Honors theses on role-reversals, real-time neural-synchrony, and COVID sentiment

A student receives an award certificate from a professor wearing red academic gowns

Many congratulations to seniors in the lab who completed their honors theses!

Shuchen Wen conducted an EEG experiment testing the timing of argument-structure by testing for N400 effects when argument roles were reversed in Ba- and Bei-constructions in Mandarin Chinese. Building on previous work, she manipulated the timing between arguments and target verb and found (subtle) differences in the effect of timing between the two constructions.

For this work, Shuchen received the Sam Epstein Award for Contributions to Theoretical Cognitive Science 🏆from the Weinberg Institute. This award recognizes theses that “demonstrate significant engagement with foundational, theoretical, or conceptual issues in cognitive science.”

Jacky He analyzed social media posts to evaluate sentiment changes associated with COVID-19. The work focused on English-language posts in March 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023; March 2020 is when the WHO determined that COVD was a global pandemic. The work revealed distinct trends at both local (daily) and global (yearly); including fine-grained sentiment sensitivity to the WHO announcement.

Akshaya Ravikumar developed a python-based toolchain for performing real-time analysis of phase synchrony in EEG data collected from the MUSE-2 headset. When combined with isochronous stimuli, this offers a path to study the real-time dynamics of neural synchrony to linguistic stimuli.