Arthur M Jacobs

Arthur M Jacobs
Freie Universität Berlin | FUB · Experimental and Neurocognitive Psychology Unit, Dahlem Institute for Neuroimaging of Emotion (D.I.N.E.), Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Berlin (CCNB)

Prof. Dr.

About

366
Publications
153,162
Reads
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17,140
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - December 2013
Aix-Marseille Université
Position
  • Professor
October 2003 - present
Freie Universität Berlin
October 2003 - October 2015
Freie Universität Berlin
Position
  • Full Professor, Founding Director of Dahlem Institute for Neuroimaging of Emotion (D.I.N.E.)

Publications

Publications (366)
Article
Full-text available
In this paper I would like to pave the ground for future studies in Computational Stylistics and (Neuro-)Cognitive Poetics by describing procedures for predicting the subjective beauty of words. A set of eight tentative word features is computed via Quantitative Narrative Analysis (QNA) and a novel metric for quantifying word beauty, the aesthetic...
Article
Full-text available
Fiction is vital to our being. Many people enjoy engaging with fiction every day. Here we focus on literary reading as one instance of fiction consumption from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. The brain processes which play a role in the mental construction of fiction worlds and the related engagement with fictional characters, remain largely...
Article
Two main goals of the emerging field of neurocognitive poetics are (a) the use of more natural and ecologically valid stimuli, tasks and contexts and (b) providing methods and models allowing to quantify distinctive features of verbal materials used in such tasks and contexts and their effects on readers responses. A natural key element of poetic l...
Article
In this state-of-the-art review, I start with an illustrative example of behavioral data collected during the reading of a love poem reflecting one of many aspects that form the object of the Scientific Study of Literature, i.e., literary experience. A further section discusses key ingredients of literary experience, i.e., immersive and aesthetic p...
Article
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A long tradition of research including classical rhetoric, aesthetics and poetics theory, formalism and structuralism, as well as current perspectives in (neuro)cognitive poetics has investigated structural and functional aspects of literature reception. Despite a wealth of literature published in specialised journals like Poetics, however, still l...
Article
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Recent progress in machine-learning-based distributed semantic models (DSMs) offers new ways to simulate the apperceptive mass (AM; Kintsch, 1980 ) of reader groups or individual readers and to predict their performance in reading-related tasks. The AM integrates the mental lexicon with world knowledge, as for example, acquired via reading books. F...
Article
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conceptual representations are critical for human cognition. Despite their importance, key properties of these representations remain poorly understood. Here, we used computational models of distributional semantics to predict multivariate fMRI activity patterns during the activation and contextualization of abstract concepts. We devised a task in...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Gutenberg Literary English Corpus (GLEC, Jacobs, 2018a) provides a rich source of textual data for research in digital humanities, computational linguistics or neurocognitive poetics. In this study we address differences among the different literature categories in GLEC, as well as differences between authors. We report the results of three stu...
Article
The present study combines literary theory and cognitive psychology to empirically explore some cognitive and emotional facets of poetry reading, exemplified by the reading of three Shakespeare sonnets. Specifically, predictions generated combining quantitative textual analysis according to the Neurocognitive Poetics model with qualitative textual...
Chapter
One major research area in the empirical study of literature pertains to the role of foregrounding (i. e., stylistic deviations and parallelism) in the reading process. The associated phenomena are arguably key to understanding what distinguishes literary reading and essential for the investigation of its impact on readers' interpretation and aesth...
Preprint
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The electoral programs of six German parties issued before the parliamentary elections of 2021 are analyzed using state-of-the-art computational tools for quantitative narrative, topic and sentiment analysis. We compare different methods for computing the textual similarity of the programs, Jaccard Bag similarity, Latent Semantic Analysis, doc2vec,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent progress in distributed semantic models (DSM) offers new ways to estimate personality traits of both fictive and real people. In this exploratory study we applied an extended version of the algorithm developed in Jacobs (2019) to compute the likeability scores, emotional figure profiles and BIG5 personality traits for 100 historical persons...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract conceptual representations are critical for human cognition. Despite their importance, key properties of these representations remain poorly understood. Here, we used computational models of distributional semantics to predict multivariate fMRI activity patterns during the activation and contextualization of abstract concepts. We devised a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Neurocognitive studies on the emotion-language relation report a significant influence of affective content on the level of single words. However, it is rather difficult to investigate such influence on the sentence level – partly due to a missing theoretical approach to integrate multiple affective meanings. In a previous EEG study, we used impres...
Article
Full-text available
The main objective of this longitudinal study was to investigate the neural predictors of reading acquisition. For this purpose, we followed a sample of 54 children from the end of kindergarten to the end of second grade. Preliterate children were tested for visual symbol (checkerboards, houses, faces, written words) and auditory lan- guage process...
Article
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To date, the neural underpinnings of affective components in language processing in children remain largely unknown. To fill this gap, the present study examined behavioural and neural correlates of children and adults performing the same auditory valence decision task with an event-related fMRI paradigm. Based on previous findings in adults, activ...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of the present study was to investigate whether 6–9-year old children and adults show similar neural responses to affective words. An event-related neuroimaging paradigm was used in which both age cohorts performed the same auditory lexical decision task (LDT). The results show similarities in (auditory) lexico-semantic network activation...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Gutenberg Literary English Corpus (GLEC) provides a rich source of textual data for research in digital humanities, computational linguistics or neurocognitive poetics. However, so far only a small subcorpus, the Gutenberg English Poetry Corpus, has been submitted to quantitative text analyses providing predictions for scientific studies of lit...
Article
Full-text available
If the words of natural human language possess a universal positivity bias, as assumed by Boucher and Osgood's (1969) famous Pollyanna hypothesis and computationally confirmed for large text corpora in several languages (Dodds et al., 2015), then children and youth literature (CYL) should also show a Pollyanna effect. Here we tested this prediction...
Article
Full-text available
Reading is known to be a highly complex, emotion-inducing process, usually involving connected and cohesive sequences of sentences and paragraphs. However, most empirical results, especially from studies using eye tracking, are either restricted to simple linguistic materials (e.g., isolated words, single sentences) or disregard valence-driven effe...
Article
Full-text available
Following Jakobson and Levi-Strauss famous analysis of Baudelaire’s poem ‘Les Chats’ (‘The Cats’), in the present study we investigated the reading of French poetry from a Neurocognitive Poetics perspective. Our study is exploratory and a first attempt in French, most previous work having been done in either German or English (e.g., Jacobs, 2015a,...
Article
Full-text available
Based on Kuzmičová’s (2014) phenomenological typology of narrative styles, we studied the specific contributions of mental imagery to literary reading experience and to reading behavior by combining questionnaires with eye-tracking methodology. Specifically, we focused on the two main categories in Kuzmičová’s (2014) typology, i.e., texts dominated...
Article
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Texts are often reread in everyday life, but most studies of rereading have been based on expository texts, not on literary ones such as poems, though literary texts may be reread more often than others. To correct this bias, the present study is based on two of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Eye movements were recorded, as participants read a sonnet then...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the results of a transdisciplinary research conducted by scholars working in the humanities and experimental psychologists in order to find an interface between the needs of a qualitative approach (mainly based on the evaluation of stylistic features) and those of a quantitative analysis, in order to find useful features for tes...
Article
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In this paper, we compute the affective-aesthetic potential (AAP) of literary texts by using a simple sentiment analysis tool called SentiArt. In contrast to other established tools, SentiArt is based on publicly available vector space models (VSMs) and requires no emotional dictionary, thus making it applicable in any language for which VSMs have...
Article
Full-text available
Video stream: https://vimeo.com/358415199 Despite a wealth of studies using eye tracking to investigate mental processes during vision or reading, the investigation of oculomotor activity during natural reading of longer texts –be it newspaper articles, narratives or poetry– is still an exception in this field (as evidenced by the program of ECEM...
Article
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Recent studies have shown that a similarity between sound and meaning of a word (i.e., iconicity) can help more readily access the meaning of that word, but the neural mechanisms underlying this beneficial role of iconicity in semantic processing remain largely unknown. In an fMRI study, we focused on the affective domain and examined whether affec...
Article
Full-text available
Reading proficiency, i.e., successfully integrating early word-based information and utilizing this information in later processes of sentence and text comprehension, and its assessment is subject to extensive research. However, screening tests for German adults across the life span are basically non-existent. Therefore, the present article introdu...
Article
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Two computational studies provide different sentiment analyses for text segments (e.g., “fearful” passages) and figures (e.g., “Voldemort”) from the Harry Potter books (Rowling, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007) based on a novel simple tool called SentiArt. The tool uses vector space models together with theory-guided, empirically validated...
Article
Full-text available
As a part of a larger interdisciplinary project on Shakespeare sonnets’ reception (Jacobs et al., 2017; Xue et al., 2017), the present study analyzed the eye movement behavior of participants reading three of the 154 sonnets as a function of seven lexical features extracted via Quantitative Narrative Analysis (QNA). Using a machine learning- based...
Article
Full-text available
Neurocognitive studies of visual word recognition have provided information about brain activity correlated with orthographic processing. Some of these studies related the orthographic neighborhood density of letter strings to the amount of hypothetical global lexical activity (GLA) in the brain as simulated by computational models of word recognit...
Article
This perspective paper discusses four general desiderata of current computational stylistics and (neuro-)cognitive poetics concerning the development of (a) appropriate databases/training corpora, (b) advanced qualitative- quantitative narrative analysis (Q2NA) and machine learning tools for fea- ture extraction, (c) ecologically valid literary tes...
Article
This perspective paper discusses four general desiderata of current computational stylistics and (neuro-)cognitive poetics concerning the development of (a) appropriate databases/training corpora, (b) advanced qualitative-quantitative narrative analysis (Q2NA) and machine learning tools for feature extraction, (c) ecologically valid literary test m...
Article
Full-text available
In this theoretical note we compare different types of computational models of word similarity and association in their ability to predict a set of about 900 rating data. Using regression and predictive modeling tools (neural net, decision tree) the performance of a total of 28 models using different combinations of both surface and semantic word f...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this theoretical note we compare different types of computational models of word similarity and association in their ability to predict a set of about 900 rating data. Using regression and predictive modeling tools (neural net, decision tree) the performance of a total of 28 models using different combinations of both surface and semantic word f...
Article
Full-text available
What determines human ratings of association? We planned this paper as a test for association strength (AS) that is derived from the log likelihood that two words co‐occur significantly more often together in sentences than is expected from their single word frequencies. We also investigated the moderately correlated interactions of word frequency,...
Article
Full-text available
Most language users agree that some words sound harsh (e.g. grotesque) whereas others sound soft and pleasing (e.g. lagoon). While this prominent feature of human language has always been creatively deployed in art and poetry, it is still largely unknown whether the sound of a word in itself makes any contribution to the word’s meaning as perceived...
Article
Full-text available
A similarity between the form and meaning of a word (i.e., iconicity) may help language users to more readily access its meaning through direct form-meaning mapping. Previous work has supported this view by providing empirical evidence for this facilitatory effect in sign language, as well as for onomatopoetic words (e.g., cuckoo) and ideophones (e...
Article
Full-text available
The long history of poetry and the arts, as well as recent empirical results suggest that the way a word sounds (e.g., soft vs. harsh) can convey affective information related to emotional responses (e.g., pleasantness vs. harshness). However, the neural correlates of the affective potential of the sound of words remain unknown. In an fMRI study in...
Chapter
Full-text available
Emotions guide our actions and have a profound influence on how we approach, experience and later remember information. This chapter provides an overview of the role of emotions in reading and describes how emotional processes differ across digital and print texts. After introducing what emotions are and how they can be measured, we discuss the inf...
Preprint
Full-text available
Most language users agree that some words sound harsh (e.g. grotesque) whereas others sound soft and pleasing (e.g. lagoon). While this prominent feature of human language has always been creatively deployed in art and poetry, it is still largely unknown whether the sound of a word in itself makes any contribution to the word’s meaning as perceived...
Article
Full-text available
How do we understand the emotional content of written words? Here, we investigate the hypothesis that written words that carry emotions are processed through phylogenetically ancient neural circuits that are involved in the processing of the very same emotions in nonlanguage contexts. This hypothesis was tested with respect to disgust. In an fMRI e...
Article
In this article we investigate structural differences between “literary” metaphors created by renowned poets and “nonliterary” ones imagined by non-professional authors from Katz et al.’s 1988 corpus. We provide data from quantitative narrative analyses (QNA) of the altogether 464 metaphors on over 70 variables, including surface features like meta...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes a corpus of about 3,000 English literary texts with about 250 million words extracted from the Gutenberg project that span a range of genres from both fiction and non-fiction written by more than 130 authors (e.g., Darwin, Dickens, Shakespeare). Quantitative narrative analysis (QNA) is used to explore a cleaned subcorpus, the G...
Article
Full-text available
The theoretical “difficulty in separating association strength from [semantic] feature overlap” has resulted in inconsistent findings of either the presence or absence of “pure” associative priming in recent literature (Hutchison, 2003, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 10(4), p. 787). The present study used co-occurrence statistics of words in senten...
Preprint
Full-text available
The theoretical "difficulty in separating association strength from [semantic] feature overlap" has resulted in inconsistent findings of either the presence or absence of "pure" associative priming in recent literature (Hutchison, 2003, p. 787). The present study used co-occurrence statistics of words in sentences to provide a full factorial manipu...
Article
Full-text available
[This corrects the article on p. 622 in vol. 11, PMID: 29311877.].
Article
This paper describes a corpus of about 3000 English literary texts with about 250 million words extracted from the Gutenberg project that span a range of genres from both fiction and non-fiction written by more than 130 authors (e.g., Darwin, Dickens, Shakespeare). Quantitative Narrative Analysis (QNA) is used to explore a cleaned subcorpus, the Gu...
Article
Full-text available
Reading is not only one of the most appreciated leisure activities of the elderly but it clearly helps older people to maintain functional independence, which has a significant impact on life quality. Yet, very little is known about how aging affects the neural circuits of the processes that underlie skilled reading. Therefore, the aim of the prese...
Article
In this theoretical paper, we would like to pave the ground for future empirical studies in Neurocognitive Poetics by describing relevant properties of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets extracted via Quantitative Narrative Analysis. In the first two parts, we quantify aspects of the sonnets’ cognitive and affective-aesthetic features, as well as indices of...
Article
Full-text available
The reading system can be broken down into four basic subcomponents in charge of prelexical, orthographic, phonological, and lexico-semantic processes. These processes need to jointly work together to become a fluent and efficient reader. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we systematically analyzed differ- ences in neural activati...
Chapter
A key assumption of the neurocognitive poetics model (NCPM; Jacobs, 2015a) of literary reading is the duality of immersive and aesthetic processes being conceived as rival forces driven by different text features and their implicit vs. explicit processing. With regard to the experiential phenomenon of immersion, the NCPM specifies a variety of faci...
Article
Full-text available
The reading system can be broken down into four basic subcomponents in charge of prelexical, orthographic, phonological, and lexico-semantic processes. These processes need to jointly work together to become a fluent and efficient reader. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we systematically analyzed differences in neural activation...
Article
Full-text available
Rhetorical effects in speech and writing have a great strategic importance in achieving the communicative end of being persuasive: they are key in the exertion of power through language. Persuasion occurs by cognitive-affective stimulation, relying on specific psychosomatic perceptual patterns which are used on all levels of speech reception in cul...
Article
Full-text available
How do humans perform difficult forced-choice evaluations, e.g., of words that have been previously rated as being neutral? Here we tested the hypothesis that in this case, the valence of semantic associates is of significant influence. From corpus based co-occurrence statistics as a measure of association strength we computed individual neighborho...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies reported that negative stimuli induced less affect in bilinguals when stimuli were presented in bilinguals' second, weaker language (L2) than when they were presented in their native language (L1). This effect of L2 use was attributed to increased emotional distance as well as to increased levels of cognitive control during L2 use....