Langage inclusif : pour le cerveau, le neutre n’est pas neutre
Il est désormais bien établi que l’utilisation du masculin générique engendre des représentations mentales déséquilibrées en faveur du masculin. Pour autant, toutes les formes d’écriture inclusive sont-elles aussi efficaces pour contrer ce biais ?
Dans une étude récente parue dans la revue Frontiers in Psychology, Léo Varnet, chargé de recherche CNRS au Laboratoire des systèmes perceptifs, Elsa Spinelli, membre du Laboratoire de psychologie et de neurocognition et Jean-Pierre Chevrot, membre du Laboratoire de linguistique et didactique des langues étrangères et maternelles, ont démontré que les formulations neutres, sans marque de genre grammatical, ne permettent pas d’éliminer complètement le biais vers le masculin, au contraire des formes doubles qui mentionnent à la fois le masculin et le féminin.
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L’importance de donner aux futur.es chercheurs et chercheuses du monde entier les moyens d'étudier le développement du langage dans leur pays.
Une plus grande diversité pour une meilleure compréhension de l'acquisition du langage.
La plupart des études sur l'acquisition du langage sont menées par des scientifiques basé.es dans un nombre limité de pays, qui étudient généralement les enfants de leur pays. Ce manque de diversité a des conséquences négatives sur les recherches sur le développement précoce du langage. Une étude publiée dans Journal of Cognition and Development montre l’impact positif de l’organisation de la première école internationale en ligne sur l’acquisition du langage, “Global International Summer/Winter School on Language Acquisition”. L’objectif de cette école était de partager l’expertise sur le développement précoce du langage avec les étudiant.es et de montrer l’importance de donner un accès le plus large possible aux connaissances et aux technologies à l’ensemble de la communauté internationale.
Comprendre et accompagner les émotions négatives des enfants exposés au « mal »
Un dialogue interdisciplinaire entre chercheuses et chercheurs en sciences cognitives et professionnel.les de cinéma.
Comment les nourrissons interprètent-ils les conflits ? Comment le jeune public réagit face aux émotions et vécus « négatifs » ? Quelles sont les conséquences d’évènements traumatiques au cours du développement de l’enfant ? Comment exposer les jeunes spectateurs/spectatrices à la dureté d'une description réaliste de faits historiques ?
Retour sur la rencontre avec Klara Kovarski et Victor Chung, chercheuse et chercheur en sciences cognitives, co-organisatrice et co-organisateur du colloque « L’enfant exposé au mal » qui a eu lieu les 6 et 7 octobre 2023 à l’ENS.
Le Projet eCALAP porté par Charlotte Jacquemot vient de recevoir un financement de l'Agence Régionale de la Santé
La rééducation du langage avec l'eCALAP : l'utilisation de la psycholinguistique dans la thérapie numérique.
L'objectif de ce projet est de développer l'eCALAP, version digitale du CALAP - Core Assessment of Language Processing - une batterie de rééducation du langage, afin de rendre possible le déploiement automatique d'un arbre thérapeutique personnalisé et standardisé pour la rééducation des patient.es aphasiques, et de promouvoir une évolution de la pratique clinique.
Lire l'article publié dans Le Monde, "Un test pour mieux cibler le traitement des aphasies après un AVC"
Six projets ont obtenu un financement ANR
Six projets portés par des chercheuses et des chercheurs du DEC ont été sélectionnés : "Ecologie Auditive: Perdre et restaurer le contact auditif avec la nature", "Neural computations of adaptive temporal integration in auditory cortex", "Mécanismes d'intégration des signaux intéroceptifs cardiaques avec les signaux extéroceptifs", "Affects collectifs au théâtre", "Efficacité communicative, contraintes cognitives et sens lexical", "Le seuil du désespoir : Conséquences pour les individus et la société".
En savoir plus
Grâce à de continuelles avancées technologiques, les neurosciences sont en perpétuel mouvement
Professeure junior à l’ENS-PSL, Alex Cayco Gajic a rejoint le prestigieux réseau européen FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence
Chercheuse au Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives et Computationnelles, Alex Cayco Gajic étudie la façon dont les réseaux neuronaux du cerveau contrôlent le comportement et apprennent de nouvelles tâches, en utilisant des méthodes mathématiques. Des recherches interdisciplinaires à la croisée des nouvelles technologies, qui l’ont amenée à rejoindre récemment le FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence, un prestigieux réseau européen de jeunes chercheurs et chercheuses en neurosciences. À cette occasion, Alex Cayco Gajic revient sur son parcours et ses récents travaux.
Fête de la Science à l'ENS
Retour en images sur la Fête de la Science qui a eu lieu le 8 octobre dernier à l'ENS et qui a rencontré un très grand succès. Merci aux soixante animatrices et animateurs (chercheur.ses, ingénieur.es, étudiant.es) qui ont donné vie à trois expositions, trente-cinq ateliers et animations. Rendez-vous l'année prochaine !
Pourquoi sommes-nous fasciné.es par les fictions ?
Dans cette conférence, Edgar Dubourg, doctorant à l'Institut Jean Nicod, présente une approche interdisciplinaire mêlant à la fois les sciences cognitives, la psychologie de la personnalité, la psychologie évolutionnaire et les neurosciences, mais également les sciences humaines et sociales et les humanités, afin de mieux comprendre notre fascination pour les fictions.
Trois nouvelles séries sur les sciences cognitives
Histoires de thèse, Un livre, un café, Tous les chemins mènent au DEC, trois nouvelles séries pour découvrir les sciences cognitives et les parcours des chercheurs et des chercheuses du département d'études cognitives. Un rendez-vous mensuel à retrouver sur la chaîne Youtube du DEC !
Les approches cognitives de la culture, par Olivier Morin invité du podcast Cognitations
Découvrez le deuxième épisode (en anglais) du podcast Cognitations, avec pour invité Olivier Morin, chercheur à l'Institut Jean Nicod. Ses travaux portent sur la transmission culturelle et touchent aux relations entre l'anthropologie et la psychologie, avec un accent particulier sur l'évolution de l'écriture.
Lire également l'entretien de Tanay Katiyar et Jay Richardson, créateurs du podcast
Mieux traiter les aphasies après un AVC
Près de 40 % des victimes d’accident vasculaire cérébral souffrent de troubles du langage. Un test mis au point par une spécialiste des sciences cognitives avec une équipe de l’hôpital Henri-Mondor, à Créteil, pourrait améliorer leur prise en charge. Entretien dans Le monde avec Charlotte Jacquemot et Cécilia Jubin, chercheuses dans l'équipe NeuroPsychologie Interventionnelle.
Comment écouter la nature ? Quand le vivant nous parle
Sommes-nous sensibles à la différence entre une forêt tempérée et une prairie ? Percevons-nous finement les variations sonores associées aux changements saisonniers ou encore la différence entre l’aube et le milieu de la journée ? À quel point sommes-nous sensibles à la présence d’êtres vivants dans ces environnements, à leur variété ?
Toutes ces questions sont aujourd’hui abordées dans un programme de recherche alliant sciences cognitives et écologie. Par Christian Lorenzi, chercheur au Laboratoire des Systèmes Percpeptifs, pour The Conversation.
La rivière est-elle une personne (pour le droit) ?
Les éléments naturels peuvent-ils être considérés comme des personnes juridiques ? Quelle(s) voix pour les faire parler ? Comment les juger ? A travers le cas du fleuve Whanganui en Nouvelle Zélande, Esprit de justice questionne la place de la rivière dans l'oeil du droit.
Avec Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde, professeur d’économie comportementale à l’université de Paris-2 et chercheur en sciences cognitives à l’Institut Jean Nicod et Pierre Brunet, juriste, professeur de droit public à l’université de Paris-1. Écouter le podcast
Ecoutez également "Devenir une rivière", le premier épisode de la série "À l'eau" produite par Radio Campus (dans le cadre de la nuit européenne des chercheurs 2023), dans laquelle Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde raconte comment en 2017, un fleuve devient une personnalité juridique.
De la Science-Fiction à la réalité : Démystifier l'IA
Qu'est-ce que l’IA. Où on en est, concrètement ? Qu’est-ce qu’on peut faire avec l’IA ? Comment on l’utilise ? Est-ce qu’on doit s’inquiéter ? Et surtout, l’IA, a-t-elle une conscience ? Éclairage de Aïda Elamrani, doctorante à l'Institut Jean Nicod, invitée du podcast La matrice a buggé.
Qu'est-ce que l'aphantasie ?
Si l'on vous demande d'imaginer une plage et que vous n'arrivez pas à en former une image mentale, vous êtes peut-être aphantaisique, comme Blake Ross, le créateur de Mozilla firefox !
Pour New Work In Philosophy, Margherita Arcangeli, membre de l'Institut Jean Nicod, explique ses recherches philosophiques sur ce phénomène rare.
Voir la vidéo (en anglais)
Jean-Baptiste André, Nicolas Baumard & Pascal Boyer (2023). Cultural evolution from the producers’ standpoint. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 5, E25. doi:10.1017/ehs.2023.20
Standard approaches to cultural evolution focus on the recipients or consumers. This does not take into account the fitness costs incurred in producing the behaviours or artefacts that become cultural, i.e. widespread in a social group. We argue that cultural evolution models should focus on these fitness costs and benefits of cultural production, particularly in the domain of ‘symbolic’ culture. In this approach, cultural products can be considered as a part of the extended phenotype of producers, which can affect the fitness of recipients in a positive way (through cooperation) but also in a detrimental way (through manipulation and exploitation). Taking the producers’ perspective may help explain the specific features of many kinds of cultural products.
Kinga Anna Bohus, Nicolo Cesana-Arlotti, Ana Martín-Salguero, Luca Lorenzo Bonatti (2023). The scope and role of deduction in infant cognition. Curr Biol.:S0960-9822(23)01071-0. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2023.08.028. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37659416.
The origins of the human capacity for logically structured thought are still a mystery. Studies on young humans, which can be particularly informative, present conflicting results. Infants seem able to generate competing hypotheses1,2,3 and monitor the certainty or probability of one-shot outcomes,4,5,6,7,8 suggesting the existence of an articulated language of thought.9 However, sometimes toddlers10 and even children younger than 411,12,13,14 fail tasks seemingly requiring the same representational abilities. One fundamental test for the presence of logical abilities is the concept of disjunction as a way into the conception of alternative possibilities, and of disjunctive elimination as a way to prune them. Here, we document their widespread presence in 19-month-old infants. In a word-referent association task, both bilingual and monolingual infants display a pattern of oculomotor inspection previously found to be a hallmark of disjunctive reasoning in adults and children,15,16 showing that the onset of logical reasoning is not crucially dependent on language experience. The pattern appears when targets are novel, but also when both objects and words are known, though likely not yet sedimented into a mature lexicon. Disjunctive reasoning also surfaces in a non-linguistic location search task, not prompted by violated expectations, showing that infants reason by elimination spontaneously. Together, these results help answer long-standing empirical and philosophical puzzles about the role of logic in early knowledge development, suggesting that by increasing confidence in some options while eliminating alternatives, logic provides scaffolding for the organization of knowledge about the world, language, and language-world relations.
Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde, Joao Ferreira (2023). The expressive power of voting rules. Soc Choice Welf. doi:10.1007/s00355-023-01486-y
Different voting rules are commonly used to settle collective decisions. A promising way to assess voting rules, for which little is known, is to compare the expressive utility that voters derive from voting with each rule. In this paper, we first propose a simple ordinal model of expressive voting that allows us to compare voting rules in terms of the expressive utility that voters can derive from voting (their expressive power). Our model provides a novel testable implication according to which expected turnout increases with expressive power. We then ran an online experiment testing this implication in a controlled environment. We find that if voters are made aware of alternative voting rules, turnout is higher in voting rules with higher expressive power. Our results also show that higher expressive power is associated with a better representation of voters’ actual preferences and, according to our model, higher expressive utility. This suggests that the expressive power of voting rules is a relevant criterion when choosing between voting rules for economic and political decisions.
Megan Dailey, Camille Straboni & Sharon Peperkamp (2023). Using allophonic variation in L2 word recognition: French listeners’ processing of English vowel nasalization. Second Language Research, 0(0).
During spoken word processing, native (L1) listeners use allophonic variation to predictively rule out word competitors and speed up word recognition. There is some evidence that second language (L2) learners develop an awareness of allophonic distributions in their L2, but whether they use their knowledge to facilitate word recognition online, like native listeners do, is largely unknown. In an offline gating experiment and an online eye-tracking experiment in the visual world paradigm, we compare advanced French learners of English and a control group of L1 English listeners on their processing of English vowel nasalization during spoken word recognition. In the gating task, the French listeners’ performance did not differ from that of the English ones. The eye-tracking results show that French listeners used the allophonic distribution in the same way as English listeners, although they were not as fast. Together, these results reveal that L2 learners can develop novel processing strategies using sounds in allophonic distribution to facilitate spoken word recognition.
Megan Dailey, Sharon Peperkamp. Implicit Vs. Explicit Perception Of French Optional Liaison As A Marker Of Formality. ICPhS 2023- 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences„ Aug 2023, Prague, Czech Republic. hal-04197454
This study examines the effect of explicit awareness (or, noticing) of socially-indexed variation on the generation of social inferences during speech perception. In a matched-guise task, French listeners associated sentences that contained optional liaison— a sociolinguistic variable at the level of stereotype in French—more frequently with ‘formal language’ than with ‘everyday language’. This effect was larger for participants who reported noticing the optional liaisons than for participants who did not. These results demonstrate that while noticing variation in context is not a necessary condition for social inferences to be generated, language users’ subjective experience of socially-conditioned variation influences the frequency with which social inferences arise, which may ultimately lead to individual differences in the representation of the same socially-indexed variation.
Alexandre Défossez, Charlotte Caucheteux, Jeremy Rapin, J. et al. (2023). Decoding speech perception from non-invasive brain recordings. Nat Mach Intell.
Decoding speech from brain activity is a long-awaited goal in both healthcare and neuroscience. Invasive devices have recently led to major milestones in this regard: deep-learning algorithms trained on intracranial recordings can now start to decode elementary linguistic features such as letters, words and audio-spectrograms. However, extending this approach to natural speech and non-invasive brain recordings remains a major challenge. Here we introduce a model trained with contrastive learning to decode self-supervised representations of perceived speech from the non-invasive recordings of a large cohort of healthy individuals. To evaluate this approach, we curate and integrate four public datasets, encompassing 175 volunteers recorded with magneto-encephalography or electro-encephalography while they listened to short stories and isolated sentences. The results show that our model can identify, from 3 seconds of magneto-encephalography signals, the corresponding speech segment with up to 41% accuracy out of more than 1,000 distinct possibilities on average across participants, and with up to 80% in the best participants—a performance that allows the decoding of words and phrases absent from the training set. The comparison of our model with a variety of baselines highlights the importance of a contrastive objective, pretrained representations of speech and a common convolutional architecture simultaneously trained across multiple participants. Finally, the analysis of the decoder’s predictions suggests that they primarily depend on lexical and contextual semantic representations. Overall, this effective decoding of perceived speech from non-invasive recordings delineates a promising path to decode language from brain activity, without putting patients at risk of brain surgery.
Mélodie Derome, Petya Kozuharova, Andrea Diaconescu, Sophie Denève, Renaud Jardri, Paul Allen (2023). Functional connectivity and glutamate levels of the medial prefrontal cortex in schizotypy are related to sensory amplification in a probabilistic reasoning task. NeuroImage, 120280, ISSN 1053-8119, doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2023.120280.
The circular inference (CI) computational model assumes a corruption of sensory data by prior information and vice versa, leading at the extremes to 'see what we expect' (through prior amplification) and/or to 'expect what we see' (through sensory amplification). Although a CI mechanism has been reported in a schizophrenia population, it has not been investigated in individuals experiencing psychosis-like experiences, such as people with high schizotypy traits. Furthermore, the neurobiological basis of CI, such as the link between hierarchical amplifications, excitatory neurotransmission, and resting state functional connectivity (RSFC), remains untested. The participants included in the present study consisted of a subsample of those recruited in a study previously published by our group, Kozhuharova et al., (2021).We included 36 participants with High (n=18) and Low (n=18) levels of schizotypy who completed a probabilistic reasoning task (the Fisher task) for which individual confidence levels were obtained and fitted to the CI model. Participants also underwent a 1H-Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) scan to measure medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) glutamate metabolite levels, and a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scan to measure RSFC of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). People with high levels of schizotypy exhibited changes in CI parameters, altered cortical excitatory neurotransmission and RSFC that were all associated with sensory amplification. Our findings capture a multimodal signature of CI that is observable in people early in the psychosis spectrum.
Tahnée Engelen, Marco Solcà & Catherine Tallon-Baudry (2023). Interoceptive rhythms in the brain. Nat Neurosci
Sensing internal bodily signals, or interoception, is fundamental to maintain life. However, interoception should not be viewed as an isolated domain, as it interacts with exteroception, cognition and action to ensure the integrity of the organism. Focusing on cardiac, respiratory and gastric rhythms, we review evidence that interoception is anatomically and functionally intertwined with the processing of signals from the external environment. Interactions arise at all stages, from the peripheral transduction of interoceptive signals to sensory processing and cortical integration, in a network that extends beyond core interoceptive regions. Interoceptive rhythms contribute to functions ranging from perceptual detection up to sense of self, or conversely compete with external inputs. Renewed interest in interoception revives long-standing issues on how the brain integrates and coordinates information in distributed regions, by means of oscillatory synchrony, predictive coding or multisensory integration. Considering interoception and exteroception in the same framework paves the way for biological modes of information processing specific to living organisms.
Victor Fernández Castro, Elisabeth Pacherie (2023). Robots and Resentment: Commitments, Recognition and Social Motivation in HRI. In: Misselhorn, C., Poljanšek, T., Störzinger, T., Klein, M. (eds) Emotional Machines. Technikzukünfte, Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft / Futures of Technology, Science and Society. Springer VS, Wiesbaden.
To advance the task of designing robots capable of performing collective tasks with humans, studies in human–robot interaction often turn to psychology, philosophy of mind and neuroscience for inspiration. In the same vein, this chapter explores how the notion of recognition and commitment can help confront some of the current problems in addressing robot-human interaction in joint tasks. First, we argue that joint actions require mutual recognition, which cannot be established without the attribution and maintenance of commitments. Second, we argue that commitments require affective states such as social motivations or shared emotions. Finally, we conclude by assessing three possible proposals for how social robotics could implement an architecture of commitments by taking such an affective components into consideration.
Tess Feyen, Alda Mari, and Paul Portner (2023). Pragmatic Annotation of Articles Related to Police Brutality. In Proceedings of the 17th Linguistic Annotation Workshop (LAW-XVII), 146–153, Toronto, Canada. Association for Computational Linguistics.
The annotation task we elaborated aims at describing the contextual factors that influence the appearance and interpretation of moral predicates, in newspaper articles on police brutality, in French and in English. The paper provides a brief review of the literature on moral predicates and their relation with context. The paper also describes the elaboration of the corpus and the ontology. Our hypothesis is that the use of moral adjectives and their appearance in context could change depending on the political orientation of the journal. We elaborated an annotation task to investigate the precise contexts discussed in articles on police brutality. The paper concludes by describing the study and the annotation task in details.
Itai Gat, Felix Kreuk, Tu Anh Nguyen, Ann Lee, Jade Copet, Gabriel Synnaeve, Emmanuel Dupoux, and Yossi Adi (2023). Augmentation Invariant Discrete Representation for Generative Spoken Language Modeling. In Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2023), pages 465–477, Toronto, Canada (in-person and online). Association for Computational Linguistics.
Generative Spoken Language Modeling research focuses on optimizing speech Language Models (LMs) using raw audio recordings without accessing any textual supervision. Such speech LMs usually operate over discrete units obtained from quantizing internal representations of self-supervised models. Although such units show impressive modeling results, their robustness capabilities have not been extensively investigated. This work focuses on improving the robustness of discrete input representations for generative spoken language modeling. First, we formally define how to measure the robustness of such representations to various signal variations that do not alter the spoken information (e.g., time-stretch). Next, we empirically demonstrate how current state-of-the-art representation models lack robustness to such variations. To overcome this, we propose an effective and efficient method to learn robust discrete speech representation for generative spoken language modeling. The proposed approach is based on applying a set of signal transformations to the speech signal and optimizing the model using an iterative pseudo-labeling scheme. Our method significantly improves over the evaluated baselines when considering encoding and modeling metrics. We additionally evaluate our method on the speech-to-speech translation task, considering Spanish-English and French-English translations, and show the proposed approach outperforms the evaluated baselines.
Ariane Guilbert, Jonathan Y. Bernard, Hugo Peyre, Nathalie Costet, Ian Hough, Emie Seyve, Christine Monfort, Claire Philippat, Rémy Slama, Itai Kloog, Cécile Chevrier, Barbara Heude, Franck Ramus, Johanna Lepeule (2023). Prenatal and childhood exposure to ambient air pollution and cognitive function in school-age children: Examining sensitive windows and sex-specific associations. Environmental Research, Volume 235, 116557, ISSN 0013-9351, doi:10.1016/j.envres.2023.116557.
Combined effect of both prenatal and early postnatal exposure to ambient air pollution on child cognition has rarely been investigated and periods of sensitivity are unknown. This study explores the temporal relationship between pre- and postnatal exposure to PM10, PM2.5, NO2 and child cognitive function.
Using validated spatiotemporally resolved exposure models, pre- and postnatal daily PM2.5, PM10 (satellite based, 1 km resolution) and NO2 (chemistry-transport model, 4 km resolution) concentrations at the mother's residence were estimated for 1271 mother-child pairs from the French EDEN and PELAGIE cohorts. Scores representative of children's General, Verbal and Non-Verbal abilities at 5–6 years were constructed based on subscale scores from the WPPSI-III, WISC-IV or NEPSY-II batteries, using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Associations of both prenatal (first 35 gestational weeks) and postnatal (60 months after birth) exposure to air pollutants with child cognition were explored using Distributed Lag Non-linear Models adjusted for confounders.
Increased maternal exposure to PM10, PM2.5 and NO2, during sensitive windows comprised between the 15th and the 33rd gestational weeks, was associated with lower males’ General and Non-verbal abilities. Higher postnatal exposure to PM2.5 between the 35th and 52nd month of life was associated with lower males’ General, Verbal and Non-verbal abilities. Some protective associations were punctually observed for the very first gestational weeks or months of life for both males and females and the different pollutants and cognitive scores.
These results suggest poorer cognitive function at 5–6 years among males following increased maternal exposure to PM10, PM2.5 and NO2 during mid-pregnancy and child exposure to PM2.5 around 3-4 years. Apparent protective associations observed are unlikely to be causal and might be due to live birth selection bias, chance finding or residual confounding.
Harsha Gurnani, N Alex Cayco Gajic (2023).
Signatures of task learning in neural representations, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, volume 83, 102759,. ISSN 0959-4388. doi:10.1016/j.conb.2023.102759.
While neural plasticity has long been studied as the basis of learning, the growth of large-scale neural recording techniques provides a unique opportunity to study how learning-induced activity changes are coordinated across neurons within the same circuit. These distributed changes can be understood through an evolution of the geometry of neural manifolds and latent dynamics underlying new computations. In parallel, studies of multi-task and continual learning in artificial neural networks hint at a tradeoff between non-interference and compositionality as guiding principles to understand how neural circuits flexibly support multiple behaviors. In this review, we highlight recent findings from both biological and artificial circuits that together form a new framework for understanding task learning at the population level.
Mathilde Léon, Shoba Meera, Anne-Caroline Fiévet & Alejandrina Cristia (2023). Long-form recordings in low- and middle-income countries: recommendations to achieve respectful research. Research Ethics, 0(0). doi:10.1177/17470161231199382
The last decade has seen a rise in big data approaches, including in the humanities, whereby large quantities of data are collected and analysed. In this paper, we discuss long-form audio recordings that result from individuals wearing a recording device for many hours. Linguists, psychologists and anthropologists can use them, for example, to study infants’ or adults’ linguistic behaviour. In the past, recorded individuals and communities have resided in high-income countries (HICs) almost exclusively. Recognising the need for better representation of all cultures and linguistic experiences, researchers have more recently started to collect long-form audio recordings in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We aim to help researchers to collect, analyse and use these recordings ethically. To do so, we identify four main ethical challenges linked to research that relies on long-form recordings in LMICs. We provide recommendations to overcome these challenges. These considerations should be useful to researchers employing other big data techniques collected via wearables.
Jérôme Munuera, Marta Ribes Agost, David Bendetowicz, Adrien Kerebel, Valerian Chambon, Brian Lau (2023). Intrinsic motivation for choice varies with individual risk attitudes and the controllability of the environment. PLoS Comput Biol 19(8): e1010551.
When deciding between options that do or do not lead to future choices, humans often choose to choose. We studied choice seeking by asking subjects to first decide between a choice opportunity or performing a computer-selected action, after which they either chose freely or performed the forced action. Subjects preferred choice when these options were equally rewarded, even deterministically, and traded extrinsic rewards for opportunities to choose. We explained individual variability in choice seeking using reinforcement learning models incorporating risk sensitivity and overvaluation of rewards obtained through choice. Model fits revealed that 28% of subjects were sensitive to the worst possible outcome associated with free choice, and this pessimism reduced their choice preference with increasing risk. Moreover, outcome overvaluation was necessary to explain patterns of individual choice preference across levels of risk. We also manipulated the degree to which subjects controlled stimulus outcomes. We found that degrading coherence between their actions and stimulus outcomes diminished choice preference following forced actions, although willingness to repeat selection of choice opportunities remained high. When subjects chose freely during these repeats, they were sensitive to rewards when actions were controllable but ignored outcomes -even positive ones- associated with reduced controllability. Our results show that preference for choice can be modulated by extrinsic reward properties including reward probability and risk as well as by controllability of the environment. https://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1010551
Alejandro Osses, Léo Varnet (2023). Using auditory models to mimic human listeners in reverse correlation experiments from the fastACI toolbox. Forum Acusticum, Sep 2023, Turin, Italy. hal-04186363
The fastACI toolbox is a set of MATLAB routines that al- lows to prepare and perform behavioural listening experi- ments.
The main feature of this toolbox is the inclusion of a reverse correlation (revcorr) post-processing mod- ule. The revcorr method allows the assessment of acoustic cues used by a listener with only minimal a priori knowl- edge of the actual listener’s strategy during the experi- ments. Another special fastACI feature is the possibility to replicate experiments using an artificial listener, con- sisting of a hearing-inspired model and a decision mod- ule which convert trial-by-trial waveforms into a decision variable (e.g., discriminated or not discriminated). In this contribution we explain how to set an artificial listener us- ing an auditory model from the AMT toolbox, combined with one of the decision back-ends that are available in the fastACI toolbox. The selected decision back-ends are all based on a template-matching approach. We provide a list of assumptions and the steps required to derive templates to mimic the performance of human listeners. The em- phasis of this contribution is on showing the flexibility of the fastACI framework where any new experiment can be tested using either human or artificial listeners and how to strategically compare collected or simulated results.
Nihaad Paraouty, Jusin Yao, Léo Varnet et al. (2023). Sensory cortex plasticity supports auditory social learning. Nat Commun 14, 5828.
Social learning (SL) through experience with conspecifics can facilitate the acquisition of many behaviors. Thus, when Mongolian gerbils are exposed to a demonstrator performing an auditory discrimination task, their subsequent task acquisition is facilitated, even in the absence of visual cues. Here, we show that transient inactivation of auditory cortex (AC) during exposure caused a significant delay in task acquisition during the subsequent practice phase, suggesting that AC activity is necessary for SL. Moreover, social exposure induced an improvement in AC neuron sensitivity to auditory task cues. The magnitude of neural change during exposure correlated with task acquisition during practice. In contrast, exposure to only auditory task cues led to poorer neurometric and behavioral outcomes. Finally, social information during exposure was encoded in the AC of observer animals. Together, our results suggest that auditory SL is supported by AC neuron plasticity occurring during social exposure and prior to behavioral performance.
Elena Pasquinelli & Olivier Richard (2023). Critical thinking as the ability to sort and qualify the information available, to form one's own judgement. European Journal of Education, 58(3), 422-433.
In an era marked by an excessive exposure to information and disinformation, this article explores how the public in France engages with critical thinking on the topics of scientific information and knowledge, as well as associated debates. First, a panel survey was carried out in 2022 by the science education centre Universcience in Paris in collaboration with the survey institute GECE. A total of 3,218 respondents participated in the survey in France. The survey questions focused on three themes: (1) the substantial relationship between respondents' scientific reasoning and critical thinking; (2) sources that respondents used for information, particularly on scientific subjects, to form an understanding of current events; (3) respondent relationships to discourses in the sciences and otherness in reasoning. In this study, critical thinking was defined as the ability to sort and make sense of available information and to question one's opinions. Also, the ability to discern trustworthy sources and information. In this approach, critical thinking is a condition for correctly assessing information on science topics. This is understood to include knowledge about science, its processes of knowledge production, and quality sources of information in the natural sciences. In this study, a Barometer of Critical Thinking was developed, and a survey was carried out. Survey results and the development of the barometer are described. Finally, we discuss how developing scientific literacy (knowledge about scientific facts, methods, practices and sources) is crucial in order to foster critical thinking on scientific information, knowledge, debates, and beyond.
Sharon Peperkamp, Jason Brazeal. Lasting Stress ’Deafness’ After Auditory Training: French Lis- teners Revisited. ICPhS 2023- 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Aug 2023, Prague, Czech Republic. hal-04197465
Using a sequence recall task, we trained native speakers of French–a language without contrastive stress–to perceive a stress contrast. Contrary to a previous training study with French listeners, but in line with the persistent stress ‘deafness’ effect observed in advanced French learners of Spanish–a language with contrastive stress–we found no effect of training. We discuss these results in terms of differences in processing mode tapped by different perception tasks.
Joëlle Proust (2023). What can metacognition teach us about the evolution of communication? Evolutionary Linguistic Theory, Volume 5, Issue 1 pp.: 1–10 (10).doi:10.1075/elt.00045.pro
Joëlle Proust (2023). Informational communication and metacognition. Evolutionary Linguistic Theory, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.: 11–52 (42). doi:10.1075/elt.00046.pro
Procedural metacognition is the set of affect-based mechanisms allowing agents to regulate cognitive actions like perceptual discrimination, memory retrieval or problem solving. This article proposes that procedural metacognition has had a major role in the evolution of communication. A plausible hypothesis is that, under pressure for maximizing signalling efficiency, the metacognitive abilities used by nonhumans to regulate their perception and their memory have been re-used to regulate their communication. On this view, detecting one’s production errors in signalling, or solving species-specific trade-offs between informativeness, processing effort, clarity, or urgency depend on a form of procedural metacognition, called “metacommunication”. How does this view relate to Gricean theories of human communication? A parallel between procedural trade-offs and conversational maxims is discussed for its evolutionary implications. Rather than accepting radically discontinuist interpretations, in which mindreading operates a full reorganization of pragmatics, it is proposed that procedural forms of regulation are entrenched in all forms of human communication. According to contextual demands, humans adopt and monitor more or less demanding informational goals, such as factual updating, clarifying, explaining, proving, and reaching consensus in collective matters. Under time pressure, only part of these goals require adopting others’ viewpoint. Efficiency in collective decision-making, in particular, might have been considerably raised by an ability to interpret others’ intentions and motivations.
Bowei Shao, Philipp Buech, Anne Hermes, Maria Giavazzi (2023). Lexical stress and velar palatalization in Italian: A spatio-temporal interaction. INTERSPEECH 2023
20-24 August 2023, Dublin, Ireland.
Palatalization is the process whereby a velar stop is fronted to a palatal affricate or fricative. In Italian, it takes place at the boundary between the root and /i/ suffixes. In nouns and adjectives, palatalization occurs in words with antepenultimate stress ([ˈko.mi.͡tʃi]), while it is much rarer in words with penultimate stress ([ka.ˈdu.ki]) Based on one acoustic and one articulatory study (EMA), we postulate that the resistance of post-tonic /k, g/ to palatalize is related to the stressed vowel directly preceding. In the acoustic domain, post-tonic consonants show longer closure duration. This increase in closure duration is directly related to a larger and longer tongue dorsum movement in the articulatory domain. We show an interaction between temporal (closure duration) and spatial (tongue dorsum displacement) aspects of lexical stress, which we interpret as the cause of resistance to palatalization in post- tonic velars. The findings are discussed within the μ-gesture framework. Bowei Shao, Philipp Buech, Anne Hermes, Maria Giavazzi. Stress conditioned phonological process: a case study of Italian palatalization. 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2023), Aug 2023, Prague, Czech Republic. pp.2189-2193. hal-04181603
This study examines the interaction between lexical prominence and palatal/velar consonants in Italian. The specific phenomenon of interest is the palatalization of /k/ in, e.g., 'cardiaci' [kar.ˈdi.a.tʃi] but not in 'ubriachi' [u.bri.ˈa.ki], which is argued to be conditioned by the position of /k/ relative to lexical prominence. The aim of the study is to uncover potential mechanisms that block palatalization in post-stress position, as in [u.bri.ˈa.ki]. The results revealed that the stressed vowel /a/ is more peripheral, i.e., hyper-articulated compared to unstressed /a/, which is more closed and fronted, especially towards its end. Further, the immediately post-stress consonants show longer closure durations compared to far-from-stress. We argue that the blocking of velar palatalization could be related to the longer closure duration in post-stress context, which is an articulatory by-product of the hyper-articulated stressed vowel. These findings are discussed within the predictions of the Task Dynamic model for the μ- gesture.
Shtyrov, Y.; Efremov, A.; Kuptsova, A.; Wennekers, T.; Gutkin, B. and Garagnani, M.. (2023). Breakdown of category-specific word representations in a brain-constrained neurocomputational model of semantic dementia. Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322
The neurobiological nature of semantic knowledge, i.e., the encoding and storage of conceptual information in the human brain, remains a poorly understood and hotly debated subject. Clinical data on semantic deficits and neuroimaging evidence from healthy individuals have suggested multiple cortical regions to be involved in the processing of meaning. These include semantic hubs (most notably, anterior temporal lobe, ATL) that take part in semantic processing in general as well as sensorimotor areas that process specific aspects/categories according to their modality. Biologically inspired neurocomputational models can help elucidate the exact roles of these regions in the functioning of the semantic system and, importantly, in its breakdown in neurological deficits. We used a neuroanatomically constrained computational model of frontotemporal cortices implicated in word acquisition and processing, and adapted it to simulate and explain the effects of semantic dementia (SD) on word processing abilities. SD is a devastating, yet insufficiently understood progressive neurodegenerative disease, characterised by semantic knowledge deterioration that is hypothesised to be specifically related to neural damage in the ATL. The behaviour of our brain-based model is in full accordance with clinical data – namely, word comprehension performance decreases as SD lesions in ATL progress, whereas word repetition abilities remain less affected. Furthermore, our model makes predictions about lesion- and category-specific effects of SD: our simulation results indicate that word processing should be more impaired for object- than for action-related words, and that degradation of white matter should produce more severe consequences than the same proportion of grey matter decay. In sum, the present results provide a neuromechanistic explanatory account of cortical-level language impairments observed during the onset and progress of semantic dementia.
Olivier Vantrepotte, Valerian Chambon & Bruno Berberian (2023). The reliability of assistance systems modulates the sense of control and acceptability of human operators. Sci Rep 13, 14410.
Individuals are increasingly required to interact with complex and autonomous technologies, which often has a significant impact on the control they experience over their actions and choices. A better characterization of the factors responsible for modulating the control experience of human operators is therefore a major challenge to improve the quality of human-system interactions. Using a decision-making task performed in interaction with an automated system, we investigated the influence of two key properties of automated systems, their reliability and explicability, on participants' sense of agency (SoA), as well as the perceived acceptability of system choices. The results show an increase in SoA associated with the most explicable system. Importantly, the increase in system explicability influenced participants' ability to regulate the control resources they engaged in the current decision. In particular, we observed that participants' SoA varied with system reliability in the "explained" condition, whereas no variation was observed in the "non-explained" condition. Finally, we found that system reliability had a direct impact on system acceptability, such that the most reliable systems were also considered the most acceptable systems. These results highlight the importance of studying agency in human–computer interaction in order to define more acceptable automation technologies.
Shuai Yang, Mélèa Saïd, Hugo Peyre, Franck Ramus, Marion Taine, Evelyn C. Law, Marie-Noëlle Dufourg, Barbara Heude, Marie-Aline Charles, Jonathan Y. Bernard (2023). Associations of screen use with cognitive development in early childhood: the ELFE birth cohort. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry. 0(0).1,14
Confidence refers to our ability to evaluate the validity of our own performance and there are multiple benefits of successful estimates. In particular, reliable confidence could be used as an internal feedback signal to update our model of the world. In perception, confidence sensitivity can be relatively high, and in some visual tasks, as high as one would predict from the ideal confidence observer. We tested whether these perceptual results would generalize to two visuo-motor conditions. In the first condition, participants used their hand to track the center of a cloud of dots that followed an unpredictable horizontal trajectory. After tracking for several seconds, they reported their confidence as being better or worse than their average performance. The analysis of these confidence judgments indicated that participants were able to monitor their tracking performance, but not optimally. We replicated this manual tracking task in a second condition where participants had to track the cloud of dots with their eyes. Here again, confidence sensitivity was above chance, but barely so. Overall, it appears that human participants have only limited access to their visuo-motor performance, and they are comparatively worse than for purely visual tasks. This limitation might reflect the cost of fast and accurate visuo-motor tracking.
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