Milena Rabovsky

Milena Rabovsky
Universität Potsdam · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

35
Publications
10,479
Reads
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610
Citations
Introduction
I am a tenure track professor in cognitive neuroscience working at the University of Potsdam (Germany). In my research, I combine explicit computational models and empirical neuroscientific evidence (EEG) in research on language and meaning. Specifically, I currently use neural network models to better understand the functional basis of the N400 component of the ERP, which is the most widely used component in research on language and meaning. Results suggest that N400 amplitudes reflect the stimulus-induced change in an implicit and probabilistic representation of meaning, corresponding to an implicit semantic prediction error, and that this change at the same time serves as a learning signal driving adaptation in semantic memory.
Additional affiliations
October 2019 - present
Universität Potsdam
Position
  • Faculty Member
August 2016 - August 2019
Freie Universität Berlin
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2015 - July 2016
Stanford University
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (35)
Article
Full-text available
Recent evidence suggests that conceptual knowledge modulates early visual stages of object recognition. The present study investigated whether similar modulations can be observed also for the recognition of object names, that is, for symbolic representations with only arbitrary relationships between their visual features and the corresponding conce...
Preprint
Full-text available
Language is central to human life; however, how our brains derive meaning from language is still not well understood. A commonly studied electrophysiological measure of on-line meaning related processing is the N400 component, the computational basis of which is still actively debated. Here, we test one of the recently proposed, computationally exp...
Preprint
Full-text available
The functional significance of the two prominent language-related ERP components N400 and P600 is still under debate. It has recently been suggested that one important dimension along which the two vary, is in terms of automaticity versus attentional control, with N400 amplitudes reflecting more automatic and P600 amplitudes reflecting more control...
Article
Full-text available
The functional significance of the N400 evoked‐response component is still actively debated. An increasing amount of theoretical and computational modeling work is built on the interpretation of the N400 as a prediction error. In neural network modeling work it was proposed that the N400 component can be interpreted as the change in a probabilistic...
Article
One of the ongoing debates about visual consciousness is whether it can be considered as an all-or-none or a graded phenomenon. While there is increasing evidence for the existence of graded states of conscious awareness based on paradigms such as visual masking, only little and mixed evidence is available for the attentional blink paradigm, specif...
Preprint
Full-text available
The N400 component of the event-related brain potential is widely used to investigate language and meaning processing. However, despite much research, the component's functional basis remains actively debated. Recent work showed that the update of the predictive representation of sentence meaning (semantic update, or SU) generated by the Sentence G...
Preprint
Full-text available
The functional significance of the N400 ERP component is still actively debated. Based on neural network modeling it was recently proposed that the N400 component can be interpreted as the change in a probabilistic representation corresponding to an internal temporal-difference prediction error at the level of meaning that drives adaptation in lang...
Preprint
Full-text available
Not all visual stimuli processed by the brain reach the level of conscious perception. Previous research has shown that the emotional value of a stimulus is one of the factors that can affect whether it is consciously perceived. Here, we investigated whether social-affective knowledge influences a face's chance to reach visual consciousness. Furthe...
Preprint
Full-text available
One of the ongoing debates about visual consciousness is whether it can be considered as an all-or-none or a graded phenomenon. This may depend on the experimental paradigm and the task used to investigate this question. The present event-related potential study (N = 32) focuses on the attentional blink paradigm for which so far only little and mix...
Article
Language production ultimately aims to convey meaning. Yet words differ widely in the richness and density of their semantic representations, and these differences impact conceptual and lexical processes during speech planning. Here, we replicated the recent finding that semantic richness, measured as the number of associated semantic features acco...
Article
Full-text available
Increased N400 amplitudes on indefinite articles (a/an) incompatible with expected nouns have been initially taken as strong evidence for probabilistic pre-activation of phonological word forms, and recently been intensely debated because they have been difficult to replicate. Here, these effects are simulated using a neural network model of senten...
Article
Full-text available
We argue that natural language can be usefully described as quasi-compositional and we suggest that deep learning-based neural language models bear long-term promise to capture how language conveys meaning. We also note that a successful account of human language processing should explain both the outcome of the comprehension process and the contin...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals differ in how they learn from experience. In Pavlovian conditioning models, where cues predict reinforcer delivery at a different goal location, some animals—called sign-trackers—come to approach the cue, whereas others, called goal-trackers, approach the goal. In sign-trackers, model-free phasic dopaminergic reward-prediction errors un...
Article
It is becoming increasingly established that information from long-term memory can influence early perceptual processing, a finding that is in line with recent theoretical approaches to cognition such as the predictive coding framework. Notwithstanding, the impact of semantic knowledge on conscious perception and the temporal dynamics of such an in...
Preprint
Full-text available
N400 effects on indefinite articles (a/an) compatible or incompatible with expected nouns have been initially taken as strong evidence for probabilistic pre-activation of phonological word forms, and recently been intensely debated because they have been difficult to replicate. Here, we simulate these effects using a neural network model of sentenc...
Article
Full-text available
It is often assumed that word reading proceeds automatically. Here, we tested this assumption by recording event-related potentials during a psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm, requiring lexical decisions about written words. Specifically, we selected words differing in their orthographic neighborhood size–the number of words that can b...
Preprint
Affective information about other people’s social behavior may prejudice social interactions and bias person judgments. The trustworthiness of person-related information, however, can vary considerably, as in the case of gossip, rumours, lies, or so-called “fake news”. Here, we investigated how spontaneous person-likability and explicit person judg...
Preprint
Full-text available
Language production ultimately aims to convey meaning. Yet, words differ widely in the richness and density of their semantic representations and these differences impact conceptual and lexical processes during speech planning. Here, we replicate the recent finding that semantic richness, measured as the number of associated semantic features accor...
Article
Full-text available
Affective information about other people’s social behavior may prejudice social interactions and bias person judgments. The trustworthiness of person-related information, however, can vary considerably, as in the case of gossip, rumors, lies, or “fake news.” Here, we investigated how spontaneous person likability and explicit person judgments are i...
Article
Full-text available
The N400 component of the event-related brain potential has aroused much interest because it is thought to provide an online measure of meaning processing in the brain. However, the underlying process remains incompletely understood and actively debated. Here we present a computationally explicit account of this process and the emerging representat...
Preprint
Full-text available
The N400 component of the event-related brain potential has aroused much interest because it is thought to provide an online measure of meaning processing in the brain. Yet, the underlying process remains incompletely understood and actively debated. Here, we present a computationally explicit account of this process and the emerging representation...
Preprint
Full-text available
It is often assumed that word reading proceeds automatically. Here, we tested this assumption by recording event-related potentials during a psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm, requiring lexical decisions about written words. Specifically, we selected words differing in their orthographic neighborhood size - the number of words that can...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The N400 component of the event-related brain potential is widely used in research on language and semantic memory, but the cognitive functions underlying N400 amplitudes are still unclear and actively debated. Recent simulations with a neural network model of word meaning suggest that N400 amplitudes might reflect implicit semantic prediction erro...
Article
Full-text available
It is a controversially debated topic whether stimuli can be analyzed up to the semantic level when they are suppressed from visual awareness during continuous flash suppression (CFS). Here, we investigated whether affective knowledge, i.e., affective biographical infor- mation about faces, influences the time it takes for initially invisible faces...
Thesis
Lesen zielt darauf ab, Bedeutung aus geschriebenem Text zu extrahieren. Interessanterweise unterscheiden sich Wörter beträchtlich hinsichtlich der Menge mit ihnen assoziierter Bedeutung, und es wurde kürzlich gezeigt, dass eine hohe Bedeutungshaltigkeit lexikalische und semantische Aufgaben erleichtert. Die vorliegende Dissertation kombiniert ereig...
Article
Full-text available
According to a widely held view, basic emotions such as happiness or anger are reflected in facial expressions that are invariant and uniquely defined by specific facial muscle movements. Accordingly, expression perception should not be vulnerable to influences outside the face. Here, we test this assumption by manipulating the emotional valence of...
Conference Paper
The N400 component of the event-related brain potential (ERP) is widely used in research on language and semantic memory. Although the component’s relation to semantic processing is well-established, the specific computational mechanisms underlying N400 generation are currently not clear. We explored the mechanisms underlying the N400 by examining...
Article
Full-text available
The richness of semantic representations associated with individual words has emerged as an important variable in reading. In the present study we contrasted different measures of semantic richness and explored the time course of their influences during visual word processing as reflected in event-related brain potentials (ERPs). ERPs were recorded...
Article
Full-text available
Words differ considerably in the amount of associated semantic information. Despite the crucial role of meaning in language, it is still unclear whether and how this variability modulates language learning. Here, we provide initial evidence demonstrating that implicit learning in repetition priming is influenced by the amount of semantic features a...
Article
Full-text available
In order to test the frequent assumption that lexical access in visual word recognition would proceed independent of central attention, the overlapping task paradigm has recently been employed with somewhat contradictory results. Here we combined overlapping tasks with the recording of event-related brain potentials to assess task load dependent mo...

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Projects (2)
Project
This project aims at better understanding the functional basis of N400 amplitudes by means of neural network modeling.