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Modeling the Structure and Dynamics of Semantic Processing

Rotaru, AS; Vigliocco, G; Frank, SL; (2018) Modeling the Structure and Dynamics of Semantic Processing. Cognitive Science , 42 (8) pp. 2890-2917. 10.1111/cogs.12690. Green open access

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Abstract

The contents and structure of semantic memory have been the focus of much recent research, with major advances in the development of distributional models, which use word co-occurrence information as a window into the semantics of language. In parallel, connectionist modeling has extended our knowledge of the processes engaged in semantic activation. However, these two lines of investigation have rarely been brought together. Here, we describe a processing model based on distributional semantics in which activation spreads throughout a semantic network, as dictated by the patterns of semantic similarity between words. We show that the activation profile of the network, measured at various time points, can successfully account for response times in lexical and semantic decision tasks, as well as for subjective concreteness and imageability ratings. We also show that the dynamics of the network is predictive of performance in relational semantic tasks, such as similarity/relatedness rating. Our results indicate that bringing together distributional semantic networks and spreading of activation provides a good fit to both automatic lexical processing (as indexed by lexical and semantic decisions) as well as more deliberate processing (as indexed by ratings), above and beyond what has been reported for previous models that take into account only similarity resulting from network structure.

Type: Article
Title: Modeling the Structure and Dynamics of Semantic Processing
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/cogs.12690
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12690
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 The Authors Cognitive Science ‐ A Multidisciplinary Journal published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Cognitive Science Society (CSS). This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Computational modeling, Concreteness/imageability rating, Distributional textual models, Lexical/semantic decision, Neural networks, Probabilistic models, Semantic network structure/dynamics, Similarity/relatedness rating
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10061984
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