Mechanisms of word learning

How do we learn words? What brain mechanisms are involved in this process? In this study we investigate mechanisms of word learning ‘in real time’ using MEG. We simulate the process of learning by presenting the subject with newly created ‘verbs’ with unknown ‘meanings’ (e.g. ‘bagaga’). The subject has to figure out the meaning in the course of the experiment by performing a set of actions and getting positive or negative feedback. As no additional information is revealed to the subject, the behavioral procedure results in essentially trial-and-error learning.

This study is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Chernyshev B.V., head. Laboratory of Cognitive Psychophysiology, Department of Psychology, Higher School of Economics.