AFC Lab Talk Series

We host a virtual talk series on Wednesdays. Our aim: to support early-career researchers and underrepresented groups by providing a platform for their work and increasing networking opportunities.

If you'd like to give a talk, drop us a message and we'll get it organised.

For details on how to access the talks and view the event schedule, see the World Wide Neuro site.

Wed, 01 Feb 2023
Automated generation of face stimuli: Alignment, features and face spaces
Zayed University (UAE)
I describe a well-tested Python module that does automated alignment and warping of faces images, and some advantages over existing solutions. An additional tool I’ve developed does automated extraction of facial features, which can be used in a number of interesting ways. I illustrate the value of wavelet-based features with a brief description of 2 recent studies: perceptual in-painting, and the robustness of the whole-part advantage across a large stimulus set. Finally, I discuss the suitability of various deep learning models for generating stimuli to study perceptual face spaces. I believe those interested in the forensic aspects of face perception may find this talk useful.
Wed, 08 Feb 2023
Exploring the Potential of High-Density Data for Neuropsychological Testing with Coregraph
University of Lausanne
Coregraph is a tool under development that allows us to collect high-density data patterns during the administration of classic neuropsychological tests such as the Trail Making Test and Clock Drawing Test. These tests are widely used to evaluate cognitive function and screen for neurodegenerative disorders, but traditional methods of data collection only yield sparse information, such as test completion time or error types. By contrast, the high-density data collected with Coregraph may contribute to a better understanding of the cognitive processes involved in executing these tests. In addition, Coregraph may potentially revolutionize the field of cognitive evaluation by aiding in the prediction of cognitive deficits and in the identification of early signs of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's dementia. By analyzing high-density graphomotor data through techniques like manual feature engineering and machine learning, we can uncover patterns and relationships that would be otherwise hidden with traditional methods of data analysis. We are currently in the process of determining the most effective methods of feature extraction and feature analysis to develop Coregraph to its full potential.
Wed, 22 Feb 2023
The speaker identification ability of blind and sighted listeners
Bundeskriminalamt, Wiesbaden
Previous studies have shown that blind individuals outperform sighted controls in a variety of auditory tasks; however, only few studies have investigated blind listeners’ speaker identification abilities. In addition, existing studies in the area show conflicting results. The presented empirical investigation with 153 blind (74 of them congenitally blind) and 153 sighted listeners is the first of its kind and scale in which long-term memory effects of blind listeners’ speaker identification abilities are examined. For the empirical investigation, all listeners were evenly assigned to one of nine subgroups (3 x 3 design) in order to investigate the influence of two parameters with three levels, respectively, on blind and sighted listeners’ speaker identification performance. The parameters were a) time interval; i.e. a time interval of 1, 3 or 6 weeks between the first exposure to the voice to be recognised (familiarisation) and the speaker identification task (voice lineup); and b) signal quality; i.e. voice recordings were presented in either studio-quality, mobile phone-quality or as recordings of whispered speech. Half of the presented voice lineups were target-present lineups in which the previously heard target voice was included. The other half consisted of target-absent lineups which contained solely distractor voices. Blind individuals outperformed sighted listeners only under studio quality conditions. Furthermore, for blind and sighted listeners no significant performance differences were found with regard to the three investigated time intervals of 1, 3 and 6 weeks. Blind as well as sighted listeners were significantly better at picking the target voice from target-present lineups than at indicating that the target voice was absent in target-absent lineups. Within the blind group, no significant correlations were found between identification performance and onset or duration of blindness. Implications for the field of forensic phonetics are discussed.