Events

Nijmegen Gesture Centre Colloquium Series 2022

“Recent multidisciplinary perspectives on multimodal language”

To participate in the NGC colloquia virtually, please sign up via the SIGN-UP LINK link provided with each event to receive a Zoom link. Subscribe to our mailing list to stay informed about future events and announcements.

Note: Starting from April 2022, please let us know three weeks in advance if you need sign language interpreting (IS) for the talk you are interested in. You can do so by emailing anita.slonimska@mpi.nl. If there is no explicit request we will not be able to arrange interpreting due to budget cuts for this year but hope to resume to general interpreting in the fall of 2022 again.

Upcoming NGC Events:

21st November 2022 - NGC related event: PhD Defense
4:30 (CET) - PhD defense Anita Slonimska
"The role of iconicity and simultaneity in efficient communication in the visual modality: evidence from LIS (Italian Sign Language)"
Event Page, Interpretation in ASL and LIS will be provided

14th December 2022 - NGC Colloquium
4:00 - 5:00 (CET) Dr. Taras Kucherenko, (Electronic Arts, Stockholm, Sweden)
"
Mapping speech to gestures using machine learning"
Location:
Max Planck Institute fro Psycholinguistics, room 336
If you are unable to join in person but would like to participate virtually, please
Sign-up here.

1st November 2022 - NGC related event: DCC lecture
12:30 - 1:30 (CET) Dr. Zerrin Yumak, (Utrecht University)
"Interactive Virtual Humans: From Animation to Interaction"
Location:
Maria Montessori building, room MM 00.029
Event Page

22nd June 2022 - NGC Colloquium
4:00 - 5:00 (CET)
Prof. Spencer Kelly (Colgate University)
"Exploring the Emotional Function of Co-Speech Gesture in Language and Communication"

Location: Max Planck Institute fro Psycholinguistics, room 163

21st June 2022 - NGC related event: Multimodal Language and Cognition Group Talk
1:00 - 2:00 (CET)
Dr. Abdellah Fourtassi (Aix-Marseille University)
"
Towards a quantitative theory of children's communicative development in the wild"
Location: Max Planck Institute fro Psycholinguistics, room 163
Abstract

31st May 31 2022 - NGC Colloquium
4:00 - 5:00 (CET)
Dr. Tilbe Göksun (Koc University)
Talk title: "
Functions of gestures and individual differences: A lifespan approach"
Location: Max Planck Institute fro Psycholinguistics, room 336

25th May 2022 - NGC Colloquium
4:00 - 5:00 (CET) Dr. Jan de Wit (Tilburg University)
"Robots that gesture, and their potential as second language tutors for children"
Location:
Max Planck Institute fro Psycholinguistics, room 163

20th April 2022 - NGC Colloquium
4:00 - 5:00 (CET)
Prof. Patrick Grosz (Oslo University)
"The semantics of face emojis: facial expressions in written digital communication”

23rd March 2022 - NGC Colloquium
4:00 - 5:00 (CET) Dr. Marlen Fröhlich (University of Tübingen)
"Ontogenetic plasticity and behavioural flexibility in great ape gesture"

17 January 2022 - NGC Related Event: PhD Defense
16:30 pm (CET) PhD defense Dilay Z. Karadöller
“Development of Spatial Language and Memory: Effects of Language Modality and Late Sign Language Exposure”

Event, Livestream


2021 NGC Colloquia

15th December 2021
4:00 - 5:00 (CET) Dr. Olivier Le Guen (CIESAS, Mexico City)
"Evolution of linguistic construction of space in Yucatec Maya Sign Language"

17th November 2021
4:00 - 5:00 (CET) Prof. Petra Wagner (University of Bielefeld, Germany)
“Co-ordinating hands, eyes and speech under different conditions of visibility and information structure”

24th February 2021
4:00-5:00 pm (CET) Dr. Alexia Galati (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA)
“Examining the relationship between multimodal interpersonal coordination and task performance”

17th March 2021
4:00-5:00 pm (CET) Prof. Pilar Prieto (ICREA-Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain)
“Prosodic and body signals act as joint bootstrapping mechanisms in pragmatic development”

14th April 2021
4:00-5:00 pm (CET) Dr. Kensy Cooperrider (University of Chicago, USA)
“The deictic urge”

12th May 2021
4:00-5:00 pm (CET) Dr. Yifei He (Philipps University Marburg, Germany)
“Gesture–Speech Integration and Interaction: a Neural Perspective”

9th June 2021
4:00-5:00 pm (CET) Dr. Marieke Schouwstra (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Title “Improvisation: A fundamental process in language emergence”

30th June 2021
4:00-5:00 pm (CET) Dr. Adriano Vilela Barbosa (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil)
Title “Using optical flow and correlation maps to assess coordination during communicative interaction”


2021 NGC Related Events

12th January 2021
12:30-13:30 pm (CET) Donders Centre for Cognition Lectures: Dr. Susanne Fuchs (ZAS, Germany)
“About the interwoven relationship of respiration and spoken language”

Please contact w.pouw@psych.ru.nl to receive the zoom details.

12th March 2021
2:30 pm (CET) PhD defense Francie Manhardt
“A tale of two modalities: How modality shapes language production and visual attention”

Please visit https://www.ru.nl/over-ons/diensten-faciliteiten/vm/aula/livestream/livestream-academiezaal/ to follow the live stream.


Past NGC Colloquia (since 2017)

NGC Colloquium
Title:
Restraining and encouraging the use of gestures – Exploring the effects on speech
Speaker: Alice Cravotta (University of Padova, Italy).
Date (and time): Tuesday 14th January (11:00-12.00).
Location: Donders Centre for Cognition (Donders room 00.07, Spinoza building, Montessorilaan 3, Radboud University).

NGC Colloquium
Title:
Multimodal language production as a radically embodied innovation
Speaker: Wim Pouw (Radboud University).
Date (and time): Tuesday 12th November (11:00-12.00).
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, room 336

NGC Colloquium
Title:
Put it into context- How do changes in task properties influence children’s hand movements and speech?
Speaker: Lisette de Jonge-Hoekstra (University of Groningen).
Date (and time): Tuesday 1st October (13:30-14.30).
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, room 336

NGC Colloquium
Title:
Shared intentionality, joint commitments and joint action in humans and great apes
Speaker: Prof. Adrian Bangerter (University of Neuchâtel).
Date (and time): Thursday 24th January (13:30-15.00).
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, room 163

NGC Colloquium
Title:
Neurocognitive mechanisms of human social interaction
Speaker: Prof. Antonia Hamilton (UCL).
Date (and time): Thursday 24th January (15:30-17.00).
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, room 163

NGC Colloquium
Title: Different Effects of Iconicity in Sign Language Acquisition (see
abstract for detail)
Speaker:
Dr. Beyza Sumer (Multimodal Language & Cognition lab, CLS, Radboud University & University of Amsterdam).
Date (and time): Thursday 6th December (10:00-11:30).Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, room 364 (NOTE ROOM CHANGE!)
Please note:
NGT translation will be available for this talk!

NGC Colloquium
Title: Deep learning for behaviour analysis
Speaker:
Dr. Yagmur Gucluturk (Cognitive Artificial Intelligence Department, Donders Centre for Cognition, Radboud University).
Date (and time): Tuesday 30th October (13:30-14:30).
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, room 336

NGC Colloquium
Title: A multimodal and temporal account of lexical and gestural alignment
Speakers:
Prof. Geert Brône & Dr. Bert Oben (Leuven University, Belgium)
Date (and time): Tuesday 6th November 2018 (13:30-15.00).
Place:
Oval Office, Trigon Building, Radboud University.
This event is funded by the Language in Interaction consortium.

NGC Colloquium
Title: Production and comprehension of American Sign Language referring expressions: Modality-general and modality-specific influences
Speaker:
Anne Theresa Federikson (UC SanDiego)
Date (and time): Tuesday 4th September 2018 (14.00-15.30).
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, room 364

NGC Colloquium
Title: Asymmetries in pointing: Who, when, where and why
Speaker:
Prof. Diane Lillo-Martin (University of Connecticut, USA)
Date (and time): Monday 7th May 2018 (13.30-15.00).
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, room
163

NGC Colloquium
Title: Grammar and gesture: Insights on transitivity, argument structure, and aspect
Speaker:
Prof. Alan Cienki (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & Moscow State Linguistic University)
Date (and time): Wednesday March 28th (14:00-15:30).
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, room 336

NGC Colloquium
Title: Contiguity, reduced actions, and schematic iconicity: How metonymy motivates form and function in gesture
Speaker:
Prof. Irene Mittelberg (HumTec, RWTH Aachen University, Germany)
Date (and time): Thursday December 7th (14:00-15:30)
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, room 336

NGC Colloquium
Title: Aphasia and gesture
Speaker:
Dr. Basil Preisig (Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Radboud University)
Date (and time): Tuesday November 7th, 10:00 – 11:30
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, room 264

NGC Colloquium
Title: Intentional Communication by Great Apes
Speaker:
Dr. David Leavens (University of Sussex, UK)
Date (and time): Tuesday September 19th, 11:00 – 12:30
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, room 336

NGC Colloquium
Title:
Integration of speech and cohesive use of space in gesture
Speaker: Dr. Kazuki Sekine (Radboud University)
Date (and time): January 19th, 09:30 – 11:00
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, room 336

NGC Colloquium
Title:
Spontaneous beat gestures in audiovisual speech: Prosody may extend to the speaker’s hands
Speaker: Emmanuel Biau (Maastricht University)
Date (and time): February 9th, 09:30 – 11:00
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, room 336

NGC Colloquium
Title:
Gestured word order is not always “natural”: Insights from efficient communication
Speaker: Alexandra Carstensen (Radboud University)
Date (and time): February 21st, 12:00 – 13:00
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, room 336

NGC Colloquium
Title:
Gesture production in repeated references
Speaker: Marieke Hoetjes (Radboud University)
Date (and time): March 23rd, 13:00-14:30
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, room 336

NGC Colloquium
Title:
Methods of annotating Co-­Speech Gestures
Speaker: Laura Raveling (FU Berlin, Germany)
Date (and time): May 4th, 09:30 – 11:00
Place: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, room 336

PRE-2017 COLLOQUIA

Multimodal language & communication-related events in Nijmegen 2019/2020

30th January 2020 – CLS Colloquium by Marianne Gullberg (Lund University)
Time: 15:45 to 16:45
Location: Erasmusbuilding, room E 2.54, Radboud University
Title: Tbc

22 October – DCC Formal lecture by Angelo Cangelosi (University of Manchester and Alan Turing Institute, UK)
Time: 12.30 to 13.30
Location: 00.07 Donders Room (Spinoza building, Montessorilaan 3), Radboud University
Title:
Developmental Robotics for Language Learning, Trust and Theory of Mind

International NGC-related events

Nijmegen-Barcelona L2 seminar

“The acquisition of prosody and pronunciation from a multimodal perspective”

December 10th 2020, 10:00 AM – 12:20 PM
Talk 1: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM:
Title: Stress in Motion: Can interactions between hand gesture and speech production aid lexical stress acquisition in Dutch learners of Spanish?

Presenters: Hans Rutger Bosker (Max Planck Institute Nijmegen), Marieke Hoetjes (Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen), Wim Pouw (Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour), and Lieke van Maastricht (Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen) will talk about L2 lexical stress acquisition from a multimodal perspective.

11:00 AM – 11:20 AM : coffee break

Talk 2: 11:20 AM – 12:20 AM:

Title: The effects of visuospatial hand gestures on the L2 learning of French suprasegmental features and front rounded vowels.

Presenters: Peng Li (Grup d’Estudis de Prosòdia, Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Florence Baills (Grup d’Estudis de Prosòdia, Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Lorraine Baqué (Departament de Filologia Francesa i Romànica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), and Pilar Prieto (ICEA-Grup d’Estudis de Prosòdia, Universitat Pompeu Fabra) will talk about learner’s oral proficiency with a focus on the vowel quality, from a multimodal perspective.

Multimodal language & communication-related PhD defenses 2019/2020

15th May 2021 – PhD defense Louise Schubotz
“Effects of aging and cognitive abilities on multimodal language production and comprehension in context”
Location: Aula Radboud Universiteit, Comeniuslaan 2, 6525 HP Nijmegen
Time: 16.30-18.00

12th March 2021 – PhD defense Francie Manhardt
“A tale of two modalities: How modality shapes language production and visual attention”
Location: Aula Radboud Universiteit, Comeniuslaan 2, 6525 HP Nijmegen
Time: 14.30-16.00

31st March 2020 – PhD defense Zeynep Azar
“The effect of language contact on speech and gesture: The case of Turkish-Dutch bilinguals in the Netherlands”
Location: Aula Radboud Universiteit, Comeniuslaan 2, 6525 HP Nijmegen
Time: 14.30-16.00

13th February 2020 – PhD defense James Trujillo
“The Kinematic and Neural Dynamics of Producing and Understanding Communicative Intention in Action and Gesture”
Location: Aula Radboud Universiteit, Comeniuslaan 2, 6525 HP Nijmegen
Time: 14.30-16.00
PLUS: Defense-associated workshop on the morning of the 13th (James Trujillo_Nijmegen Gesture Center Event).

13th May 2019 – PhD defense Linda Drijvers
“On the oscillatory dynamics underlying speech-gesture integration in clear and adverse listening conditions”
Location: Aula Radboud Universiteit, Comeniuslaan 2, 6525 HP Nijmegen
Time: 14.30-16.00

23rd January 2019 – PhD defense Jana Basnakova
“Beyond the language given: the neurobiological infrastructure for pragmatic inferencing”
Location: Aula Radboud Universiteit, Comeniuslaan 2, 6525 HP Nijmegen
Time: 10.30-12.00

25th January 2019 – PhD defense Paul Hömke
“The Face in Face-to-Face Communication Signals of Understanding and Non-Understanding”
Location: Aula Radboud Universiteit, Comeniuslaan 2, 6525 HP Nijmegen
Time: 10.30-12.00 (followed by a reception at the MPI)

PAST NGC-related workshops & public engagement events

13th February 2020: Pre-defense symposium and PhD thesis defense: “Movement Speaks for Itself: the Kinematic and Neural Dynamics of Communicative Action and Gesture”

“From Action to Communication in Brain, Cognition and Behavior”

People often use their hands to manipulate objects and act on the environment directly. These same movements can also be used to communicate and to influence each others mental states. In this workshop, we will explore how human action allows this multifunctionality of action manipulation, signaling of our (social) intentions and the explicit communication of both concrete and abstract concepts in actions, gestures and in signs* and its cognitive and neural architecture.

PROGRAM

Donders Room (A.00.07, Spinoza building)

10:00 – 10:30 Cristina Becchio (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy)

Single-trial intention computations in the inferior parietal lobule.

10:30 – 11:00 Irene Mittelberg (RWTH Aachen University, Germany)

Augmented gestural iconicity: MoCap-based analyses of communicative action

11:00 – 11:30 Tessa Verhoef (Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science)

Iconic representations of actions and objects: gestural biases and the emergence of patterns in sign language.

Irene Mittelberg (abstract)
This talk presents a set of empirical studies carried out in the Natural Media Lab (RWTH Aachen University), which – while cutting across modalities and disciplinary boundaries – have two things in common: They a) where motivated by questions central to semiotic and cognitive linguistic theory and b) involve motion-capture technology (MoCap). In multimodal interaction research, MoCap has proven to be a powerful tool to investigate dynamic gestural action in minute detail. 3-D numerical MoCap data represent quickly emerging and vanishing hand shapes and movements on a millimeter and millisecond scale. For example, visualizing otherwise invisible motion traces allows for new insights into the dynamic and typically rather schematic gestalt properties of communicative movements. First, I will focus on
qualitative analyses of gestures metonymically evoking actions and objects by showing how a gesture’s iconicity may be augmented through visualizing and freezing its motion trajectory. Second, I will discuss quantitative pattern analyses within and across study participants, thus visualizing the speakers’ individual use of gesture space via heat maps or using gesture signatures for automatically retrieving all the tokens of selected movement types in the MoCap data. Throughout the talk, I will address some of the technical and methodological challenges that come with exploiting MoCap technology in the context of interdisciplinary gesture research.

Tessa Verhoef (abstract )
The bodily-visual modality affords the ability to iconically represent actions and objects with the movement and shape of the body and hands. In sign languages, related verbs and nouns can be distinguished, for instance, in their manner of movement or iconic handshapes. This talk examines whether nonsigners are sensitive to representational strategies in natural sign languages when pairing gestures with actions or objects, and how these initial biases may drive the emergence of patterns in conventionalized languages. It has been found that sign-naïve gesturers show a strong preference for representing actions with “handling” handshapes, which show how you hold the object, and a slight preference for representing objects with “instrument” handshapes, which show the shape of the object, an encoding strategy that also distinguishes verbs and nouns in ASL (Padden et al., 2015). In ASL, movement patterns also distinguish related verbs and nouns: verbs are formed with longer/continuous movements, while nouns are formed with faster/constrained movements (Supalla & Newport, 1978). Here, we showed 1175 (online) participants pairs of videos of iconic gestures, and asked them to identify each video as representing either an action (e.g. “using a handsaw”) or object (e.g. “a handsaw”). When movement is constant across videos and handshape varies, participants tend to map handling handshapes to actions and instrument handshapes to objects. When handshape is constant and movement varies, the expected movement preference is also found. When both handshape and movement vary between the videos, participants weight their handshape preference over the preference based on movement patterns. A second study investigates the interaction between these biases and pressures to systematize and conventionalize in the learnability of artificial languages. Gestural biases, already present in participants who have no experience with sign language, is found to influence the emergence of language-like patterns.

—- Lunch (for speakers) —-

Aula Radboud University

14:30-16:00 James Trujlllo (Donders Institute)

*If you need sign language interpretation please contact asli.ozyurek@mpi.nl

Funders

NWO Language in interaction, DCC and Faculty Social Sciences

Organizers

James Trujillo, Asli Ozyurek , Judith Holler

INSCIENCE Festival 2018

The INSCIENCE Festival at the Lux in Nijmegen features lots of fun and educational stuff, including activities by researchers from the MLC lab & NGC: see Julija Vaitonytė, James Trujillo & Linda Drijvers running an all-day DIY lab experiment at ZintuigenZondag, and Vicky Fisher leading the workshop ‘The Body as Archive’, both taking place on November 12th. (https://www.insciencefestival.nl/en/program/)

Minds, Mechanisms and Interaction in the Evolution of Language

The workshop “Minds, Mechanisms and Interaction in the Evolution of Language” will be hosted at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands on 21st-22nd September 2017.

Plenary speakers:

  • David Leavens, University of Sussex

  • Jennie Pyers, Wellesley College

  • Monica Tamariz, Heriot Watt University

The workshop also includes presentations from the LEvinSON group (Language Evolution and Interaction Scholars of Nijmegen) and an introduction by Stephen Levinson himself! More information about the workshop can be found here.

Event Representations in Brain Language and Development

The two-day workshop ‘Event Representations in Brain, Language & Development’ (EvRep) is organised by Monique Flecken, Ercenur Ünal, and Aslı Özyürek. The event will be held at the MPI for Psycholinguistics, October 27-28 2017. More information about the workshop can be found here.

Iconicity Focus Group Workshop

The Iconicity Focus Group is a collective of researchers at Radboud University and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics interested in the role of iconicity in language. The group is led by Gerardo Ortega, Aslı Özyürek, and Mark Dingemanse.

In July (6-7) 2017 they organised a workshop entitled “Types of iconicity in language use, development, and processing” at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. The program included talks about both gestures and sign language. More information can be found on the website of the Iconicity Focus Group.

NGC-related courses

Multimodal Language, Cognition and the Brain
Course in ‘Research Master Cognitive Neuroscience’ and ‘Research Master Language and Communication’, Radboud University Nijmegen
Lecturers: prof. dr. Aslı Özyürek & dr. Judith Holler & guest lecturers

Objectives: Most research on language takes speech as the main domain of investigation. However, speakers use not only speech but also meaningful hand movements called ‘gestures’ when they speak. Furthermore, deaf communities use sign languages that are produced and perceived only in the visual-spatial modality. This course aims to give an interdisciplinary and state of the art overview of the role of the body in the structuring, functioning and the development of the human language faculty. The course will present findings from these new fields relating them to discussions of embodied cognition and semantics, situated use of language, the link between language and action and their neural correlates.