The Nijmegen lectures 2016

Here’s some fun stuff to read: David Poeppel gave the Nijmegen lectures 2016 and talked about his usual thing, i.e. the need to link linguistics, psychology and neuroscience. He talked about the map problem (localizing brain regions that are responsible for XY), making the case that this is not the same as an explanation, and that we need mapping, that is linking hypotheses between the primitive units of neuroscience and theoretical linguistics (“The ‘conceptual resolution’ is what requires our attention now to address the mapping problem. Computationaly explicit analyses will help in sharpening the linking hypotheses.”).

His slides are available here. I especially recommend the third lecture. There, he also gives a fascinating example of where such linking hypotheses have worked in the past: sound localization in owls and mammals. There seems to be a pretty good understanding on all three of Marr’s level of analysis (computational, algorithmic and implementatioal) how a sound source is localized via the detection of time differences in sounds between different ears.

This has also been discussed in the blogosphere, over at FoL (here, here and here), with a reaction at replicatedtypo.

I found it interesting to read through all of this stuff, especially with different reactions to it, so maybe you (= myself, as this blog’s sole purpose right now seems to be being a diary of interesting stuff I encounter) will do so as well.

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