CNRL at SemEval-2020 Task 5: Modelling Causal Reasoning in Language with Multi-Head Self-Attention Weights based Counterfactual Detection

In this paper, we describe an approach for modelling causal reasoning in natural language by detecting counterfactuals in text using multi-head self-attention weights. We use pre-trained transformer models to extract contextual embeddings and self-attention weights from the text. We show the use of convolutional layers to extract task-specific features from these self-attention weights. Further, we describe a fine-tuning approach with a common base model for knowledge sharing between the two closely related sub-tasks for counterfactual detection.

Role of internal and external representations in bilingual language selection

Bilinguals show a robust adaptive behaviour when it comes to the selection of a language in real-world interactional context (Green & Abutalebi, 2013). Studies suggest that proficient bilinguals exploit linguistic and non-linguistic visual cues to select one language between two in a context-dependent manner (Hartsuiker, 2015).

Neural coupling during native and non-native language conversation

 I will be presenting the paper by Perez et al. (2019), which has studied neural coupling during native and non-native language conversations. I will also briefly refer to Pliatsikas et al.'s (2019) review paper proposing to further concentrate on language background when carrying out bilingualism research. The Perez paper uses the method of hyperscanning to discuss how linguistic context should be considered when studying interpersonal communication. 

Elucidating the role of selective attention, divergent thinking, language abilities, and executive functions in metaphor generation

The relevant paper explores the relationship between various cognitive functions and the generation of novel as well as conventional metaphors. The results show that only selective attention plays a major role in conventional metaphor generation, whereas novel metaphor generation relies on  other cognitive functions. I will discuss the findings of this paper in light of the current knowledge on relevant topics. 

Not just a virtue: the evolution of self-control

Cognitive Archeology is developing as an important discipline that has serious contributions to Cognitive Science. The question of how the human brain and mind evolved is very significant. Unfortunately, since the cognitive revolution, the question of evolution has not been taken up by many interdisciplinary scholars. Thomas Wynn's work has been very significant in illuminating many aspects of not just brain's evolution but the evolution of cognition and its components.

Genetically informative study of the relationship between neuronal dynamics and cognitive functions

A powerful way to investigate the source of individual differences in various characteristics is genetically informative study. Starting from classical twin designs it nowadays incorporates not only quantitative genetics, but molecular genetics as well. In neuroscience genetically informative design can help to disentangle different factors underlying the relationship between neuronal dynamics and cognitive functions.

No identification of abrupt onsets that capture attention: evidence against a unified model of spatial attention

Many studies have reported that spatial attention can be involuntarily captured by salient stimuli such as abrupt onsets. These involuntary shifts are often assumed to have the same effects on feature extraction as voluntary shifts: there are two different ways of moving the same attentional mechanism. According to this unified model of spatial attention, all shifts of attention should enhance the identification of attended objects. We directly tested this assumption using compatibility effects in a series of spatial cueing experiments.

Externally induced frontoparietal synchronization modulates network dynamics and enhances working memory performance

Cognitive functions such as working memory (WM) are emergent properties of large-scale network interactions. Synchronisation of oscillatory activity might contribute to WM by enabling the coordination of long-range processes. However, causal evidence for the way oscillatory activity shapes network dynamics and behavior in humans is limited. Here we applied transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) to exogenously modulate oscillatory activity in a right frontoparietal network that supports WM.