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How language programs the mind

Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 26, 2015. 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Building 460, Room 126
Meeting Description: 
About the speaker:
Gary Lupyan is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
 
Meeting description:
In contemporary psychology, it is common to view the mind as being split. On one side are processes such as perception, attention, and memory. On the other are linguistic processes such as word and sentence comprehension which translate nonverbal representations into verbal ones. I will argue that this split is untenable. Rather than being a medium into which “thoughts” are translated for communication, language acts as a high level control system for the mind, changing how perceptual and conceptual representations are activated. I will support this position by showing how even subtle linguistic manipulations affect behavior from low-level visual tasks to higher-level categorization and inference. I will then discuss several design features of language that make it an especially powerful tool for programming the mind.

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