Falk Huettig


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  • Favier, S., Meyer, A. S., & Huettig, F. (2018). Does literacy predict individual differences in the syntactic processing of spoken language?. Poster presented at the 1st Workshop on Cognitive Science of Culture, Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Favier, S., Meyer, A. S., & Huettig, F. (2018). Does reading ability predict individual differences in spoken language syntactic processing?. Poster presented at the International Meeting of the Psychonomics Society 2018, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Favier, S., Meyer, A. S., & Huettig, F. (2018). How does literacy influence syntactic processing in spoken language?. Talk presented at Psycholinguistics in Flanders (PiF 2018). Gent, Belgium. 2018-06-04 - 2018-06-05.
  • Garrido Rodriguez, G., Huettig, F., Norcliffe, E., Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). Participant assignment to thematic roles in Tzeltal: Eye tracking evidence from sentence comprehension in a verb-initial language. Talk presented at Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP 2018). Berlin, Germany. 2018-09-06 - 2018-09-08.
  • Huettig, F. (2018). How learning to read changes mind and brain [keynote]. Talk presented at Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing-Asia (AMLaP-Asia 2018). Telangana, India. 2018-02-01 - 2018-02-03.
  • Ostarek, M., Van Paridon, J., Hagoort, P., & Huettig, F. (2018). Multi-voxel pattern analysis reveals conceptual flexibility and invariance in language. Poster presented at the 10th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language (SNL 2018), Québec City, Canada.
  • Rommers, J., Huettig, F., & Meyer, A. S. (2011). Task-dependency in the activation of visual representations during language processing. Poster presented at Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen [TaeP 2011], Halle (Saale), Germany.
  • Rommers, J., Meyer, A. S., & Huettig, F. (2011). The timing of the on-line activation of visual shape information during sentence processing. Poster presented at the 17th Annual Conference on Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing [AMLaP 2011], Paris, France.
  • Weber, A., Sumner, M., Krott, A., Huettig, F., & Hanulikova, A. (2011). Sinking about boats and brains: Activation of word meaning in foreign-accented speech by native and nonnative listeners. Poster presented at the First International Conference on Cognitive Hearing Science for Communication, Linköping, Sweden.


    Sinking about boats and brains: activation of word meaning in foreign-accented speech by native and non-native listeners Andrea Weber, Meghan Sumner, Andrea Krott, Falk Huettig, Adriana Hanulikova Understanding foreign-accented speech requires from listeners the correct interpretation of segmental variation as in German-accented [s]eft for English theft. The task difficulty increases when the accented word forms resemble existing words as in [s]ink for think. In two English priming experiments, we investigated the activation of the meanings of intended and unintended words by accented primes. American native (L1) and German non-native (L2) participants listened to auditory primes followed by visual targets to which they made lexical decisions. Primes were produced by a native German speaker and were either nonsense words ([s]eft for theft), unintended words ([s]ink for think), or words in their canonical forms (salt for salt). Furthermore, primes were strongly associated to targets, with the co-occurrence being high either between the surface form of the prime and the target ([s]ink-BOAT, salt-PEPPER) or the underlying form and the target ([s]ink-BRAIN, seft-PRISON). L1 listeners responded faster when the underlying form was associated with the target (in comparison to unrelated primes), but L2 listeners responded faster when the surface form was associated. Seemingly, L1 listeners interpreted all primes as being mispronounced – facilitating the activation of think when hearing the unintended word [s]ink, but erroneously preventing the activation of salt when hearing the canonical form salt. L2 listeners, though, took primes at face value and failed to activate the meaning of think when hearing [s]ink but did activate the meaning of salt when hearing salt. This asymmetry suggests an interesting difference in the use of high-level information, with L1 listeners, but not L2 listeners, using knowledge about segmental variations for immediate meaning activation.
  • Brouwer, S., Mitterer, H., & Huettig, F. (2009). Listeners reconstruct reduced forms during spontaneous speech: Evidence from eye movements. Poster presented at 15th Annual Conference on Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP 2009), Barcelona, Spain.
  • Brouwer, S., Mitterer, H., & Huettig, F. (2009). Phonological competition during the recognition of spontaneous speech: Effects of linguistic context and spectral cues. Poster presented at 157th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Portland, OR.


    How do listeners recognize reduced forms that occur in spontaneous speech, such as “puter” for “computer”? To this end, eye-tracking experiments were performed in which participants heard a sentence and saw four printed words on a computer screen. The auditory stimuli contained canonical and reduced forms from a spontaneous speech corpus in different amounts of linguistic context. The four printed words were a “canonical form” competitor e.g., “companion”, phonologically similar to “computer”, a “reduced form” competitor e.g., “pupil”, phonologically similar to “puter” and two unrelated distractors. The results showed, first, that reduction inhibits word recognition overall. Second, listeners look more often to the “reduced form” competitor than to the “canonical form” competitor when reduced forms are presented in isolation or in a phonetic context. In full context, however, both competitors attracted looks: early rise of the “reduced form” competitor and late rise of the “canonical form” competitor. This “late rise” of the “canonical form” competitor was not observed when we replaced the original /p/ from “puter” with a real onset /p/. This indicates that phonetic detail and semantic/syntactic context are necessary for the recognition of reduced forms.
  • Huettig, F., & McQueen, J. M. (2009). AM radio noise changes the dynamics of spoken word recognition. Talk presented at 15th Annual Conference on Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP 2009). Barcelona, Spain. 2009-09-09.


    Language processing does not take place in isolation from the sensory environment. Listeners are able to recognise spoken words in many different situations, ranging from carefully articulated and noise-free laboratory speech, through casual conversational speech in a quiet room, to degraded conversational speech in a busy train-station. For listeners to be able to recognize speech optimally in each of these listening situations, they must be able to adapt to the constraints of each situation. We investigated this flexibility by comparing the dynamics of the spoken-word recognition process in clear speech and speech disrupted by radio noise. In Experiment 1, Dutch participants listened to clearly articulated spoken Dutch sentences which each included a critical word while their eye movements to four visual objects presented on a computer screen were measured. There were two critical conditions. In the first, the objects included a cohort competitor (e.g., parachute, “parachute”) with the same onset as the critical spoken word (e.g., paraplu, “umbrella”) and three unrelated distractors. In the second condition, a rhyme competitor (e.g., hamer, “hammer”) of the critical word (e.g., kamer, “room”) was present in the display, again with three distractors. To maximize competitor effects pictures of the critical words themselves were not present in the displays on the experimental trials (e.g.,there was no umbrella in the display with the 'paraplu' sentence) and a passive listening task was used (Huettig McQueen, 2007). Experiment 2 was identical to Experiment 1 except that phonemes in the spoken sentences were replaced with radio-signal noises (as in AM radio listening conditions). In each sentence, two,three or four phonemes were replaced with noises. The sentential position of these replacements was unpredictable, but the adjustments were always made to onset phonemes. The critical words (and the immediately surrounding words) were not changed. The question was whether listeners could learn that, under these circumstances, onset information is less reliable. We predicted that participants would look less at the cohort competitors (the initial match to the competitor is less good) and more at the rhyme competitors (the initial mismatch is less bad). We observed a significant experiment by competitor type interaction. In Experiment 1 participants fixated both kinds competitors more than unrelated distractors, but there were more and earlier looks to cohort competitors than to rhyme competitors (Allopenna et al., 1998). In Experiment 2 participants still fixated cohort competitors more than rhyme competitors but the early cohort effect was reduced and the rhyme effect was stronger and occurred earlier. These results suggest that AM radio noise changes the dynamics of spoken word recognition. The well-attested finding of stronger reliance on word onset overlap in speech recognition appears to be due in part to the use of clear speech in most experiments. When onset information becomes less reliable, listeners appear to depend on it less. A core feature of the speech-recognition system thus appears to be its flexibility. Listeners are able to adjust the perceptual weight they assign to different parts of incoming spoken language.
  • Huettig, F. (2009). Language-mediated visual search. Talk presented at Invited talk at VU Amsterdam. Amsterdam.
  • Huettig, F. (2009). On the use of distributional models of semantic space to investigate human cognition. Talk presented at Distributional Semantics beyond Concrete Concepts (Workshop at Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2009). Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 2009-07-29 - 2009-01-08.
  • Huettig, F. (2009). The role of colour during language-vision interactions. Talk presented at International Conference on Language-Cognition Interface 2009. Allahabad, India. 2009-12-06 - 2009-12-09.

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