Talk: “Linguistic Illusions: Where You See Them, Where You Don’t” – Colin Phillips – Wed., May 15, 6:30PM – Kane 120

Linguistic Illusions: Where You See Them, Where You Don’t
Colin Phillips, University of Maryland Linguistics Department

Visual illusions have played an important role in our understanding of how our brains perceive the world. Our visual system is remarkably sophisticated in many ways, but system also can be “fooled” into seeing the world differently from the way that it really is. The same is true of the brain’s ability to understand language: the neurocognitive mechanisms that control human language are extremely rich, but the language system can also be fooled. We notice some speech errors easily, but are blind to others. We sometimes interpret people to be saying something quite different from what they are actually communicating. Phillips will show that we can learn a lot about how the system works by investigating the profile of successes and failures. In particular, we learn about the importance of different types of memory mechanisms for understanding and misunderstanding language.

Colin PhillipsCost: FREE
Location: Kane Hall 120, UW Seattle
Department sponsors: The Graduate School, UW Alumni Association, Department of Linguistics, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Department of Psychology, and the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences
Date:  Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Lectures are free, though advance registration is required to guarantee a seat. You can register online at


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