Falk Huettig


Displaying 1 - 18 of 18
  • 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.
  • Hintz, F., Meyer, A. S., & Huettig, F. (2014). Mechanisms underlying predictive language processing. Talk presented at the 56. Tagung experimentell arbeitender Psychologen [TeaP, Conference on Experimental Psychology]. Giessen, Germany. 2014-03-31 - 2014-04-02.
  • Hintz, F., Meyer, A. S., & Huettig, F. (2014). The influence of verb-specific featural restrictions, word associations, and production-based mechanisms on language-mediated anticipatory eye movements. Talk presented at the 27th annual CUNY conference on human sentence processing. Ohio State University, Columbus/Ohio (US). 2014-03-13 - 2014-03-15.
  • Huettig, F., & Guerra, E. (2014). Context-dependent mapping of linguistic and color representations challenges strong forms of embodiment. Talk presented at the 20th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLAP 2014). Edinburgh, UK. 2014-09-03 - 2014-09-06.


    A central claim of embodied theories of cognition is that sensory representations are routinely activated and influence language processing even in the absence of relevant sensory input (cf. Pulvermüller, 2005; Wassenburg & Zwaan, 2010). We tested the influence of color representations during language processing in three visual world eye tracking experiments. The method is particularly well suited to investigate this issue because the availability of relevant visual input can be manipulated. We made use of the phenomena that when participants hear a word that refers to a visual object or printed word they quickly direct their eye gaze to objects or printed words which are similar (e.g. semantically or visually) to the heard word. We used a look and listen task which previously has been shown to be sensitive to such relationships between spoken words and visual items. In Experiment 1, on experimental trials, participants listened to sentences containing a critical target word associated with a prototypical color (e.g. '...spinach...') as they inspected a visual display with four words printed in black font. One of the four printed words was associated with the same prototypical color (e.g. green) as the spoken target word (e.g. FROG). On experimental trials, the spoken target word did not have a printed word counterpart (SPINACH was not present in the display). In filler trials (70% of trials) the target was present in the display and attracted significantly more overt attention than the unrelated distractors. In experimental trials color competitors were not looked at more than the distractors. In Experiment 2 the printed words were replaced with line drawings of the objects. In order to direct the attentional focus of our participants toward color features we used a within-participants counter-balanced design and alternated color and greyscale trials randomly throughout the experiment. Therefore, on one trial our participants heard a word such as 'spinach' and saw a frog (colored in green) in the visual display. On the next trial however they saw a banana (in greyscale) on hearing 'canary' (bananas and canaries are typically yellow), etc. The presence (or absence) of color was thus a salient property of the experiment. Participants looked more at color competitors than unrelated distractors on hearing the target word in the color trials but not in the greyscale trials, i.e. on hearing 'spinach' they looked at the green frog but not the greyscale frog. Experiment 3 was identical to Experiment 2, except that the visual display was removed at the sentence onset, after a longer preview. This experiment examined whether the continued presence of color in the immediate visual environment was necessary for the observation of color-mediated eye movements. Eye movements directed towards the now blank screen were recorded as the sentence unfolded (cf. Spivey & Geng, 2001). In the filler trials, participants looked significantly more at the locations where the targets, rather than the distractors, had been previously presented as the target words acoustically unfolded. In the experimental trials, the locations where the color competitors had previously been presented did not attract increased attention (neither in color nor greyscale trials). These data demonstrate that language-mediated eye movements are only influenced by color relations between spoken words and visually displayed items if color is present in the immediate visual environment. We conclude that color representations are unlikely to be routinely activated in language processing. Our findings provide strong constraints for embodied theories of cognition which assume that sensory representations influence language processing even in the absence of relevant sensory input. These results fit best with the notion that the main role of sensory representations in language processing is a different one, namely to contextualize language in the immediate environment, connecting language to the here and now.
  • Huettig, F. (2015). Does prediction in language comprehension involve language production?. Talk presented at the Comprehension=Production? workshop. Nijmegen, the Netherlands. 2015-03-26 - 2015-03-28.


    The notion that predicting upcoming linguistic information in language comprehension makes use of the production system has recently received much attention (e.g., Chang et al., 2006; Dell & Chang, 2014; Federmeier, 2007; Pickering & Garrod, 2007, 2013; Van Berkum et al., 2005). So far there has been little experimental evidence for a relation between prediction and production. I will discuss the results of several recent eye-tracking experiments with toddlers (Mani & Huettig, 2012) and adults (Rommers et al. submitted, Hintz et al., in prep.) which provide some support for the view that production abilities are linked to language-mediated anticipatory eye movements. These data however also indicate that production-based prediction is situation-dependent and only one of many mechanisms supporting prediction. Taken together, these results suggest that multiple-mechanism accounts are required to provide a complete picture of anticipatory language processing.
  • Huettig, F. (2014). How embodied is language processing?. Talk presented at the 2nd Attentive Listener in the Visual World workshop. Hyderabad, India. 2014-11-03 - 2014-11-05.
  • Huettig, F. (2014). How literacy acquisition affects the illiterate mind. Talk presented at the Low Educated Second Language and Literacy Acquisition (LESLLA). Nijmegen, Netherlands. 2014-08-28 - 2014-08-30.
  • Huettig, F. (2014). Literacy influences on predictive language processing and visual search. Talk presented at the Priming across Modalities: The Influence of Orthography on Sign and Spoken Language Processing workshop. Haifa, Israel. 2014-04.
  • Huettig, F. (2014). The context-dependent influence of colour representations during language-vision interactions constrains theories of conceptual processing. Talk presented at the Color in Concepts workshop. Düsseldorf, Germany. 2014-06-02 - 2014-06-03.
  • Smith, A. C., Monaghan, P., & Huettig, F. (2014). A comprehensive model of spoken word recognition must be multimodal: Evidence from studies of language mediated visual attention. Talk presented at the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society [CogSci 2014]. Quebec, Canada. 2014-07-23 - 2014-07-26.
  • Smith, A. C., Monaghan, P., & Huettig, F. (2014). Examining strains and symptoms of the ‘Literacy Virus’: The effects of orthographic transparency on phonological processing in a connectionist model of reading. Talk presented at the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society [CogSci 2014]. Quebec, Canada. 2014-07-23 - 2014-07-26.
  • Smith, A. C., Monaghan, P., & Huettig, F. (2014). Examining the effects of orthographic transparency on phonological and semantic processing within a connectionist implementation of the triangle model of reading. Talk presented at the 14th Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop [NCPW 14]. Lancaster, U.K. 2014-08-21 - 2014-08-23.
  • 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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