışılırken bir yandan da insanların rasyonellikten sistematik sapma gösterdiklerinin kanıtı olup olmaması açısından tartışılmaktadır. Bu konuşmada Ellsberg paradoksu formel açıdan tanıtıldıktan sonra literatürde var olan az sayıdaki davranış deneyinden hareketle paradoksun hangi durumlarda ortaya çıktığı ve “belirsizlikten kaçınma” hipotezinin bulguları açıklamada ne derece başarılı olduğu tartışılacaktır. Ek olarak normatif modellerin ve rasyonel analizin sadece ekonomistleri değil, asıl amacı davranışı betimlemek ve açıklamak olan bilişsel bilimcileri de ilgilendirmesi gerektiği savunulacaktır.

“Acquired language disorders in a bilingual Turkish-English speaker” by Ilhan Raman, Middlesex University
On April 18, at 16.00, in Law Building Room 332.

One question that has attracted the attention of researchers for over a century is the relationship between brain lesions and behaviour. Cognitive neuropsychology of language examines the extent to which brain lesions affect language processing. In this respect, although an abundance of research on monolingual language disorders exist, little is known about the acquired language disorders in bilinguals. The aim of this talk is to describe acquired language difficulties in a Turkish-English bilingual case study, BRB, and to evaluate the role of each language on the manifestation of the disorders within the cognitive architecture.

“Image and Audio Techniques in Cognitive Science: An Introductory Approach” by Assist. Prof. Dr. Dionysis Goularas, Yeditepe University
On April 11, at 16.00, in Law Building Room 332.

In Cognitive Science, Image and Audio signals are widely used as input data for cognitive algorithms including visual odometry, navigation, speech recognition, recognition of objects, etc. One of the challenges of Cognitive Science is to overcome the difficulties created by the multi-discipline nature of this domain, where scientists from different backgrounds have to understand each other and collaborate with success. Focusing to fill this gap, in this seminar, basic principles of Image and Audio processing techniques will be presented, which are related with the techniques that Cognitive algorithms use: Image files, Color, Fourier Transform, Wavelets in Image Processing and Audio files, Spectrogram, Mel Frequencies and Hidden Markov Models in Audio Processing will be covered with an intuitive and understandable way, trying to avoid complete mathematical explanations.

“A New Rubber Hand Paradigm Induced with Movements of the Whole Hand” by Alper Açık, Özyeğin University
On April 4, at 16.00, in Law Building Room 332.

In the rubber hand illusion (Botvinick & Cohen, 1998), after simultaneous and anatomically congruent touches to a hidden real hand a visible rubber hand participants report feeling as if they own the rubber hand. After the appearance of the illusion, when they use their unstimulated hand to point to the stimulated hand, their response is shifted in the direction of the rubber hand, a phenomenon labeled proprioceptive drift. In this study we tried to induce the illusion both with tactile stimulations while the hand was passive and horizontal movements of the real hand. The feeling of agency was manipulated by letting the hand be moved either by the participant or the experimenter. We have used an apparatus with three boxes for the two real hands and the rubber hand. The boxes for to-be-stimulated left hand and the rubber hand were horizontally movable and the right-hand box was static. There were three stimulation conditions. Tactile stimulation, participant moving her hand (active movement), and the experimenter moving the hand of the participant (passive movement). In each condition, the stimulation of the real and rubber hands was either synchronous or asynchronous. After each stimulation the participant was asked to point to the left hand with the right hand or the other way around. The perceptual experience was probed with a questionnaire. The questionnaire findings revealed that even though in each stimulation condition synchronous touches led to the feelings of ownership of the rubber hand, the illusion was stronger in the tactile condition. As expected, feelings of agency were reported only in the active movement condition. Only in the synchronous condition, and only if the right hand pointed to the left –stimulated– hand there was a 2.5 to 5 cm proprioceptive drift. Our results demonstrate that it is possible to induce the illusion with movements of the whole hand. Nevertheless, since the tactile and skin-movement related signals during the movement of the hand are not congruent with the appearance of the rubber hand, the illusion is not as strong as in the tactile condition. Our findings are in line with the empirically well supported idea that the object recognition system, and not the action system, is prone to visual illusions. To conclude, even though the rubber hand illusion is changing the perception of the location of a limb, the movements of the limb are still computed considering its real location.

“Initiation vs. Delimitation: An Event Structure Perspective” by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Balkız Öztürk Başaran, Boğaziçi University
On March 28, at 16.00, in Law Building Room 332.

Initiation and culmination of events have played a crucial role in the classification of eventualities and in their mapping onto syntax. Ritter and Rosen (2000) introduce a typology based on initiation (I) and delimitation (D) of events. I-languages base event status to the initial bound of the event, while D-languages focus on the terminal bound. Based on this split, the two types of languages exhibit different morpho-syntactic properties. In this study, we will compare and contrast Laz – an endangered Caucasian language spoken in North-Eastern Turkey with Turkish and English. We will show that while Turkish and English come across as D-languages, which involve different morpho-syntactic tools to highlight delimitation of events, Laz, as a very conservative I-language, always structurally presents the initiation of events in its syntax. Thus, while languages like Turkish and English can only focus on the delimitation of events without presenting initiation, Laz always represents initiation in syntax as it conceptualizes all eventualities as having an initial bound.

“Consciousness and Misrepresentation” by Assit. Prof. Dr. Sinem Elkatip Hatipoğlu- Şehir University
On March 21, at 16.00, in Law Building Room 332.

No one denies that we humans differ significantly from what one might call our cognitive relatives, i.e. complex machines such as robots or other forms of living beings. However what marks the difference is difficult to pin down. Consciousness has been taken to be one of the best candidates to account for this difference but an account of consciousness is just as difficult to give. In this talk I focus on one particular theory of consciousness, viz. the higher-order theory of consciousness and a troubling aspect of this theory. Higher-order theories assert that a mental state is conscious when there is a higher-order representation of that mental state. For instance the perception of a blue chair is conscious when there is a higher-order representation of the perception. But since representations are not infallible, higher-order theorists embrace the possibility of having a conscious perception of a blue chair where there is a perception of a red chair or even where there is no perception. The former is usually called a misrepresentation and the latter radical misrepresentation. Even though higher-order theories have many virtues, I suggest that the possibility of a radical misrepresentation undermines some of those virtues. As such either the possibility of a radical misrepresentation needs to be denied or the phenomenon of a radical misrepresentation needs to be understood in a different way.

“Ups and Downs of Memory Retrieval Across the Life Span” by Prof. Dr. Ali İ. Tekcan- Boğaziçi University
On March 14, at 16.00, in Law Building Room 332.

The pattern of retrieval for autobiographical memories across the life span deviates from a typical forgetting function. When adults over the age of 40 remember personal experiences, more-than-expected number of memories come from one’s youth. This phenomenon, typically referred to as the bump, is a very robust and general phenomenon, emerging for various types of information such as semantic knowledge. Although the empirical phenomenon is very reliable, it has not been easy to establish a theoretical account for the variety of the findings regarding the bump.The presentation will focus on several data sets addressing the characteristics of the bump for collective and flashbulb memories with an attempt to comparatively test alternative theoretical accounts of the bump.

“Impact of interaction and feedback on children’s development of referential communication skills” by Prof. Dr. Aylin C. Küntay- Koç University & Utrecht University
On March 7, at 16.00, in Law Building Room 332.

How do children develop communicative effectiveness while referring to things and people in different contexts? I will briefly describe why preschool-age children are thought to have inadequate referential communication skills in their language productions. Then, I will talk about children’s way of referring to objects via demonstrative pronouns and relative clauses in semi-experimental setups. I will show how interactive goals and adult feedback impact (monolingual) children’s production of linguistic referential devices.

“Computer Analysis of Human Behavior” by Assist. Prof. Dr. Albert Ali Salah- Boğaziçi University
On February 28, at 16.00, in Law Building Room 332.

Human behavior is complex, but not random. With advances in pattern recognition and multimedia computing, it became possible to analyze human behavior at different time-scales and at different levels of interpretation. This ability opens up enormous possibilities for multimedia and multimodal interaction, with a potential of endowing the computers with a capacity to attribute meaning to users' attitudes, preferences, personality, social relationships, etc., as well as to understand what people are doing, the activities they have been engaged in, their routines and lifestyles. Re-defining the relationship between the computer and the interacting human, moving the computer from a passive observer role to a socially active participant role and enabling it to drive different kinds of interaction has implications across multiple domains. This talk will delineate human behavior understanding as a research field, and summarize the research of our group in this field. In particular, applications in automatic analysis of facial dynamics and human-robot interaction will be discussed.

“Recursion in Planning and Language” by Prof. Dr. Cem Bozşahin- METU
On February 21, at 16.00, in Law Building Room 332.

The kind of recursive processes we see in language, and the manner in which we do plans, seem disparate from an external point of view. When we look into their internal mechanisms at some level of abstraction, we see that, at the automaton level, they seem to share lots of computational properties. Then the question arises: which might have been there first in the brain, evolutionarily speaking?