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Internal Seminar: Mingtong Li, Lucas Marti, Rebecca Plimmer, Halleyson Li

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Location: Teams link circulated via calendar invitation

Internal Seminars Schedule – Term 3

Wednesdays from 11am-12pm

Please note that these seminars are one hour earlier than usual, to avoid a clash with other seminars. The seminars will be held on Microsoft Teams and a calendar invitation with a link will be sent in advance.

This Wednesday, from 11am-12pm, we will hear from four of our first-year PhD students, who are starting to shape up the first studies of their PhD project. Please do come along to show your support. Your feedback will be appreciated. We have a variety of topics this seminar, please see the below titles and abstracts.


Presenter 1: Mingtong Li

Title: The Role of Multimodal Iconicity in Preschooler’s Verb Learning

Abstract: Iconicity – an intuitive link between linguistic form and meaning – was found to facilitate preschooler’s verb generalization. However, most studies on facilitation of verb learning by iconicity only focused on one modality (e.g., sound symbolism, iconic gestures), and the exact benefits of combining iconic cues from different modalities remain unknown. Here we investigate the role multimodal iconicity plays in various cognitive processes related to verb learning. The first study aims to test whether 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds have super-addictive benefits from multimodal iconicity in the verb-action matching task. That is, children gain more benefits from combined iconic cues in different modalities (e.g., iconic prosody and iconic gestures), than using each iconic cue individually.


Presenter 2: Lucas Castillo Martí

Title: Using Sampling Algorithms to Explain Human Random Generation

Abstract: Many computational approaches to cognition argue that people's decisions are based on examples drawn from memory, yet what mechanism the mind uses to come up with those examples is unclear. By asking participants to generate long sequences of items at random, we can identify systematic patterns in how they go from one example to the next. We propose that to produce new items, people employ an internal sampling algorithm like those used in computer science. We use people’s systematic patterns to identify which qualitative features their internal sampler possesses.


Presenter 3: Rebecca Plimmer

Title: Understanding Individual Differences and Theoretical Explanations for Violent Attitudes and Behaviours among Serving Police Officers

Abstract: Police violence has a detrimental impact on public and officer safety, victim reporting and public trust. Given these negative consequences it is important to understand the individual, psychological and theoretical factors driving officer’s violent attitudes and behaviour. Presently research remains largely atheoretical, with little consideration being given to psychological factors and situational variables. This research will examine the impact of dark personality traits, theoretical frameworks of moral disengagement and intrasexual competition and suspect physical traits (i.e., dominance, attractiveness) on officer’s violent ideation.


Presenter 4: Halleyson Li

Title: Difference between Mind Wandering and Daydreaming and How it Relates to Humans’ Current Emotional States

Abstract: Human minds often engage in self-generated thoughts and feelings that are detached from environmental demands. Researchers define such phenomena as mind-wandering or daydreaming. Although such psychological experience is about a series of thoughts that distract one’s attention from the present, much recent research has argued that in theory, even though both phenomena are somewhat connected, the nature of mind wandering and daydreaming are rather distinct. This research aims to collectively examine the content difference based on the internal time of the thought (whether the thought is about the past, present or future) and whether the thought is something imaginary (not likely to happen) or real.


11 May 2022:

Mingtong Li

Lucas Castillo Marti

Rebecca Plimmer

Halleyson Li


18 May 2022

Eugene Malthouse

Isabelle Barrett

Charlotte Gannon

Duaa Ashoor


Seminar co-ordinator: Suzanne Aussems

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