Brown Bag Talk by A/P Melvin Yap on 6 Nov

Speaker: A/P Melvin Yap

Title: Megastudies: What do millions (or so) of trials tell us about lexical processing?

Date: 6th November 2013 (Wednesday), 12pm-1pm

Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room)


Words are a major building block of cognitive science and have been germane to developments in computational modeling, attention, psycholinguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and other areas. However, the vast majority of lexical processing studies are based on experiments where researchers factorially cross the independent variables of interest. Although the traditional factorial approach has obviously yielded a wealth of findings, it is associated with a number of limitations. In the present talk, I will describe a relatively recent complementary approach to studying lexical processing, the megastudy approach, which involves letting the language define the stimuli, instead of selecting stimuli based on a limited set of criteria. I will selectively review some contributions made by megastudies across distinct domains, and also highlight accessible and freely available databases on the Internet for anyone who is interested in taking advantage of this analytic approach.

About the speaker:

At the most general level, I am interested in the processes that underlie the recognition of visually presented words. More specifically, I have been investigating how different variables influence word identification performance in different lexical processing tasks, extending conventional analytic tools with distributional analyses of response time distributions. My other research themes include attentional effects in reading, individual differences in word recognition, task-specific effects, models of lexical processing, and models of lexical decision performance.

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