Event Date: Monday, 30 May, 2018, 11 a.m.
Location: Via Santa Maria, 36, Pisa, PI, Italia [2nd floor seminar room]
Speaker: Prof. Gabriella Vigliocco (UCL)
Title: Language as a multimodal Phenomenon
Abstract: Despite the fact that language typically unfolds in face-to-face contexts in which speech is accompanied with facial and hand movements, the study of language development and processing has been largely based on the linguistic information present in speech or text ignoring the rich multimodal information carried by the additional channels, often considered to be “para” linguistic. However, this standard approach lacks ecological validity. In the talk I will present some recent work from my lab where we focus on face-to-face communication and evaluate the contribution from the different multimodal channels to language development and language comprehension
Gabriella Vigliocco: I jointly lead the Institute of Multimodal Communication at UCL (http://www.institute-for-multimodal-communication.org/), which I founded in 2015. The institute’s mission is understanding the behavioural and brain mechanisms that allow humans to communicate with one another in the real-world. Within the Institute, I direct the Language and Cognition Laboratory (http://www.language-cognition-lab.org/). Throughout the years, I contributed and led a shift in the fields of Psychology, Neuroscience and Linguistics from studying language as a symbolic capacity, evolved, learnt and use separately from the rest of human cognition, to one in which language is grounded in basic sensorimotor functions and that needs to be studied in its ecological niche. I use methods from psychology, neuroscience and computational modelling and I seek converging evidence from different languages and populations: adults, children, deaf individuals using sign language, and people with aphasia. I trained as an Experimental Psychologist and Neuropsychologist at Universities of Trieste and Arizona. I was Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison (1996-99) and, after one year at the MPI for Psycholinguistics, I moved to UCL as a Lecturer (Reader, 2002; Professor, 2005). I combine research with teaching and leadership and I served as Head of Department (2008-2011) and as ViceDean Education for the Faculty of Brain Sciences since 2014.