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Science AMA Series: I’m Stephanie Huette and I study mechanisms of language and visual processing. AMA!
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Hi everyone, I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Memphis and an affiliate with the Institute for Intelligent Systems which is a center for interdisciplinary research https://sites.google.com/site/stephaniehuette/ . I study language processing as it unfolds using eye tracking and motion tracking technologies. Words have a profound impact on behavior, changing everything from perception, to judgements and decisions we make every day, all the way up to political viewpoints (e.g. http://news.sciencemag.org/2010/10/politicians-watch-your-grammar for discussion of a colleague’s work along these lines). I specifically study negation and usage of modal verbs “should” and “must” and how these words are used, affect learning, and activation dynamics in the lexicon (your mental dictionary). While many people are aware Cognitive Science has made many advances in Natural Language Processing in machine learning areas and are being used actively on projects like IBM’s jeopardy playing Watson, less well known are the advances we’ve made in the understanding of how people develop and process linguistic information at both a millisecond, hourly, and yearly timescale. I will be back at 1 pm ET (10 am PT, 5 pm UTC) to answer questions, Ask me anything about how you process language (fleeting milliseconds that make differences in how we understand cognition in general), or how negation hyperbolizes the perception of truth of a statement (a recent finding in my lab!)