What is the link between what we see and how we conceptualize it?
Alon Hafri is a cognitive scientist who studies event perception and cognition, and how they relates to language.
Some of the fundamental questions that Alon Hafri is interested in include:
- What high-level information about events (John hits Bill) and relations (the pencil is in the cup) is automatically encoded by the visual system?
- To what extent do the distinctions in language inform the categories encoded in vision?
In his work, Alon has used behavioral paradigms using explicit and implicit tasks of scene perception to probe the representations afforded by the visual system. I have also used fMRI in tasks involving scene perception and language to understand the abstractness of the representations formed from visual and linguistic input. He received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in 2014 to advance his research.
Hafri, A., Bonner, M.F., Trueswell, J.C., & Epstein, R. (in prep). Brains on books: Event-structure semantics predict cortical responses to naturalistic language [working title].
Hafri, A., Trueswell, J.C., & Strickland, B. (2018). Encoding of event roles from visual scenes is rapid, spontaneous, and interacts with higher-level visual processing. Cognition, 175, 336-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2018.02.011
Hafri, A., Trueswell, J.C., & Epstein, R. (2017). Neural representations of observed actions generalize across static and dynamic visual input. The Journal of Neuroscience, 37(11), 3056-3071. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2496-16.2017
Hafri, A., Papafragou, A., & Trueswell, J. C. (2013). Getting the gist of events: Recognition of two-participant actions from brief displays. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142(3), 880–905. http://doi.org/10.1037/a0030045
Trueswell, J. C., Medina, T. N., Hafri, A., & Gleitman, L. R. (2013). Propose but verify: fast mapping meets cross-situational word learning. Cognitive Psychology, 66(1), 126–56. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogpsych.2012.10.001