Cognitive Science

Graduate School Meetings - Sommersemester 2019


May 03, 2019

Semester Welcome Meeting 

May 10, 2019

Speaker: Dr. Alodie Rey-Mermet (Catholic University of Eichstätt-IngolstadtGeneral Psychology, invited by Daniela Czernochowski)


Topic: Structural equation modelling in cognitive psychology: The case of cognitive control


Abstract: In the last two decades, individual differences research put forward three cognitive psychometric constructs: cognitive control (i.e., the ability to monitor and control ongoing thoughts and actions), working memory capacity (WMC, i.e., the ability to retain access to a limited amount of information in the service of complex tasks) and fluid intelligence (gF, i.e., the ability to reason with novel information). These constructs have been proposed to be closely related. Whereas the correlation between WMC and fluid intelligence was found to be strong and was replicated several times, previous research failed to substantiate a robust correlation between executive control and the other two constructs as well as a coherent psychometric construct of cognitive control. The goal of the talk is to provide an overview about this research by questioning not only the tasks used to measure cognitive control but also the cognitive-control models identified with structural equation modelling.

May 17, 2019

Speaker: Cristiane Souza (ISCTE - Lisbon University Institute)


Topic: Long-term memories in Autism Spectrum Disorders: What their pattern of impaired versus spared functions tells us about Semantic Memory?


Abstract: Over the years, there has been significant progresses in theories of semantic memory. Although widely explored, there are still open questions about the structural and functional aspects of this neurocognitive function. Specifically, the interaction of this type of memory with other cognitive functions requires further examination. Recently, the hypothesis that the formation of semantic memory is contextual-based and therefore comes from the episodic memories has been discussed. Consequently, the idea that semantic memory can interact with episodic memory finds plausibly. Studies with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have indicated a differentiated pattern in the two types of declarative memories, which turns out to be an interesting model for the study of Declarative Memories. In particular, episodic memories are indicated as impaired while semantic memories are generally spared, although there is evidence of some decline in semantic organization. In this presentation, I will briefly present the profile of declarative memories in ASDs. Next, I will focus on the literature about semantic organization in ASD. The hypothesis of the interdependence between semantic memory and episodic memory will laso be considered. Finally, some relevant questions and ideas for future studies will be presented.

May 24, 2019

Speaker: Sabrina Defren (Cognitive Science member, Supervisor: Thomas Lachmann & Shanley Allen)


Topic: Emotional speech perception across cultures


Abstract: I will give a short overview of what is known about the perception of emotional speech across different cultures so far. We will take a look at a tool to analyse the relative roles of different channels that are used to convey emotion in spoken language. The focus of my talk is on the adaptation of this tool to the German language and its use in studies with native and non-native speakers, and a comparison of their perception of Emotion.

June 07, 2019

Speaker: Alina Kholodova (Graduate School Member, Supervisor: Shanley Allen & Maria Klatte)





June 14, 2019

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Robert O'Shea (University of Leipizig - Cognitive and Biological Psychology, invited by Thomas Lachmann)



Topic: Visual consciousness in the split brain


Abstract: Binocular rivalry is the alternation in visibility between a stimulus presented to one eye and a different stimulus presented to the other. One theory is that the alternations reflect switching of activity between the hemispheres, each of which processes one of the rival stimuli. Another theory is that the alternations reflect switching by a structure located in the right fronto-parietal cortex (RFPC). My colleagues and I tested both theories by examining rivalry in observers whose corpus callosums had been cut (split-brain observers). When rival stimuli are confined to a split-brain observer's left hemisphere, both theories predict that the observer would report no rivalry. We first trained the observers to respond reliably to real changes in binocular stimuli presented to the left and right hemispheres. Then we presented rival stimuli for one-minute trials. We found similar rivalry from the left and right hemispheres of split-brain observers; this rivalry was similar to that exhibited by intact-brain observers. We found the same for simple and complex rivalry stimuli. We also found that rivalry in two patches confined to one hemisphere of a split-brain observer would synchronise, but not when each patch was shown to opposite hemispheres. Intact-brain observers’ rivalry synchronised within and between hemispheres. We conclude that rivalry is processed similarly in the two hemispheres and at a low level in the visual System.

June 28, 2019

Speaker: Phillip Blandfort (Graduate School Member, Supervisors: Shanley Allen & Andreas Dengel)





July 05, 2019

Speaker: Dr. Réka Vágvölgyi (Cognitive and Developmental Psychology)





July 12, 2019

Speaker: Omar Jubran (Graduate School member)





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