Neurolinguistics Fall 2020

Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:30am-3pm Online

Dr. Kathryn Schuler
likes to be called:
Katie Schuler Katie

remote from Philadelphia, PA (Neighborhood: Mt. Airy)
Office Hours TBD

Welcome to LING504, a seminar on Neurolinguistics. Due to the global pandemic, LING504 will be fully remote this semester. We are scheduled to meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30pm - 3:00pm EST. Because this may be the middle of the night for many students in other timezones, the class time may change to a day and time that is more convenient for as many students as possible. I know you probably have lots of questions about how this will work, so please ask. You can ask questions in basecamp by pinging me directly, sending a message in the campfire (chat), or commenting on any of the documents (even this one!) You can @mention me to get my attention.

Neurolinguistics is a seminar on language and the brain. For the first few weeks, you will build a foundation of knowledge, first on how brains work (neurons, networks, and anatomy) and later on the methods researchers use to study language in the brain. The remainder of the course will explore the literature on different topics in language and the brain, including various levels of linguistics (phonology, morphology, syntax), acquisition, evolution, signed languages, and more.

This course is open to all graduate students and upper-level undergraduates. No background in neuroscience or linguistics is necessary to participate in the course.

  • Reading and posting discussion questions: ​Each week, you will be responsible for preparing for the discussion by reading and annotating 2-3 papers on the weeks’ topic with discussion questions (on Perusall).
  • Lead discussions:​ Several times throughout the semester (but not every week), you will serve as discussion leader for a paper with one other student. As discussion leader, you’ll be responsible for presenting the paper, including summarizing (motivation, research questions, approach, and findings) and leading a discussion of the work. If you cannot attend synchronously you can submit a pre-recorded presentation. 
  • Lit Review:​ You will select a topic of interest (within the bounds of language and the brain) and write a formal literature review. There will be several assignments leading up to this final paper to help you make progress.

Typical week
  • Mondays are deadline days. Writing assignment and feedback deadlines are always Monday at midnight (but note that not all Mondays have something due).
  • Tuesdays & most Thursdays are discussion days on Zoom. One or more of you will present a paper and lead the discussion during class time.
  • Thursdays are sometimes asynchronous peer review days. On peer review days, you'll work in groups (asynchronously or at a time that works for all group members) to provide feedback to your peers on their lit review progress. 

  • Basecamp (you are here) for schedule, policies, questions, and links to all course materials. 
  • Canvas site for grade related things.
  • Perusall for annotated reading (you'll start the discussion here as you read)

  • Class participation and preparation (50%)  including reading and annotating to start the discussion on Perusall, participating in class discussions, and preparing for and leading discussions when you are a discussion leader. Grading rubric here
  • Literature review (50%)  including 9 check-points throughout the semester (abstract, bibliography, drafts, peer review) and your final literature review.

Getting help
  • The best way to get help is to ask a question here on basecamp. You can @mention
    Katie Schuler Katie
    privately via a ping, ask a question for everyone in the campfire (chat), or ask questions right on documents (like this one). 
  • You can ask questions about papers and discuss them via Perusall.

Schedule is subject to change. Persons name indicates presenter for the day

  • Week 14: Cerebellum
  • Week 15: Undergrad poster session 
    • Mon Dec 7 - first draft due at midnight!
    • Tue Dec 8 - attend undergrad poster session (online at 10:30am)
    • Thur Dec 10 - feedback from peer review activity due at midnight!
  • Week 16: Finals week
    • Mon Dec 21 - (optional) final lit review paper due at midnight!
    • This is optional in that you have until Mon Dec 21 to submit an improved version of your paper (based on the feedback you received on Dec 10). If you choose not to submit an improved version, I'll grade your first draft.