Update on Mental Lexicon 2020 & New Words in the World Conference

Dear friends and colleagues,

In view of the COVID-19 related restrictions on public gatherings and travel, we have implemented several changes to the planning and organization of the Twelfth International Meeting on the Mental Lexicon. With these changes, we aim to both ensure the safety and well-being of our colleagues and to enable the continuous and vibrant exchange of ideas. We would like to announce a few updates regarding upcoming conference plans

1. The in-person Mental Lexicon conference is rescheduled for October 12th-15th, 2021 (one year after the original date). It will take place in the same venue, the Queen’s Landing Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. We will announce a new deadline for abstract submission in the Fall of 2020, giving you ample time for the preparation and submission of your contributions to the conference. Please monitor this website (https://mentallexicon.artsrn.ualberta.ca/) for further updates on the Mental Lexicon conference. We will be in touch with those of you who have already submitted your abstracts.

2. We recognize that current restrictions on research activities and the cancellation of many training events have affected students particularly strongly. To offer a venue for the communication of ideas, intellectual exchange, and networking for trainees, we are announcing a new virtual Words in the World (WoW) International Conference. This conference will take place online October 16-18, 2020 and will include scholarly presentations as well as discussion panels. The conference will strive to create presentation opportunities for trainees (e.g., undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, recent graduates and others). We encourage students and postdoctoral fellows from all over the world to present their in-progress or completed work at this conference and engage in conversations with their colleagues on academic and non-academic topics. Papers presented can, of course, include a mix of trainees and faculty members.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is August 1, 2020. Decisions of the Scientific Committee will be announced no later than September 1, 2020. All further information about the WoW International Conference will be made available here at http://wordsintheworld.ca/. Details on the format of abstracts and a link for abstract submission will be made available by June 10, 2020. Please spread the word and show your commitment to continuous progress of science and education by supporting this new initiative for trainees!

Open Office Hours – May 12, 2020

Thank you to everyone who has participated in our Open Office Hour series!

Our next Words in the World Open Office Hour will take place on Tuesday, May 12, at 12pm (Eastern Time, GMT -4). Jordan Gallant (Brock  University) will share his expertise using Gitlab and PsychoPy3 in collaborative remote research. Here is his summary:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced our research activities out of the lab and into online virtual environments. Not only has this changed the research methods available to us, but it has also fundamentally changed the way the that we work together. However, this office hour is here to say that this change need not be for the worse. Collaborative remote work can offer distinct advantages when paired with the right technology to support it. In this Open Office Hour I will discuss the merits of using online project development platforms such as Gitlab for collaborative research projects. Specifically, I will look at how PsychoPy3 and Gitlab can support the collaborative construction and administering of online experiments. In the process, I hope to instill a sense that, rather than being a quick fix for temporary problems, this is a paradigm worth carrying into the post-COVID future.

Accompanying video tutorials: YouTube

Open Office Hours are delivered using Zoom. Passwords are sent out via email in advance of Open Office Hours. If you would like to join the Open Office Hour mailing list, please sign up here: Open Office Hours Sign-Up Form.

Mental Lexicon 2020 Update

If you are interested in attending the next Mental Lexicon Conference, currently scheduled for October 2020, please be advised that the organizing committee has updated their conference information.

As the present time, no changes or new decisions have been made to the timing of the conference, but organizers are prepared to make alternative arrangements as required to maintain the health and safety of our community.

The deadline for abstracts has been changed to June 1, 2020. Further extensions may take place, as necessary. 

Full information is available at the conference website: https://mentallexicon.artsrn.ualberta.ca/

Open Office Hours: Running chronometric experiments online using PsychoPy3

Our next office hour, hosted by Jordan Gallant, will introduce PsychoPy3, a new experiment development software that uses Javascript to create experiments that can be run on web-browsers.

The first part of the Open Office Hour will be dedicated to the creation of a simple lexical decision experiment. Jordan will demonstrated how it is programmed, hosted, and run using participants recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk.

The second half will be a Q&A where the limitations/possibilities of PsychoPy3 and online chronometric experimentation in general can be discussed.

Host: Jordan Gallant

Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 

Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST (GMT -4)

Connect via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/495738797

Open Office Hour: Non-Chronometric psycholinguistic experiments in Mechanical Turk (Part 2)

We are continuing the Open Office Hours dedicated to programming non-chronometric psycholinguistic experiments in Amazon Mechanical Turk. All materials from the first Office Hour and the follow-up can be found at osf.io/cqa2e. The follow-up Open Hour with Victor Kuperman  will cover additional types of experiments (Cloze predictability, plausibility judgments, Rating and Likert scales). It will take place on Friday March 27 at 1-2 pm (Eastern time for US and Canada, GMT -4).

Meanwhile feel free to send your questions to Victor Kuperman (vickup@mcmaster.ca). Also note that all Open Office hours are recorded and the videos will be made available at a later time.

We hope you can join us this Friday!

Host: Victor Kuperman

Date: Friday, March 27, 2020

Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST (GMT -4)

Connect via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/702938796

COVID-19 & Open Office Hours (online)

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, many across the Words in the World network have suspended face-to-face operations including experimentation in traditional laboratory environments. We are therefore making a concerted effort to migrate as many of our research projects to an online format as possible. By moving toward this goal, we are working not only to protect the health and safety of our colleagues and research participants, but also to move forward with the majority of our research endeavours.

With these purposes in mind, we’d like to take this opportunity to introduce a new Words in the World feature: Open Office Hours. The purpose of the Open Office Hour is to provide an accessible online version of the traditional university office hour, in which our research partners hold a brief informal discussion on a topic within their expertise and take questions regarding that topic. Our first Open Office Hours are listed below and focus on online experimentation in Psycholinguistic research.

Update

A follow-up office hour with Dr. Kuperman is scheduled for Friday, March 27, from 1 – 2pm Eastern (GMT -4). See the announcement here: https://bit.ly/33K3Svy

“How to collect psycholinguistic data from home: Introduction to crowdsourcing tools”

Host: Victor Kuperman

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST (GMT -4)

Ability to collect experimental data outside of the lab is of great importance for reaching out to populations outside of university convenience subject pools. This importance is even greater when lab testing is undesirable. This first session of “open office hours” will introduce rich possibilities for data collection using crowdsourcing tools like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (mturk.com). We will cover several basic types of experiments (surveys, collection of ratings, linguistic judgments, and written responses), and discuss practicalities of online testing. Several small experiments will be created and results collected and discussed.

No prior knowledge is expected. The session is designed for 20-30 minutes of an informal presentation, followed by the Q&A. Ideas for experiments are very welcome.

Connect via Zoom: https://bit.ly/394W74o

See the event listing for alternative ways to connect.

“Running chronometric experiments online using PsychoPy3″

Host: Jordan Gallant

Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 (GMT -4)

Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST

Connect via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/495738797

Online experiments offer a range of possibilities and benefits that have yet to be fully explored. This office hour will introduce PsychoPy3, a new experiment development software that uses Javascript to create experiments that can be run on web-browsers. In the first half of the office hour, I will demonstrate how a simple lexical decision experiment can be 1) created, 2) hosted online, and 3) run using participants recruited via Mechanical Turk. The second half will be a Q&A where the limitations/possibilities of PsychoPy3 and online chronometric experimentation in general can be discussed.

COVID-19 Update

To all our friends and colleagues:

We hope you are safe in these difficult times.

Following the advice of public health authorities, Words in the World has moved the majority of our operations online. 

The Brock/SHARCNet EEG Analysis Workshop, scheduled for May 11 – 15, 2020, has been cancelled, with the hopes of rescheduling for later in the year. Attendees should receive information directly. 

The organizing committees of STEP2020 (May 25 – May 30, 2020) and the 12th International Conference on the Mental Lexicon (October 6 – 9, 2020) are considering their options in the face of this rapidly evolving situation.

The organizers of STEP2020 have changed the event registration procedures to reflect current global uncertainty and are prepared to cancel the event on short notice. Should STEP be cancelled, there are plans to reschedule at a later date. More information is available here: https://ccp.artsrn.ualberta.ca/portfolio/step/

In the coming weeks, we will be offering a series of Open Office Hours focusing on how to do research while maintaing social distance through the use of online resources. The first session will be about how to use Mechanical Turk, and will offered by Dr. Victor Kuperman (McMaster University) next Tuesday, March 24, from 1pm to 2pm. 

We wish you all well. 

Announcing Clozapp: A Java Application for Collecting and Recording Cloze Probability Norms

We are delighted to announce the release of Clozapp: A Java Application for Collecting and Recording Cloze Probability Norms!

Clozapp is an open source program designed to collect Cloze probability norms, and can be adjusted to work in multiple languages. It has been made available on the Open Science Framework by its authors, including WoW trainee Kelly Nisbet and Co-Applicant Dr. Victor Kuperman. We hope it will be of use to you! 

To read the paper, and to learn where to download the program, read the article here: http://bit.ly/3a5n0WW

ARiEAL welcomes Hamilton-area high school students

The Centre for Advanced Research in Experimental & Applied Linguistics at McMaster University (ARiEAL) welcomed more than 30 students from Hamilton District Christian High School on November 21 to learn about the science behind second language acquisition. The students are studying French, and have an interest in understanding how people learn languages.

Students toured three on-site laboratories, including co-applicant Dr. Victor Kuperman’s Reading Lab, and met with five faculty members as part of their introduction to second language research.

The event was co-sponsored by Words in the World.