Arthur Samuel, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego (1979)
Professor, Cognitive Science
Office: Psychology A-240
Office Hours: Wednesday, 9:30 - 11:30
Phone Number: (631) 632-7792


Areas of Interest: Spoken word recognition, language comprehension, visual attention, speech perception, encoding of information.

Current Research:
My work is primarily concerned with how humans process incoming information, involving its perception, comprehension, and encoding into memory. Most of the work in my lab focuses on the perception of spoken language: How do humans decode the complex acoustic signal, and recognize spoken words?

These issues can be approached in many ways, at several levels. The work in our lab has used many different methodologies, and looked at the problem from both a "bottom-up" and a "top-down" perspective. We have maintained an ongoing research effort aimed at clarifying the early types of representations used for the speech signal, and have been able to identify at least three qualitatively different levels of representation. The most concentrated effort in our lab in recent years has been on studying the recognition of spoken words. Within this domain, two recurring interests have been (1) what is the organization of the word recognition system -- in particular, are there top-down influences from this lexical level to lower, perhaps phonemic representations?, and (2) What is the role of TIME in perceptual processing -- how do the activation levels of representations at various levels rise and fall over time?

Two other topics have repeatedly appeared in the work from our lab. First, we have consistently tried to determine the generality of the perceptual principles and processes that we study. In most cases, we have found that the same principles and processes operate in nonlinguistic domains (such as music perception) -- speech is just one type of complex acoustic signal that the system can operate on. Second, we have repeatedly found that it is necessary to understand the operation of attention, in order to understand the complete pattern of results in any study. Thus, we have examined the role of attention in the perception of speech. We have also been examining attentional principles, in the visual domain. This effort reflects the general approach taken here: In order to study any complex stimulus domain, it will be important to study many cognitive processes, including attention, perception, and encoding of the information in memory.

Representative Publications:

Samuel, A.G., & Pitt, M.A. (2003). Lexical activation (and other factors) can mediate compensation for coarticulation. Journal of Memory and Language, 48, 416-434.

Samuel, A.G., & Kat, D. (2003). Inhibition of return: A graphical meta-analysis of its timecourse, and an empirical test of its temporal and spatial properties. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 10, 897- 906.

Silverberg, S., & Samuel, A.G. (2004). The effect of age of second language acquisition on the representation and processing of second language words. Journal of Memory and Language , 51, 381-398.

Liu, S., & Samuel, A.G. (2004). Perception of Mandarin lexical tones when f0 information is neutralized. Language and Speech , 47, 109-138.

Sumner, M., & Samuel, A.G. (2005). Perception and representation of phonologically-regular variation: The case of final /t/. Journal of Memory and Language ,52, 322-338.

Kraljic, T., & Samuel, A.G. (2005). Perceptual learning for speech: Is there a return to normal? Cognitive Psychology, 51, 141-178.

Current Research Support:

NIMH Grant #3R01MH51663-11, "Causes and Consequences of Lexical Activation"
(Principal Investigator)

NSF ITR Grant #IIS-0325188, "Adaptive Spoken Dialog with Human and Computer Partners"