The Compositional Nature of Verb and Argument Representations in the Human Brain


Barbu, Andrei and Siddharth, N. and Xiong, Caiming and Corso, Jason J. and Fellbaum, Christiane D. and Hanson, Catherine and Hanson, Stephen Jose and Helie, Sebastien and Malaia, Evguenia and Pearlmutter, Barak A. and Siskind, Jeffrey Mark and Talavage, Thomas Michael and Wilbur, Ronnie B. (2013) The Compositional Nature of Verb and Argument Representations in the Human Brain. Technical Report. arXiv.

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Abstract

How does the human brain represent simple compositions of objects, actors, and actions? We had subjects view action sequence videos during neuroimaging (fMRI) sessions and identified lexical descriptions of those videos by decoding (SVM) the brain representations based only on their fMRI activation patterns. As a precursor to this result, we had demonstrated that we could reliably and with high probability decode action labels corresponding to one of six action videos (dig, walk, etc.), again while subjects viewed the action sequence during scanning (fMRI). This result was replicated at two different brain imaging sites with common protocols but different subjects, showing common brain areas, including areas known for episodic memory (PHG, MTL, high level visual pathways, etc., i.e., the ‘what’ and ‘where’ systems, and TPJ, i.e., ‘theory of mind’). Given these results, we were also able to successfully show a key aspect of language compositionality based on simultaneous decoding of object class and actor identity. Finally, combining these novel steps in ‘brain reading’ allowed us to accurately estimate brain representations supporting compositional decoding of a complex event composed of an actor, a verb, a direction, and an object.

Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
Keywords: Compositional Nature; Verb; Argument Representations; Human Brain; neuroimaging;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Computer Science
Item ID: 6557
Identification Number: arXiv:1306.2293
Depositing User: Barak Pearlmutter
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2015 17:13
Publisher: arXiv
URI:

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