Alex Miklashevsky

Alex Miklashevsky, a PhD student of the Department of General, Slavonic-Russian Linguistics and Classical Philology, Philological Faculty has been awarded the Russian Federation President Grant to Study Abroad. The host organization of his planned studying is the University of Potsdam (Germany), the research laboratory PECoG (Potsdam Embodied Cognition Group). The topic of studying is embodied cognition research within cognitive science framework.

The problem of the description of body experience reflected in conceptual and linguistic structures is actively solved by cognitive science, in particular within embodied cognition framework. It is a fundamental scientific problem which is studied by now with usage of special modern technological equipment and special software for experimental cognitive studies, such as reaction time measuring, eye-tracking, brain activity measuring during cognitive processing and so forth. These studies also include mathematical methods for solving problems in humanities, advanced statistical models of cognitive processing. Embodied cognition studies have obvious applied meaning for such practical fields as education (including native and foreign language acquisition), developing of testing and medical methods for people with cognitive problems, cross-cultural communication, advertising and PR-activities, artificial intelligence studies.

During his studying at the magistracy A. Miklashevsky developed a psycholinguistic database where 506 Russian nouns are rated in their relationship to perceptual experience and in several traditional psycholinguistic measures (age of acquisition, subjective frequency, word imageability). Statistical modeling was carried out and relations between different measures were established. At the present moment a series of experimental studies with measuring of reaction time with usage of special software is going on. Results of these experiments will be used for modeling of online-processing of lexical units with different perceptual semantics.

The host organization is the laboratory PECoG (Potsdam Embodied Cognition Group, The University of Potsdam, Germany, website http://www.uni-potsdam.de/pecog/ ). This laboratory is specialized on embodied cognition studies, particularly, bodily underpinnings of acquisition and usage of abstract symbolic systems, such as natural language, mathematical symbols, which is the ground of various intelligence abilities, e.g., linguistic and mathematical reasoning. During the studying Alex A. Miklashevsky will go through several courses of the MSc/PhD program “Cognitive Science – Embodied Cognition”, will be acquainted with experimental studies of the laboratory, will get an opportunity to participate in regular laboratory meetings and scientific discussions. Scientific advisor of the studying will be Professor Martin H. Fischer, the head of the PECoG, one of the leading scientists in the field of embodied cognition, linguistic, spatial, and mathematical thinking.

Alex A. Miklashevsky is a research fellow of the Laboratory for Cognitive Studies of Language, TSU. At the present moment one of the key directions of the laboratory research is experimental studies of embodied cognition, in particular, studies of perceptual and spatial language semantics, multimodal communication. These studies are carried out by using reaction time measuring, eye-tracking, psycholinguistic experimental methods. The laboratory already has an experience of international collaboration in this direction, a series of experimental studies was carried out jointly with Professor A. Janyan (The Central and East European Center for Cognitive Science, New Bulgarian University, Sofia).

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