CLPS News Archive

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TA Application for Spring 2016 Now Available

If you want to be an undergraduate TA for Spring 2016 CLPS courses, please fill out the application online.

TA Applications for Fall 2015 Now Open

Undergraduates can apply for open TA positions for Fall 2015 with our online application form.

Less Reward, More Aversion When Learning Tricky Tasks

We can easily learn by seeking reward or avoiding punishment. But either way, we’d rather have any task be easy. A new study from the lab of Prof. Michael Frank finds a direct behavioral and physiological linkage between those inclinations: When even subtle conflict made an experimental task harder, it affected the perception of reward and punishment, skewing how subjects learned the task.

Read more about this research on the Brown News site.

Prof. Sheila Blumstein Honored for Research on the Acoustics of Speech

For her research revealing how acoustic signals are transformed into words and speech and the neural substrates of those processes, Professor Sheila Blumstein received the Silver Medal in speech communication from the Acoustical Society of America Oct. 29 at its meeting in Indianapolis. Read more about this honor at the Brown News site.

Working Memory Hinders Learning in Schizoprenia

Trouble with working memory makes a distinct contribution to the difficulty people with schizophrenia sometimes have in learning, according to a new study. The researchers employed a specially designed experiment and computational models to distinguish the roles of working memory and reinforcement learning.

Read more about this research on

NSF Awards Grant to Investigate Explaining, Exploring, and Reasoning in Museum Settings

Prof. Dave Sobel and his colleagues Maureen Callanan (UCSC) and Cristine Legare (UT-Austin) have won a collaborative NSF grant entitled 'Explaining, Exploring, and Scientific Reasoning in Museum Settings.' The $1.3M grant partners the researchers with three children's museums (Providence Children's Museum, Children's Discovery Center, San Jose, and The Thinkery in Austin). Their objective is to investigate how diverse samples of parents and children engage in explanation and exploration of scientific concepts and learn from those interactions. In addition to uncovering patterns of family explanation and exploration, the proposed studies will measure children’s causal understanding, and will build on this knowledge base to develop and test effective interventions for promoting exploration and explanation and engaging in causal learning .

New Book from Prof. Pauline Jacobson: Compositional Semantics - An Introduction to the Syntax/Semantics Interface

Compositional Semantics: An Introduction to the Syntax/Semantics Interface  by Pauline Jacobson has been published by the Oxford University Press. Professor Jacobson's book provides a ground-up introduction to formal semantics for advanced undergraduates and graduate students in linguistics, philosophy and other related fields, and can also be  read by scholars in fields closely related to linguistics in order to gain an understanding of the fundamentals and breadth of natural language formal semantics. The book adopts the approach of Direct Compositionally, according to which the syntax and semantics of natural languages work together and which has formed  the basis of the author's research program for three decades. Alongside this, the book presents a more mainstream competing view making use of an intermediate level of Logical Form and compares the two with respect to a rich domain of empirical phenomena. The author's own research on direct compositionality and 'variable-free semantics' is woven into the text throughout,  and the work highlights and integrates this research into a coherent framework for analyzing syntax and semantics.  

Read more about this new title at the Oxford University Press site.