Cognitive Science Colloquia


Cognitive Science Colloquia are held* throughout the year and consist of seminars/talks given by invited speakers from various universities, as well as seminars by the METU staff or our own PhD students. The Colloquia aim to share information on cognitive science research, as well as promote academic research and collaboration. The seminars are open to anyone interested and provide an opportunity for our students to keep up with the recent research conducted in the field, allowing them to observe how research topics develop through academic exchange.

* Unless it is announced otherwise, seminars take place every Friday at 12:40, in the Informatics Institute (room II-03), METU.

For past years' colloquia, please visit here.




NEXT IN THE SERIES     >     Introducing METU Language and Cognitive Development Lab

by Duygu Özge (Cognitive Science, METU)
on 16th of November, Friday, 12:40
in METU Informatics Institute, Room S-03

Abstract I will give an overview of some major research questions in the field of language/cognitive development and their significance for cognitive science, followed by a summary of research projects we run in our emerging METU Language and Cognitive Development Lab.




This Year (2018-2019)


Fall Semester


Object detection through search with a foveated visual system
by Emre Akbaş (Computer Engineering, METU)
on 2nd of November

Abstract In this talk, I will present a foveated object detector (FOD) as a biologically-inspired alternative to the sliding window (SW) approach which is the dominant method of search in computer vision object detection. Similar to the human visual system, the FOD has higher resolution at the fovea and lower resolution at the visual periphery. Consequently, more computational resources are allocated at the fovea and relatively fewer at the periphery. The FOD processes the entire scene, uses retino-specific object detection classifiers to guide eye movements, aligns its fovea with regions of interest in the input image and integrates observations across multiple fixations. Our approach combines object detectors from computer vision with a recent model of peripheral pooling regions found at the V1 layer of the human visual system. We assessed various eye movement strategies on the PASCAL VOC 2007 dataset and show that the FOD performs on par with the SW detector while bringing significant computational cost savings.


Perspectives on the processing debate in reading
by Cengiz Acartürk (Cognitive Science, METU)
on 19th of October

Abstract Reading has been subject to intermittent research periods since the 1920s. Several computations models have been proposed since past decade, which have resulted in an intense debate on the interaction between oculomotor processes, lexical access and visual attention. From the perspective of general visual cognition, reading provides a prolific test bed -compared to object perception- due to its relatively systematic structure on the stimuli side. On the other hand, there is no consensus on the processes that guide reading recently. This talk will present the experience of the Reading Research Group in the Cognitive Science Program on reading in Turkish, since the past four years. I will present an instance of how theoretical frameworks drive data collection and how they lead to novel experimental paradigms through a set of examples in the reading debate.


Discourse annotation: A multi-lingual approach
by Deniz Zeyrek (Cognitive Science, METU)
on 12th of October

Abstract Linguistic annotation means adding informative information to texts and annotated texts are ultimately inputs to language technology applications. Linguistic annotation of language resources has become a science, encompassing methods of annotation for the design of the corpus, annotation creation, physical format considerations, evaluation, etc. Discourse is a unit above the sentence level and can be analyzed in terms of several kinds of patterning including but not limited to discourse relations. Discourse relations are a level in discourse associated with the semantic relations (contrast, condition, expansion, etc.) that hold among text segments (clauses or groups of clauses). After introducing the basic concepts of linguistic annotation, I will talk about a recent initiative on annotating the transcripts of TED talks that involve several languages (Turkish, English, Portuguese, German and Russian). Our initiative involves annotating discourse relations across texts. I will explain the annotation procedure and describe the corpus along with implications on our understanding of discourse.