Talking Heads Reading Group

Talking Heads is a weekly reading group for psycholinguistics, with a general focus on Meaning issues.  It is run by Gillian Ramchand, Sergey Minor and Myrte Vos. 
The plan is to read a recently published article or preprint, together with at least one of the major foundational works that that article cites and get together to discuss it every Friday afternoon.  As long as possible within current Covid restrictions, the group plans to meet physically  in TEO Hus 4 4.404. Meetings will be held every Friday from 1315 to 1500. 
The articles chosen will be decided by mutual agreement depending on the interests of the group, and posted on the CASTLFish website. Please contact Gillian to be added to the mailing list. You are welcome to join whenever one of the papers  is of particular interest to you. But email in advance so that we can make sure that the room is large enough to accommodate the number of people attending. 
Since we find it hard to anticipate how long we will want to dwell on each subarea, we lay out now the main topics we have decided to focus on during the course of the term:
Simple Concept Composition (following up on the work from Pylkkaenen’s  MEG lab, but not confining ourselves to MEG specifically)
Event Representation (following up on Altmann’s work)
Recent Work from the lab of Ev Fedorenko concerning the locus of syntax
Hierarchical structure and oscillations (work of Andrea Martin et al)
Reference and reference tracking. Work on quantification.
Keep consulting this page for weekly updates of what specifically we are reading. Send an email to if you wish to attend any session.
Friday 22nd January: Neurology and Simple Concept Composition
  • Pylkkänen (2020). Neural basis of basic composition: what we have learned from the red–boat studies and their extensions. Phil Trans of the RS.
  • Bemis & Pylkkänen (2011). Simple Composition: A Magnetoencephalography Investigation into the Comprehension of Minimal Linguistic Phrases. Journal of Neuroscience. 
Friday 29th January: EEG and Concept Composition
  • Neufeld C, Kramer SE, Lapinskaya N, Heffner CC, Malko A and EF Lau. 2016. The electrophysiology of basic phrase-building.  PLoS ONE 11. e0158446. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158446)
  • Westerlund M, Kastner I, Al Kaabi M and L.Pylkkänen. 2015. The LATL as locus of composition: MEG evidence from English and Arabic. Brain Lang 141. pp 124-134, (doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2014.12.003)
  • Fritz, Isabella and G. Baggio. 2020. Meaning composition in minimal phrasal contexts: distinct ERP effects of intensionality and denotation. in Language, Cognition and Neuroscience.   DOI: 10.1080/23273798.2020.1749678 
Friday 5th Feb: Event Representations
  • Altmann & Ekves (in press). Events as intersecting object histories: A new theory of event representation. Psychological Review.
  • Zwaan & Radvansky (1998). Situation models in language comprehension and memory. Psychological Bulletin. (cited >3000 times) 
Friday 12th February: Language Regions in the Brain for Syntactic Composition?
  • Blank & Fedorenko (2020). No evidence for differences among language regions in their temporal receptive windows. NeuroImage.
  •  Friederici (1995). The Time Course of Syntactic Activation During Language Processing: A Model Based on Neuropsychological and Neurophysiological Data. Brain and Language. – 

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