Action-perception circuits for word learning and semantic grounding

Garagnani, M.. 2020. 'Action-perception circuits for word learning and semantic grounding'. In: NAACL Workshop on Visually-Grounded Interaction and Language (ViGIL). Mexico City, Mexico 10 June 2021. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Embodied semantic theories posit that word meaning is grounded in the perception and action systems of the human brain. Such theories are supported by a growing body of experimental results, indicating that the processing of words belonging to specific semantic categories (e.g. visual-object or motor-action related, like “sun” or “run”) leads to selective activation of corresponding modality-preferential areas.
I highlight a deep, spiking neurocomputational architecture of the left-hemispheric fronto-temporal areas that was used to simulate and explain putative brain processes underlying word learning and semantic grounding in action and perception. The model closely replicates neuroanatomical and neurobiological features of the relevant brain regions and implements exclusively mechanisms mimicking known cellular- and synaptic-level features of the mammalian cortex. Lastly I discuss some recent experimental evidence confirming the model’s main predictions and conclude by suggesting elements of a unifying theory for the emergence of cognition based on the spontaneous formation of cortically distributed action-perception circuits (APCs) in the brain.

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Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)

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31 December 2020Accepted
10 June 2021Completed

Event Location:

Mexico City, Mexico

Date range:

10 June 2021

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Date Deposited:

30 Apr 2021 10:47

Last Modified:

19 Aug 2021 12:15


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