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Keywords:

  • Dynamical systems;
  • Self-organization;
  • Local coherence;
  • Artificial neural networks;
  • Connectionist modeling;
  • Visual World Paradigm;
  • Eye tracking;
  • Sentence processing;
  • Ambiguity resolution;
  • Embodied cognition

Abstract

The Visual World Paradigm (VWP) presents listeners with a challenging problem: They must integrate two disparate signals, the spoken language and the visual context, in support of action (e.g., complex movements of the eyes across a scene). We present Impulse Processing, a dynamical systems approach to incremental eye movements in the visual world that suggests a framework for integrating language, vision, and action generally. Our approach assumes that impulses driven by the language and the visual context impinge minutely on a dynamical landscape of attractors corresponding to the potential eye-movement behaviors of the system. We test three unique predictions of our approach in an empirical study in the VWP, and describe an implementation in an artificial neural network. We discuss the Impulse Processing framework in relation to other models of the VWP.