Ten Lectures on the Representation of Events in Language, Perception, Memory, and Action Control


The representation of events is a central topic for cognitive science. In this series of lectures, Jeffrey M. Zacks situates event representations and their role in language within a theory of perception and memory. Event representations have a distinctive structure and format that result from computational and neural mechanisms operating during perception and language comprehension. A crucial aspect of the mechanisms is that event representations are updated to optimize their predictive utility. This updating has consequences for action control and for long-term memory. Event cognition changes across the adult lifespan and can be impaired by conditions including Alzheimer’s disease. These mechanisms have broad impact on everyday activity, and have shaped the development of media such as cinema and narrative fiction.

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Jeffrey M. Zacks, Ph.D. (1999), Stanford University, is Professor and Associate Chair of Psychological & Brain Sciences as Washington University. He has published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles and 5 books, including Flicker: Your Brain on Movies and Event Cognition (with. G.A. Radvansky.)
"[S]everal questions are still pending: how many thematic roles do we need, and how should each role be characterised? Other studies grounded in cognitive psychology may help answer these questions […] The work resumed by Zack in this volume, however, has the merit of showing the relevance of such a question for embedding cognition into grammar." - Marta Donazzan, Laboratoire de Linguistique de Nantes, in: Linguist List, January 8th, 2021
Note on Supplementary Material
Preface by the Series Editor
Preface by the Author
About the Author

1 The Importance of Events in Conception and Language

2 The Structure and Format of Event Representations

3 Event Segmentation Theory and the Segmentation of Visual Events

4 The Segmentation of Narrative Events

5 Neural Correlates of Event Segmentation

6 Prediction in Event Comprehension

7 Updating Event Models

8 The Event Horizon Model and Long-Term Memory

9 Event Cognition in Aging and Early Alzheimer’s Disease

10 Event Representations from Cinema and Narrative Fiction
About the Series Editor
Websites for Cognitive Linguistics and CIFCL Speakers
Cognitive scientists, linguists, computer scientists interested in events or in comprehension and perception in natural settings.