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Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Steph_StarvedRock_06_webStephani Foraker

 

Associate Professor

 

forakesm AT buffalostate.edu

office 716.878.6027

Department of Psychology

SUNY Buffalo State

1300 Elmwood Ave.

Classroom Bldg A309

Buffalo, NY  14222

 

 

 

 


research

I am a cognitive psychologist, specializing in psycholinguistics and memory. I am interested in how we communicate with each other, asking how our voice, our body, and different aspects of language affect how easily we can understand or remember something.

 

One of my research concentrations is based on the point of view that memory and cognitive processes play a significant role in language processing. Humans seem to learn and use language effortlessly, but understanding and producing language are complex processes that involve the interaction of domain-general and language-specific aspects at many different levels. At present, my research examines the sentence and discourse levels of analysis. Some of the questions I’m working on are:

·         When and how do working memory and attention affect our understanding of words that need to be linked, but are far apart from each other (e.g., anaphor-antecedent relations)?

·         How and when do individual differences in working memory resources affect co-reference resolution?  

·         When resolving and interpreting a pronoun, like “she,” what kinds of information lead to interference vs. facilitation?

·         Are word meanings stored and retrieved from memory, or are they constructed “on the fly” from some core meaning?

 

A second, related branch of my research looks at the role of gestures in memory and communication.

·         What aspects of gestures provide information about new vs. old entities in a discourse?

·         To what extent are listener-viewers sensitive to the information that speakers provide in gesture? Under what circumstances do they use it?

·         What kind of information can gestures help us encode and learn?

·         How is gestured information represented by a producer? Spatially, propositionally, kinesically? Are the same or different kinds of representations used by a comprehender?

 

To address these questions, my lab uses several behavioral techniques including accuracy and response/reaction times, speed-accuracy tradeoff modeling, eye-tracking measures (Eyelink 1000), and annotation and analysis of speech and gesture recordings (audio, video).

collaborators

UB Psycholinguistics Group           

 

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything as if it were a nail.

-      Abraham Maslow

 


teaching

Buffalo State (2008-present):

Cognitive Psychology

Psycholinguistics

Research Methods in Psychology

Sensation & Perception

Long-term Memory (Senior Seminar in Psychology)

The Psychological Power of Language

Statistics for Psychological Research

 

Instructor:

Research Methods, University of Chicago, 2008

Experimental Psychology, National-Louis University, 2008

Cognitive Development, National-Louis University, 2007

Psychology of Language, University of Chicago, 2004

Cognition, New York University, 2003, 2004

 

The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.

- Sydney J. Harris

 


publications & presentations

publications

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Brocher, A., Koenig, J.-P., Foraker, S., & Mauner, G. (under revision). The retrieval and mental representation of biased and balanced irregular polysemes: Evidence from priming and eye-fixations.

Foraker, S., & Murphy, G. L. (2012). Polysemy in sentence comprehenion: Effects of meaning dominance. Journal of Memory and Language. [pdf]

Foraker, S. & McElree, B. (2011). Comprehension of linguistic dependencies: Speed-accuracy tradeoff evidence for direct-access retrieval from memory. Language and Linguistics Compass, 5(11), 764-783. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-818x.2011.00313.x [pdf]

Foraker, S. (2011). Gesture and discourse: How we use our hands to introduce and refer back. In G. Stam, M. Ishino, & R. Ashley (Eds.), Integrating Gestures. New York, NY: John Benjamins. [pdf available upon request]

Nusbaum H., Foraker, S., & Fenn, K. (2010). Working memory and language processing. In P. C. Hogan (Ed.), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Foraker, S., Regier, T., Khetarpal, N., Perfors, A., & Tenenbaum, J. (2009). Indirect evidence and the poverty of the stimulus: The case of anaphoric “one.” Cognitive Science, 33, 287-300. doi: 10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01014.x [pdf]

Foraker, S., & McElree, B. (2007). The role of prominence in pronoun resolution: Active versus passive representations. Journal of Memory and Language, 56, 357-383. [pdf]

Foraker, S. (2004). The mechanisms involved in the prominence of referent representations during pronoun coreference. ProQuest Dissertations.

Foraker, S. (2003). The processing of logophoric reflexives shows discourse and locality constraints. Proceedings of the Chicago Linguistic Society: Parasessions, 2003. [pdf]

McElree, B., Foraker, S., & Dyer, L. (2003). Memory structures that subserve sentence comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language, 48, 67-91. [pdf]

 

* denotes an undergraduate student co-author

spoken presentations

Foraker, S., & *Wight, B. (2013, March). Going the distance: Pronoun resolution relies on direct-access retrieval from memory. CUNY Human Sentence Processing conference, Columbia, SC.

Brocher, A., Koenig, J.-P., Foraker, S., & Mauner, G. (2012, October). The retrieval and mental representation of biased and balanced irregular polysemes: Evidence from priming and eye-fixations. 8th International Conference on The Mental Lexicon, Montreal, Canada.

Foraker, S., & *Delo, M. (2012, March). Talk to the hand: Gestures aid in comprehension of ambiguous pronouns. Eastern Psychological Association conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

Foraker, S., & *Ostrov, M. (2011, March). When words are not enough: Does gesturing facilitate learning more than imagery? Eastern Psychological Association conference, Cambridge, MA.

Foraker, S., & *Rivers, M. V. (2010, July). Students reflect level of understanding through non-verbal backchanneling. 4th Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany.

Foraker, S. (2008, May). Memory search in language comprehension: Semantic and grammatical constraints on pronoun interpretation. 80th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Foraker, S., Regier, T., Khetarpal, N., Perfors, A., & Tenenbaum, J. (2007, August). Indirect evidence and the poverty of the stimulus: The case of anaphoric one. 20th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Nashville, TN.

Foraker, S., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2007, June). Gesture and discourse: How we use our hands to refer back. 3rd International Society for Gesture Studies Conference: Integrating Gestures, Chicago, IL.

Foraker, S., Nusbaum, H., & *Schoeneman, S. (2007, May). Re-accessing representations: Prominent concepts show greater specificity of meaning. Midwestern Psychological Association Conference, Chicago, IL.

Foraker, S., Nusbaum, H., & *Schoeneman, S. (2007, March). Re-accessing representations: Specificity of meaning for prominent and non-prominent concepts. CUNY Human Sentence Processing Conference, La Jolla, CA.

Foraker, S. (2003, April). The processing of logophoric reflexives shows discourse and locality constraints. Chicago Linguistic Society conference, Chicago, IL.

McElree, B. & Foraker, S. (2000, September). Co-occurrence frequency and plausibility constraints do not directly affect the time-course of parsing operations. Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing conference, Leiden, The Netherlands.

 

posters

Foraker, S. (2014, November). Visual-spatial and verbal working memory resources modulate multi-modal co-reference. 55th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Long Beach, CA. [pdf]

Roland, D., Hirose, Y., Mauner, G., & Foraker, S. (2014, September). Eye movements during the processing of pronominal relative clauses. Architectures and Mechanisms of Language Processing conference, Edinburgh, UK.

Foraker, S., & Kuhl, C. (2014, July). Intentional gesturing at encoding facilitates retrieval, but not as much as mental imagery: Implications for representation of gestured information. 6th Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies, San Diego, CA. [pdf]

Foraker, S. (2014, March). Gestures modulate access to referent representations. CUNY Human Sentence Processing conference, Columbus, OH. [pdf]

Foraker, S., & *Kuhl, C. (2013, November). Gesturing intentionally during encoding: Effects of fluid intelligence and spontaneous gesture rate. 54th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Foraker, S., & *Delo, M. (2013, March). Listen to the hand: Gestures shape the comprehension of ambiguous pronouns. CUNY Human Sentence Processing conference, Columbia, SC.

*Granieri, M., *Wekenmann, C., *Miller, C., *Bechtold, T., *Grove, A., *Cosenza, L., … Foraker, S. (2013, March). Change blindness at the movies. Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, New York, NY.

Brocher, A., Koenig, J.-P., Foraker, S., Mauner, G., & Buckley, K. (2012, September). Retrieval of irregular polysemes: Evidence from priming, eye-fixations, and evoked potentials. Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing conference, Riva Del Garda, Italy.

*Kuhl, C., & Foraker, S. (2012, May). Are we smarter with our hands? Relations between gesturing and fluid intelligence. 24th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, IL.

Brocher, A., Foraker, S., Koenig, J.-P., & Mauner, G. (2012, March). Retrieval of irregular polysemes: Evidence from priming and eye-movements. CUNY Human Sentence Processing Conference, New York, NY. [pdf]

Foraker, S. (2011, November). Intentional gesturing during encoding enhances retrieval. 52nd annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Seattle, WA.

*Rivers, M. V., & Foraker, S. (2010, March). Do students reflect their level of understanding through non-verbal behaviors? Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Brooklyn, NY. [pdf]

Foraker, S., & Murphy, G. L. (2009, March). Polysemy in sentence comprehension: Effects of meaning dominance. CUNY Sentence Processing Conference, Davis, CA.

Foraker, S. & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2007, August). Gesture and discourse: How we use our hands to refer back. 20th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Nashville, TN.

Foraker, S. (2007, March). Explicit versus implicit prosody: Effects on pronoun interpretation. CUNY Sentence Processing Conference, La Jolla, CA.

Foraker, S. & McElree, B. (2006, March). The role of prominence in pronoun resolution: Availability versus accessibility. CUNY Sentence Processing Conference, New York, USA.

Foraker, S., & McElree, B. (2005, March). On the memory structures underlying prominence during coreference resolution. CUNY Sentence Processing Conference, Tucson, AZ.

Bencini, G., McElree, B., & Foraker, S. (2004, September). The effect of animacy on the time course of filler-gap resolution in Wh- Questions. Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference, Aix, France.

Foraker, S. (2004, March). Syntactic focus and first-mention status affect pronoun coreference. CUNY Sentence Processing Conference, College Park, MD.

Foraker, S. & McElree, B. (2001, March). The effects of co-occurrence frequency on the time-course of parsing operations. CUNY Sentence Processing Conference, Philadelphia, PA.  

 


Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: OnHerWay5-16-05education

Ph.D., 2004. Experimental Psychology, New York University, NY

M.A., 2001. Experimental Psychology, New York University, NY

B.A., 1998. Psychology, University of Akron, OH

 

 


links
buff state & area psych links
psych links
other interests

 

Last revised: November, 2014.