Fluid Semantics: Semantic knowledge is experience-based and dynamic
Is our internal notion of, e.g., the object lemon, static? That is, do we have stable semantic representations that remain constant across time? Research in semantic memory has traditionally taken this “static” perspective. In this talk I will describe studies that challenge this perspective by showing that the cognitive and neural representations of object concepts are fluid, changing as a consequence of the context that each individual brings with them (e.g., via current goals, recent experience, long-term experience, or neural degeneration). I will argue that our findings support models of semantic memory in which rather than being static, conceptual representations are dynamic and shaped by experience, whether that experience extends over the lifetime, the task, or the moment.
Dr. Eiling Yee is an Assistant Professorin the Psychological Sciences Department at the University of Connecticut.
This event is open to the public.