“The effects of context and experience on flexibility and plasticity in the perception of spoken language”
by Sara Guediche
Date: 19 February 2021, Friday
Place: Zoom Meeting
Spoken language processing provides us with many examples of how perception is shaped by our experience and the available context. When the incoming acoustic speech signal is degraded, cognitive control processes that govern competition and selection are upregulated to help deal with the uncertainty and resolve ambiguity. Across different studies, I consider the influence of semantic context and prior lexical knowledge when a listener is confronted with a noisy speech signal. I will identify neural systems that support flexible, more adaptive comprehension of the spoken input. This flexible perceptual system makes it possible to use prior knowledge to adjust the mapping of the speech signal over time when there is repeated, systematic distortion. I will discuss how this adaptive plasticity may be achieved through a supervised learning mechanism that tunes perceptual processing. The behavioral and neuroimaging results illustrate how perceptual and cognitive mechanisms interact to optimize performance under challenging conditions.
Bio: Dr. Guediche’s research applies behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging methods to investigate the systems that support flexibility and plasticity in perception, predominantly in the domain of spoken language processing. Dr. Guediche received her Ph.D., in the United States, from the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh (CNUP) under the supervision of Dr. Fiez. Her dissertation research was a collaborative endeavor that brought together research areas between her lab in the CNUP and Dr. Holt’s speech lab in the Psychology department at Carnegie Mellon University. After receiving her Ph.D., she joined Dr. Blumstein ́s lab at Brown University as a postdoctoral fellow and was later promoted to a senior postdoctoral Assistant Professor (Research) position. Upon Dr. Blumstein’s retirement, Dr. Guedichejoined Dr. Samuel’s lab at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language where she has been awarded an Individual Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship to explore these research interests in bilinguals.