Jun.-Prof. Dr. Titus von der Malsburg

Psycholinguistics and Cognitive Modeling
Photo of Titus von der Malsburg


Address:
University of Stuttgart
Institute of Linguistics
Keplerstraße 17
70174 Stuttgart

News

  • Current preprints:
    • Pankratz, von der Malsburg, & Vasishth (2022). Shannon entropy is a more comprehensive and principled morphological productivity measure than the standard alternatives.PsyArXiv ]
    • Mézière, Yu, Reichle, von der Malsburg, & McArthur. (2021). Using eye-tracking measures to predict reading comprehension.PsyArXiv ]
  • New journal articles:
    • Laurinavichyute, A., & von der Malsburg, T. (2022). Semantic attraction in sentence comprehension. Cognitive Science, 46(2). [ http | .pdf ]
    • Stone, K., Vasishth, S., & von der Malsburg, T. (2022). Does entropy modulate the prediction of German long-distance verb particles? PLOS ONE, (accepted for publication). [ PsyArXiv ]
    • Parshina, O., Sekerina, I., Lopukhina, A., & von der Malsburg, T. (2022). Monolingual and bilingual reading strategies in Russian: An exploratory scanpath analysis. Reading Research Quarterly, 57(2). [ http .pdf ]
  • Diane Mézière will give two talks about our work on scanpaths as predictors of reading comprehension (joint work with Lili Yu, Erik Reichle, and Genevieve McArthur):
    1. At ECEM 2022: Scanpath Regularity as a Predictor of Performance on Reading Comprehension Assessments
    2. At SIG 27: Scanpath regularity as a measure of reading comprehension ability
  • I’m teaching two courses in the summer term:
    1. Introduction to Statistical Data Analysis, taught with Richard McElreath’s brilliant book Statistical Rethinking (2nd edition).
    2. The Psycholinguistics of Neural Language Models, taught jointly with Sebastian Padó.
  • New lab member: Welcome to Anna Prysłopska who has joined my lab as a postdoc in February 2022!

Bio

I investigate how the human brain makes sense of language. How is each word that we hear or read combined with our understanding of the sentence so far? What sources of knowledge are recruited in this process? And how are they reconciled when they are in conflict? To answer questions like these, I use experimental and computational methods ranging from eye-tracking and event-related brain potentials to large-scale crowd-sourcing and Bayesian data analysis and cognitive modeling.

I am a tenure-track professor at the Institute of Linguistics at the University of Stuttgart. Previously, I was a postdoc at UC San Diego and University of Oxford, a research affiliate at MIT, and a visiting professor at University of Potsdam. I received my PhD in Cognitive Science from the University of Potsdam under the supervision of Shravan Vasishth and Reinhold Kliegl. I also worked as a software engineer, founded two companies (software and film production), and collaborated with sound artists and composers in the borderlands between science and art.

My name is a bit unusual and sometimes causes confusion. Therefore a short explanation: My first name is “Titus” and my surname is “von der Malsburg”. Some people write “Von Der Malsburg”, just “Malsburg”, list “von der” as a middle name, or write “van (der)” with an “a”, as in some Dutch names. All these are incorrect. For historical reasons, it’s customary to list my name alphabetically under “M” (not “v”). I know this is confusing.

Some of my research interests:

  • Word by word sentence comprehension
  • Reading comprehension, reading strategies, and scanpaths
  • Syntactic ambiguity and its resolution
  • Implicit linguistic biases
  • Cue-based parsing, working memory
  • Expectation and prediction
  • Function and resolution of resumptive pronouns
  • Dog whistles, plausible deniability, and social meaning
  • Experimental methods, especially web-based and eye-tracking
  • Bayesian and frequentist statistics, cognitive modeling

Media coverage:

Download full CV (.pdf)

Publications

Click the button below to download a BibTeX file listing all my publications. This file can be imported in common bibliography managers such as Zotero, Jabref, Mendeley, etc.

Download publications (.bib)

Submitted manuscripts

Mézière, D. C., Yu, L., Reichle, E. D., von der Malsburg, T., and McArthur, G. (2022). Using eye-tracking measures to predict reading comprehension. Under review. [ http ]
Pankratz, E., von der Malsburg, T., and Vasishth, S. (2022). Shannon entropy is a more comprehensive and principled morphological productivity measure than the standard alternatives. Submitted to Morphology. [ http ]

Journal articles

Laurinavichyute, A. and von der Malsburg, T. (2022). Semantic attraction in sentence comprehension. Cognitive Science, 46(2):e13086. [ bib | DOI ]
Parshina, O., Sekerina, I., Lopukhina, A., and von der Malsburg, T. (2022). Monolingual and bilingual reading strategies in Russian: An exploratory scanpath analysis. Reading Research Quarterly, 57(2). [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]
Stone, K., Vasishth, S., and von der Malsburg, T. (2022). Does entropy modulate the prediction of German long-distance verb particles? PLOS ONE. [ bib | http ]
Wehbe, L., Blank, I. A., Shain, C., Futrell, R., Levy, R., von der Malsburg, T., Smith, N., Gibson, E., and Fedorenko, E. (2021). Incremental language comprehension difficulty predicts activity in the language network but not the multiple demand network. Cerebral Cortex. [ bib | DOI | http ]
von der Malsburg, T., Poppels, T., and Levy, R. P. (2020). Implicit gender bias in linguistic descriptions for expected events: The cases of the 2016 United States and 2017 United Kingdom elections. Psychological Science, 31(2):115-128. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]
Morgan, A. M., von der Malsburg, T., Ferreira, V. S., and Wittenberg, E. (2020). Shared syntax between comprehension and production: Multi-paradigm evidence that resumptive pronouns hinder comprehension. Cognition, 205:104417. [ bib | DOI ]
Paape, D., Vasishth, S., and von der Malsburg, T. (2020). Quadruplex negatio invertit? The on-line processing of depth charge sentences. Journal of Semantics, 37(4):509-555. [ bib | DOI | http | .pdf ]
Stone, K., von der Malsburg, T., and Vasishth, S. (2020). The effect of decay and lexical uncertainty on processing long-distance dependencies. PeerJ, page 8:e10438. [ bib | DOI | http ]
Schotter, E., von der Malsburg, T., and Leinenger, M. (2018b). Forced fixations, trans-saccadic integration, and word recognition: Evidence for a hybrid mechanism of saccade triggering in reading. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 45(5):677-688. [ bib | DOI | http | .pdf ]
Schotter, E., Leinenger, M., and von der Malsburg, T. (2018a). When your mind ignores what your eyes see: How forced fixations lead to comprehension illusions in reading. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 25(5):1884-1890. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]
von der Malsburg, T. and Angele, B. (2017). False positives and other statistical errors in standard analyses of eye movements in reading. Journal of Memory and Language, 94:119-133. [ bib | DOI | http | .pdf ]
Metzner, P., von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., and Rösler, F. (2016). The importance of reading naturally: Evidence from combined recordings of eye movements and electric brain potentials. Cognitive Science, 41(S6):1232–1263. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]
von der Malsburg, T., Kliegl, R., and Vasishth, S. (2015). Determinants of scanpath regularity in reading. Cognitive Science, 39(7):1675-1703. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]
Metzner, P., von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., and Rösler, F. (2015). Brain responses to world-knowledge violations: A comparison of stimulus- and fixation-triggered event-related potentials and neural oscillations. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27(5):1017-1028. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]
von der Malsburg, T. and Vasishth, S. (2013). Scanpaths reveal syntactic underspecification and reanalysis strategies. Language and Cognitive Processes, 28(10):1545-1578. [ bib | DOI | http | .pdf ]
Vasishth, S., von der Malsburg, T., and Engelmann, F. (2013). What eye movements can tell us about sentence comprehension. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 4(2):125-134. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]
Marusch, T., von der Malsburg, T., Bastiaanse, R., and Burchert, F. (2012). Tense morphology in german agrammatism: The production of regular, irregular and mixed verbs. The Mental Lexicon, 7(3):351-380. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]
von der Malsburg, T. and Vasishth, S. (2011). What is the scanpath signature of syntactic reanalysis? Journal of Memory and Language, 65(2):109-127. [ bib | DOI | .pdf ]

Conference talks

Pankratz, E., von der Malsburg, T., and Vasishth, S. (2022). An entropy-based approach to measuring morphological productivity. In Maienborn, C. and Averintseva-Klisch, M., editors, 44st Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society, Tübingen, Germany. University of Tübingen. [ bib ]
Mézière, D., Yu, L., Reichle, E., von der Malsburg, T., and McArthur, G. (2022b). Scanpath regularity as a predictor of performance on reading comprehension assessments. In Paterson, K., editor, Proceedings of the 21th European Conference on Eye Movements (ECEM), Leicester, England. University of Leicester. [ bib ]
Mézière, D., Yu, L., Reichle, E., von der Malsburg, T., and McArthur, G. (2022a). Scanpath regularity as a measure of reading comprehension ability. In McIntyre, N., Coombs, I., Peters, A., Törmänen, T., and Catrysse, L., editors, Proceedings of the EARLI Special Interest Group on Online Measures of Learning Processes (SIG27), Southampton, England. University of Southampton. [ bib ]
Parshina, O., Sekerina, I., Lopukhina, A., and von der Malsburg, T. (2021). Monolingual and heritage bilingual strategies in reading in Russian. In Andrychowicz-Trojanowska, A., Banasiak, I., Bonacchi, S., Borowska, A., Kaliska, M., Kudła, D., Leńko-Szymańska, A., Maciejak, E., Malesa, K., Olpińska-Szkiełko, M., Romanowski, P., Szupica-Pyrzanowska, M., and Żelazowska Sobczyk, M., editors, Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB13), Warsaw, Poland. University of Warsaw. [ bib ]
Mézière, D., Yu, L., Reichle, E., von der Malsburg, T., and McArthur, G. (2021). Using eye movements to predict reading comprehension scores. In Cain, K., Wood, C., Ricketts, J., and Wade-Woolley, L., editors, Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. [ bib ]
Poppels, T., Boyce, V., Ajunwa, C., von der Malsburg, T., and Levy, R. (2021). Bias against "she" pronouns can be rapidly overcome by changing event expectations. In Turco, G., Thiberge, G., Pozniak, C., Poppels, T., Hemforth, B., Colonna, S., and Abeillé, A., editors, Proceedings of the 27th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), Paris, France. Université de Paris. [ bib ]
Laurinavichyute, A. and von der Malsburg, T. (2021). Agreement attraction in grammatical sentences arises only in the good-enough processing mode. In Proceedings of Linguistic Illusions in Sentence Processing 2021, Konstanz, Germany. Universität Konstanz. [ bib ]
Mézière, D., Yu, L., Reichle, E., von der Malsburg, T., and McArthur, G. (2020). A comparison of three reading comprehension tests using eye movements. In Connor, C., editor, Proceedings of the Twenty-Seventh Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, Irvine, CA 92616-5999 USA. Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. [ bib ]
Parshina, O., Sekerina, I., Lopukhina, A., and von der Malsburg, T. (2020). Reading strategies in monolingual adults and children vs. bilingual heritage and l2 speakers of Russian: A scanpath analysis. In von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., and Wartenburger, I., editors, Proceedings of the 26th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), Potsdam, Germany. Universität Potsdam. [ bib ]
Thumbnail of a poster Boyce, V., von der Malsburg, T., Poppels, T., and Levy, R. (2019). Remember ‘him’, forget ‘her’: Gender bias in the comprehension of pronominal referents. In Colunga, E., Kim, A., Michaelis, L., and Narasimhan, B., editors, Proceedings of the 32th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Boulder, CO, USA. University of Colorado Boulder. [ bib | .pdf ]
Stone, K., Vasishth, S., and von der Malsburg, T. (2019). Comprehenders generate long-distance predictions during reading: Erp evidence from verb-particle constructions. In Whelpton, M., Jalbert, J., Beretta, A., Sigurjónsdóttir, S., Þórhallur Eyþórsson, Ómar Jóhannesson, Shaw, A., and Íris Edda Nowenstein, editors, Proceedings of Psycholinguistics in Iceland - Parsing and Prediction, Reykjavík, Iceland. University of Iceland. [ bib ]
Morgan, A., von der Malsburg, T., Ferreira, V., and Wittenberg, E. (2018a). This is the structure that we wonder why anyone produces it: Resumptive pronouns in English hinder comprehension. In Pickering, M., Crocker, M., Hartsuiker, R., Ferreira, V., Branagan, H., and Mishra, R., editors, Proceedings of the 1th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference - Asia, Hyderabad, Telangana, India. University of Hyderabad. [ bib ]
Morgan, A., von der Malsburg, T., Ferreira, V., and Wittenberg, E. (2018b). This is the structure that we wonder why anyone produces it: Resumptive pronouns in English hinder sentence comprehension. In California Meeting on Psycholinguistics (CAMP), Los Angeles, USA. UC Los Angeles. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T., Poppels, T., and Levy, R. (2017c). The president will give her inauguration speech: Explicit belief and implicit expectations in language production and comprehension. In Gibson, E., Blank, I., Fedorenko, E., Futrell, R., Kline, M., and Ryskin, R., editors, Proceedings of the 30th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Boston, MA, USA. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Talk on Youtube: https://youtu.be/KbmXYgqqydQ?t=14292. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T., Poppels, T., and Levy, R. (2017b). The president gave her inauguration speech. No, they didn’t! The interaction of explicit world knowledge, implicit gender stereotypes, and discourse expectations. In van Bergen, G. and Spenader, J., editors, Proceedings of Discourse Expectations: Theoretical, Experimental and Computational perspectives (DETEC 2017), Nijmegen, Netherlands. Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T., Poppels, T., and Levy, R. (2017a). The president gave her inauguration speech: Explicit belief and implicit expectations in language production and comprehension. In Baptista, M. and Coetzee, A., editors, 91th Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Society of America, Austin, Texas. Linguistic Society of America. [ bib ]
Schotter, E., Leinenger, M., and von der Malsburg, T. (2017a). Parafoveal and foveal information serve different purposes in reading: Parafoveal is used for saccade programming, foveal for comprehension. In Gibson, E., Blank, I., Fedorenko, E., Futrell, R., Kline, M., and Ryskin, R., editors, Proceedings of the 30th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Boston, MA, USA. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. [ bib ]
Schotter, L., Leinenger, M., and von der Malsburg, T. (2017b). The impact of forced fixations on word recognition: Dissociation of oculomotor behavior and linguistic processing. In Deubel, H., Nuthmann, A., Martinez-Conde, S., Radach, R., Everling, S., and Ettinger, U., editors, Proceedings of the 19th European Conference on Eye Movements (ECEM), Wuppertal, Germany. Journal of Eye Movement Research. [ bib ]
Angele, B. and von der Malsburg, T. (2016). Multiple comparisons and false positive rates in eye tracking studies of reading behaviour. In Bajo, M. T., editor, Proceedings of the International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, page 112, Granada, Spain. Psychonomic Society. [ bib ]
Schotter, L., Leinenger, M., and von der Malsburg, T. (2016). Dissociating influences of parafoveal and foveal information on reading: Forced fixations and comprehension. In Maki, R., editor, Proceedings of the 21th Conference of the Psychonomic Society, Boston, Massachusetts. Psychonomic Society. [ bib ]
Angele, B. and von der Malsburg, T. (2015b). Multiple comparisons and false positive rates in eye tracking studies of reading behavior. In Gomez, P. and Krenzer, W., editors, Proceedings of the Pre-Psychonomics Word Recognition Conference, Chicago, IL, USA. DePaul University, Chicago, DePaul University, Chicago. [ bib ]
Angele, B. and von der Malsburg, T. (2015a). False-positive rates in eyetracking studies with multiple dependent measures. In Perea, M., Vergara-Martínez, M., Rosa Martínez, E. M., Tejero, P., Roca Ruíz, J., Fajardo, I., Salmerón, L., and Abu Mallouh, R., editors, Proceedings of the 12th Symposium of Psycholinguistics, Valencia, Spain. Universitat de Valencia. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T. and Angele, B. (2015). The rules of statistics make no exception for reading research: False positive rates in eyetracking studies of reading behavior. In Gatt, A. and Mitterer, H., editors, Proceedings of the 21th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), Valetta, Malta. University of Malta. [ bib ]
Metzner, P., von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., and Rösler, F. (2014). The relationship between regressive saccades and the P600 effect: Evidence from concurrent eye movement and EEG recordings. In Patson, N., Speer, S., Squires, L., Turnbull, R., Wagner, L., and Walker, A., editors, Proceedings of the 27th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Columbus, OH, USA. Ohio State University. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., and Kliegl, R. (2013). Scanpaths in reading are tractable and informative. In Holmqvist, K., Mulvey, F., and Johansson, R., editors, Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Eye Movements (ECEM), page 132, Lund, Sweden. Journal of Eye Movement Research. [ bib ]
Pioneering work in reading research has shown that scanpaths in reading can be informative about sentences processing (Frazier, Rayner, 1982). Nevertheless, scanpaths have not gained much traction in reading research. One reason for that may have been a lack of suitable analytical tools. Here, we summarize three recent studies in which we used a new scanpath measure to analyze gaze data from two experimental studies (von der Malsburg, Vasishth, 2011, 2012) and one corpus study (von der Malsburg, Kliegl, Vasishth, under revision). The experiments investigated how readers process temporarily ambiguous sentences. We showed that readers do not always commit to one of the alternative interpretations, and that readers with low working-memory capacity do so less often. Contrary to what was reported earlier, we found that reparsing instead of targeted repair is a common strategy to recover from incorrect interpretations. Interestingly, these results did not emerge in an analysis using traditional word-based eyetracking measures showing their limitations. In the corpus study, we demonstrated how syntax, oculomotor constraints, and age of reader jointly determine the regularity of scanpaths. We argue that, taken together, these results establish the scanpath as an informative and tractable object of investigation in reading research.
Metzner, P., von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., and Rösler, F. (2013b). World-knowledge violations elicit different rhythmic brain activity in natural reading and serial presentation. In Frenck-Mestre, C., Alario, F.-X., Nguyen, N., Blache, P., and Meunier, C., editors, Proceedings of the 19th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), page 32, Marseilles, France. Aix-Marseille Université. [ bib ]
Recent studies (Dimigen et al., JEP:G, 2011; Kretzschmar et al., NeuroReport, 2009) demonstrated the feasibility of investigating fixation-related potentials (FRPs) and that the results are similar to brain potentials recorded during rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). We conducted an experiment to assess if this correspondence also holds for rhythmic brain activity. To pit our results against ults gained with RSVP, the experiment used sentences that are known to produce reliable effects both in the time domain and in the frequency domain (Hagoort, Science, 2004). Participants (N=48) read freely through true ('The Thames flows through London') and false statements ('The Hudson flows through London'). Hagoort et al. report an N400, a negative-going deflection in the ERP with a peak around 400 ms, as well as increased theta (4-7 Hz) and gamma (30-70 Hz) activity. During our experiment, participants' eye movements were monitored and their EEG was recorded from 32 electrodes and later evaluated contingent to the first fixation on the critical word. We analyzed the canonical eye-tracking measures with linear mixed-effects models and the EEG with cluster-permutation tests (Maris & Oostenveld, J Neurosci Methods, 2007) to control for multiple comparisons. As expected, we observed a negativity in the FRP with a centro-parietal distribution and a peak latency of approximately 400 ms. Also as expected, this N400 lined up with increased first fixation durations, gaze durations, and regression rates in the eye movement record (Dambacher & Kliegl, Brain Res, 2007). Crucially, fixation-related power spectra showed synchronization in the delta range (1-3 Hz) at central electrodes and desynchronization in the upper alpha range (11-13 Hz) at occipito-parietal sites relative to a pre-fixation baseline. None of these effects is reported by Hagoort et al. which suggests that fixation-related EEG changes are at least not fully comparable to those observed in RSVP. One reason for the diverging results could lie in different processing demands: In RSVP, readers must retrieve earlier parts of the sentence from working memory because they cannot make regressions. Increased theta activity reflects this more effortful memory access (Klimesch, Brain Res Rev, 1999). In natural reading, readers can easily move their eyes back to resolve the processing difficulty which facilitates memory access. Our findings question the comparability of results acquired with serial presentation vs. natural reading.
Metzner, P., von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., and Rösler, F. (2013a). Oscillatory brain dynamics differ between natural reading and serial presentation. In Holmqvist, K., Mulvey, F., and Johansson, R., editors, Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Eye Movements (ECEM), page 187, Lund, Sweden. Journal of Eye Movement Research. [ bib ]
Recent research (Dimigen et al., JEP:G, 2011; Kretzschmar et al., NeuroReport, 2009) shows that fixation-related potentials (FRPs) yield similar results as brain potentials recorded during rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). We conducted an experiment to see if this correspondence also holds for oscillatory brain dynamics. Participants (N=48) read true ("The Thames flows through London") and false factual statements ("The Hudson flows through London"). Such violations are known to elicit an N400, a negative-going deflection with a peak around 400 ms, and increased theta and gamma activity (Hagoort, Science, 2004). As expected, we see an N400 in the FRP and increased fixation durations and regression rates in the eye movement record. Moreover, a cluster-permutation test (Maris & Oostenveld, J Neurosci Methods, 2007) for fixation-related power spectra shows synchronization in the delta range (1-3 Hz) and desynchronization in the upper alpha range (11-13 Hz) but no theta or gamma effects. This is at odds with prior findings and suggests that fixation-related oscillatory EEG changes are not fully comparable to those observed in RSVP. One reason for the diverging results may lie in different processing demands: In RSVP, readers must retrieve earlier parts of the sentence from memory because they cannot make regressions.
Paape, D., Vasishth, S., and von der Malsburg, T. (2013). Local coherence and digging-in effects in german. In Ferreira, F., Almor, A., and den Ouden, D.-B., editors, Proceedings of the 26th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, page 199, Columbia, SC, USA. University of South Carolina. [ bib ]
Thumbnail of a poster von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., and Kliegl, R. (2012). Scanpaths in reading are informative about sentence processing. In Michael Carl, P. B. and Choudhary, K. K., editors, Proceedings of the First Workshop on Eye-tracking and Natural Language Processing, pages 37-53, Mumbai, India. The COLING 2012 organizing committee. [ bib | .pdf ]
von der Malsburg, T. and Vasishth, S. (2011). Strategies for dealing with attachment ambiguities in Spanish. In Proceedings of the 10th Symposium of Psycholinguistics, San Sebastián, Spain. Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T. and Vasishth, S. (2010). Reanalysis strategies in temporarily ambiguous sentence - A scanpath analysis. In Bemis, D., Brennan, J., Dikker, S., Livitz, I., Marantz, A., McElree, B., Pylkkänen, L., and Rabagliati, H., editors, Proceedings of the 23th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, page 32, New York City, NY, USA. New York University. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T., Baumann, T., and Schlangen, D. (2009). TELIDA: A package for manipulation and visualization of timed linguistic data. In Proceedings of the SIGDIAL 2009 Conference: The 10th Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue, pages 302-305, London, UK. Association for Computational Linguistics. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T. and Vasishth, S. (2009). Individual differences in scanpaths and reanalysis strategies while reading temporarily ambiguous sentences. In Liversedge, S., editor, Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Eye Movements (ECEM), Southampton, UK. Journal of Eye Movement Research. [ bib ]

Conference posters and short talksb

Laurinavichyute, A. and von der Malsburg, T. (2021). Agreement attraction in grammatical sentences arises only in the good-enough processing mode. In Trueswell, J., Dahan, D., Papafragou, A., Roberts, G., Schuler, K., Schwarz, F., and Yang, C., editors, Proceedings of the 34th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. University of Pennsylvania. [ bib ]
Mézière, D., Yu, L., Reichle, E., von der Malsburg, T., and McArthur, G. (2021c). Using eye movements to predict performance on reading comprehension tests. In Trueswell, J., Dahan, D., Papafragou, A., Roberts, G., Schuler, K., Schwarz, F., and Yang, C., editors, Proceedings of the 34th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. University of Pennsylvania. [ bib ]
Poppels, T., Boyce, V., Ajunwa, C., von der Malsburg, T., and Levy, R. (2021). Bias against “she” pronouns can be rapidly overcome by changing event expectations. In Trueswell, J., Dahan, D., Papafragou, A., Roberts, G., Schuler, K., Schwarz, F., and Yang, C., editors, Proceedings of the 34th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. University of Pennsylvania. [ bib ]
Mézière, D., Yu, L., Reichle, E., von der Malsburg, T., and McArthur, G. (2021b). Exploring recall as an ecologically-valid measure of reading comprehension. In Cain, K., Wood, C., Ricketts, J., and Wade-Woolley, L., editors, Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. [ bib ]
Mézière, D., Yu, L., Reichle, E., von der Malsburg, T., and McArthur, G. (2021a). Can eye movements be used to predict reading comprehension ability? In Turco, G., Thiberge, G., Pozniak, C., Poppels, T., Hemforth, B., Colonna, S., and Abeillé, A., editors, Proceedings of the 27th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), Paris, France. Université de Paris. [ bib ]
Bianchi, B., Loredo, R., Carden, J., Jaichenco, V., von der Malsburg, T., Shalom, D., and Kamienkowski, J. (2020). Different sources of predictions during natural reading: an EEG and eye-tracking co-registration study. Journal of Vision, 20(11):1308-1308. Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting 2020 abstract. [ bib | DOI ]
During reading our brain predicts upcoming words. If predictions are correct, words can be processed faster when they are finally fixated. It has been amply shown that Predictability (the variable that estimates the probability of guessing the next word) have an impact on how we move our eyes across the text and that it modulates brain potentials associated with word processing. On the one side, more predictable words are fixated for shorter periods of time than less predictable words. On the other side, more predictable words correspond to less N400 amplitude. This knowledge comes from separated EEG and eye movement experiments, but in the last few years, co-registration experiments enabled us to test these hypotheses together in more natural contexts. With the aim of investigating different sources of predictions during reading, in previous studies, we showed that mnemonic predictions (i.e. predictions performed purely on long term memory, like when reading a proverb or a song lyric) and predictions done purely on the linguistic context have different impact, both on gaze duration and on the N400. Here, we asked participants to read proverbs and common sentences while we recorded EEG and eye movements simultaneously. Firstly, we analysed brain activity aligned to fixation onset (fixation-related potential, FRPs) showing differences between Proverbs and Common sentences in late potentials evoked by low- and high-Predictable words. Secondly, we analysed oscillations aligned to fixation onset (fixation-related spectral perturbations, FRSPs) showing differences between sentence type only in low-frequency bands after 200ms. These results extend our knowledge of the differences between the mechanisms involved in the prediction of the following word.
Laurinavichyute, A. and von der Malsburg, T. (2020). The Lewis and Vasishth model predicts agreement and semantic attraction effects in acceptability judgments, but not in response times. In von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., and Wartenburger, I., editors, Proceedings of the 26th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), Potsdam, Germany. Universität Potsdam. [ bib ]
Mézière, D., Yu, L., Reichle, E., von der Malsburg, T., and McArthur, G. (2020). Using eye movements to index reading comprehension ability. In von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., and Wartenburger, I., editors, Proceedings of the 26th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), Potsdam, Germany. Universität Potsdam. [ bib ]
Stone, K., von der Malsburg, T., and Vasishth, S. (2020). Contextual constraint and the frontal post-N400 positivity: A large-sample, pre-registered ERP study. In Breen, M., Dillon, B., Frazier, L., Kingston, J., Momma, S., and Staub, A., editors, Proceedings of the 33th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Amherst MA, USA. University of Massachusetts, Amherst. [ bib ]
Thumbnail of a poster Boyce, V., von der Malsburg, T., Poppels, T., and Levy, R. (2019). Female gender is consistently under-expressed in pronoun production and under-inferred in comprehension. In Pancheva, R. and Iskarous, K., editors, 93th Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Society of America, New York, NY, USA. Linguistic Society of America. [ bib | .pdf ]
Language production and comprehension draw on wide-ranging knowledge and beliefs, including general world knowledge and contextually variable information. Pronominal references to role nouns with diverse gender biases provide a window into the interplay of these sources of information: violations of stereotypical gender elicit surprise (e.g., referring to a surgeon as she), but comprehenders can accommodate to non-stereotypical genders within discourse. In two experiments, we investigate how gender expectations are reflected in production and comprehension of pronominal references to role nouns. Our results indicate that female gender is consistently underused in English pronoun production, and under-inferred in English pronoun comprehension.
Thumbnail of a poster Laurinavichyute, A. and von der Malsburg, T. (2019). Agreement attraction effects in the comprehension of grammatical sentences. In Colunga, E., Kim, A., Michaelis, L., and Narasimhan, B., editors, Proceedings of the 32th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Boulder, CO, USA. University of Colorado Boulder. [ bib | .pdf ]
Thumbnail of a poster Schäfer, R., Lago, S., and von der Malsburg, T. (2019). ERP evidence of object agreement attraction in comprehension. In Colunga, E., Kim, A., Michaelis, L., and Narasimhan, B., editors, Proceedings of the 32th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Boulder, CO, USA. University of Colorado Boulder. [ bib | .pdf ]
Thumbnail of a poster Stone, K., Vasishth, S., and von der Malsburg, T. (2019). ERP evidence for long-distance lexical predictions in German particle verb constructions. In Colunga, E., Kim, A., Michaelis, L., and Narasimhan, B., editors, Proceedings of the 32th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Boulder, CO, USA. University of Colorado Boulder. [ bib | .pdf ]
Boyce, V., von der Malsburg, T., Poppels, T., and Levy, R. (2018). Implicit gender biases in the production and comprehension of pronominal references. In Ferreira, F., Henderson, J., Swaab, T., and Traxler, M., editors, Proceedings of the 31th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Davis, CA, USA. UC Davis. [ bib ]
Thumbnail of a poster Laurinavichyute, A. and von der Malsburg, T. (2018b). Semantic attraction in sentence processing. In Knoeferle, P., editor, Proceedings of the 24th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), Berlin, Germany. Humboldt Universität Berlin. [ bib | .pdf ]
Laurinavichyute, A. and von der Malsburg, T. (2018c). Semantic attraction in sentence processing. In Ferreira, F., Henderson, J., Swaab, T., and Traxler, M., editors, Proceedings of the 31th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Davis, CA, USA. UC Davis. [ bib ]
Laurinavichyute, A. and von der Malsburg, T. (2018a). Agreement attraction in grammatical sentences. In Ferreira, F., Henderson, J., Swaab, T., and Traxler, M., editors, Proceedings of the 31th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Davis, CA, USA. UC Davis. [ bib ]
Thumbnail of a poster von der Malsburg, T., Boyce, V., Poppels, T., and Levy, R. (2018). Gender-biases in language processing: Explicit beliefs about event outcomes vs. implicit linguistic expectations. In Knoeferle, P., editor, Proceedings of the 24th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), Berlin, Germany. Humboldt Universität Berlin. [ bib | .pdf ]
Thumbnail of a poster Morgan, A., von der Malsburg, T., Ferreira, V., and Wittenberg, E. (2018a). English resumptive pronouns do not help the comprehender. In Knoeferle, P., editor, Proceedings of the 24th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), Berlin, Germany. Humboldt Universität Berlin. [ bib | .pdf ]
Morgan, A., von der Malsburg, T., Ferreira, V., and Wittenberg, E. (2018b). This is the structure that we wonder why anyone produces it: Resumptive pronouns in English hinder comprehension. In Ferreira, F., Henderson, J., Swaab, T., and Traxler, M., editors, Proceedings of the 31th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Davis, CA, USA. UC Davis. [ bib ]
Thumbnail of a poster Schäfer, R., von der Malsburg, T., and Lago, S. (2018). Agreement attraction in german SOV structures: An ERP study. In Knoeferle, P., editor, Proceedings of the 24th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), Berlin, Germany. Humboldt Universität Berlin. [ bib | .pdf ]
Stone, K., Vasishth, S., and von der Malsburg, T. (2018). Expectations and prediction in sentence comprehension: German particle verbs as a test case. In Ferreira, F., Henderson, J., Swaab, T., and Traxler, M., editors, Proceedings of the 31th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Davis, CA, USA. UC Davis. [ bib ]
Morgan, A., von der Malsburg, T., Ferreira, V., and Wittenberg, E. (2017). This is the structure that we wonder why anyone produces it: Resumptive pronouns in english help production but hinder comprehension. In Gibson, E., Blank, I., Fedorenko, E., Futrell, R., Kline, M., and Ryskin, R., editors, Proceedings of the 30th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Boston, MA, USA. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. [ bib ]
Thumbnail of a poster Morgan, A., von der Malsburg, T., Ferreira, V., and Wittenberg, E. (2016). Resumptive pronouns hinder sentence comprehension in english. In Carreiras, M., Mancini, S., Molinaro, N., Davidson, D., Caffarra, S., and Martin, C., editors, Proceedings of the 22th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), page 98, Bilbao, Spain. Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language. [ bib | .pdf ]
Angele, B. and von der Malsburg, T. (2015). False positives in standard analyses of eye movements in reading. In Ansorge, U., Ditye, T., Florack, A., and Leder, H., editors, Proceedings of the 18th European Conference on Eye Movements (ECEM), Vienna, Austria. Journal of Eye Movement Research. [ bib ]
Standard analyses of eye movements in reading test a set of canonical dependent measures calculated for multiple regions. Although the resulting multiple comparisons increase the rate of false positive results, it is accepted standard practice not to correct for that. We investigated false positives rates through computer simulations and tested how much statistical power has to be sacrificed to control them. In 100.000 iterations, we generated six realistic data sets of eye movements for a hypothetical experiment with typical parameters. The true effect sizes of the manipulation ranged from 0 ms to 40 ms. Four standard measures were analyzed using linear mixed models: first fixation duration, gaze duration, go-past time, and total viewing time. In the data sets with no true effect, the rate of false positives was 12.1%, i.e. much higher than the conventionally accepted 5%. A Bonferroni correction reduced false positives to 3.2% and was therefore slightly more conservative than required. The reduction in power due to the Bonferroni correction was moderate, e.g., from 90% to 75% for effect sizes of 5 ms. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Bonferroni correction seems to be an appropriate tool for controlling false positives in reading experiments.
Thumbnail of a poster von der Malsburg, T. and Angele, B. (2015). False-positive rates in eyetracking studies with multiple dependent measures. In Kaiser, E., Mintz, T., Pancheva, R., and Zevin, J., editors, Proceedings of the 28th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Los Angeles, CA, USA. University of Southern California. [ bib | .pdf ]
von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., and Levy, R. (2015b). The impact of reading modality on sentence comprehension. In Gatt, A. and Mitterer, H., editors, Proceedings of the 21th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), Valetta, Malta. University of Malta. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T., Joseph, H., Troscianko, E., Kukkonen, K., and Nation, K. (2015a). The influence of foreshadowing metaphors in a crime story by Ian Fleming. In Gatt, A. and Mitterer, H., editors, Proceedings of the 21th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), Valetta, Malta. University of Malta. [ bib ]
Thumbnail of a poster von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., Metzner, P., and Levy, R. (2015c). How presentation modality influences reading comprehension. In Kaiser, E., Mintz, T., Pancheva, R., and Zevin, J., editors, Proceedings of the 28th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Los Angeles, CA, USA. University of Southern California. [ bib | .pdf ]
von der Malsburg, T., Metzner, P., Vasishth, S., and Rösler, F. (2014). Using co-registration of eye movements and event-related brain potentials to study the processing of anaphoric dependencies. In Patson, N., Speer, S., Squires, L., Turnbull, R., Wagner, L., and Walker, A., editors, Proceedings of the 27th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, page 187, Columbus, OH, USA. Ohio State University. [ bib ]
Metzner, P., von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., and Rösler, F. (2014b). Recovering from syntactic and semantic violations: The relationship between eye movements and brain responses. In Corley, M., Rabagliati, H., Nieuwland, M., Sturt, P., Pickering, M., and Martin, A., editors, Proceedings of the 20th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), page 101, Edinburgh, UK. University of Edinburgh. [ bib ]
Metzner, P., von der Malsburg, T., Vasishth, S., and Rösler, F. (2014a). Different coping strategies in sentence processing can be disentangled using coregistered eye movements and brain potentials. In Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Society for the Neurobiology of Language Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Society for the Neurobiology of Language. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T., Metzner, P., Vasishth, S., and Rösler, F. (2013). Co-registration of eye movements and brain potentials as a tool for research on reading and language comprehension. In Holmqvist, K., Mulvey, F., and Johansson, R., editors, Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Eye Movements (ECEM), page 462, Lund, Sweden. Journal of Eye Movement Research. [ bib ]
Recent research demonstrated the feasibility of analyzing fixation-related brain potentials (FRPs) recorded during natural reading (Kretzschmar et al., 2009; Dimigen et al., 2011). Two questions arise from these studies: (1) Are effects observed with fixation-triggered EEG signals comparable to those observed in standard RSVP designs? (2) Does the combined analysis of EEG and fixation data provide additional insights into reading and comprehension processes that are not available with either method alone? Both above-mentioned studies used material known to robustly elicit strong N400 effects. The present study (N=50) examined responses to a more subtle manipulation representative of common experimental designs: we manipulated the distance between anaphoric expressions (pronouns, verb ellipsis) and their antecedents. Differences were examined using a non-parametric Monte Carlo test (Maris & Oostenveld, 2007). Increased distance of the antecedent elicited an early frontocentral negativity in response to verb ellipses (88ms-134ms, p<0.001) and a negativity at frontocentral and parietal electrodes on the words following pronouns (98ms-186ms, p<0.001). We discuss these results in the context of earlier findings and argue that adopting FRP-methodology requires factoring in complex visuomotor contingencies that are not yet fully understood and that evoke ERP effects different from those seen in RSVP designs.
Marusch, T., von der Malsburg, T., Bastiaanse, R., and Burchert, F. (2013). Tempusmorphologie bei deutschen Agrammatikern: Die Sprachproduktion von regulären, irregulären und gemischten Verben. In Spektrum Patholinguistik, volume 6, pages 219-223, Potsdam, Germany. Universitätsverlag Potsdam. [ bib ]
Seit langem wird debattiert, wie reguläre und irreguläre Vergangenheitsformen repräsentiert und verarbeitet werden (Rumelhart & McClelland, 1986; Pinker & Prince, 1988). Das Dual- Mechanism-Modell (DMM; Pinker & Prince, 1988; Clahsen, 1999) nimmt an, dass reguläre und irreguläre Formen von zwei verschiedenen Mechanismen verarbeitet werden. Vertreter des Single-Mechanism Ansatzes gehen alternativ von einem einzigen Mechanismus aus, der sowohl der Verarbeitung von regulären als auch irregulären Verben dient.
Kobele, G., Lagrou, E., Engelmann, F., von der Malsburg, T., Musa, R., Gerth, S., van de Vijver, R., and Hale, J. (2012). Incremental processing difficulty in cross-serial and nested verb cluster. In Egidi, G., Hasson, U., Job, R., Vespignani, F., and Zamparelli, R., editors, Proceedings of the 18th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), page 150, Trento, Italy. University of Trento. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T., Kliegl, R., and Vasishth, S. (2012). Determinants of scanpath regularity in reading. In Bradley, D., Fernández, E., and Fodor, J. D., editors, Proceedings of the 25th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, page 82, New York City, NY, USA. CUNY Graduate School and University Center. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T., Kliegl, R., and Vasishth, S. (2011). A scanpath measure reveals effects of age of reader and syntactic complexity of sentences. In Vitu, F., Castet, E., and Goffart, L., editors, Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Eye Movements (ECEM), page 254, Marseilles, France. Journal of Eye Movement Research. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T. and Vasishth, S. (2011). Eye-movement strategies for dealing with garden-path sentences. In Fernald, A., Frank, M. C., Jurafsky, D., Sag, I. A., and Wasow, T., editors, Proceedings of the 24th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, pages 205-206, Stanford, CA, USA. Stanford University. [ bib ]
Vasishth, S., Drenhaus, H., and von der Malsburg, T. (2010). Integration difficulty and expectation-based syntactic comprehension. In Bemis, D., Brennan, J., Dikker, S., Livitz, I., Marantz, A., McElree, B., Pylkkänen, L., and Rabagliati, H., editors, Proceedings of the 23th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, page 111, New York City, NY, USA. New York University. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T. (2009). Choice of saccade detection algorithm has a considerable impact on eye tracking measures. In Liversedge, S., editor, Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Eye Movements (ECEM), Southampton, UK. Journal of Eye Movement Research. [ bib ]
Thumbnail of a poster von der Malsburg, T. and Vasishth, S. (2009a). Analyzing spatio-temporal patterns in eye movements: A method and software. In Traxler, M. and Swaab, T., editors, Proceedings of the 22th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Davis, CA, USA. University of California, Davis. [ bib | .pdf ]
von der Malsburg, T. and Vasishth, S. (2009b). Readers use different strategies to recover from garden-paths. In Proceedings of the Summer School on Embodied Language Games and Construction Grammar, Cortona, Italy. Evolutionary Linguistics Association. [ bib ]
Thumbnail of a poster von der Malsburg, T. and Vasishth, S. (2008). A new method for analyzing eye movements in reading that is sensitive to spatial and temporal patterns in sequences of fixations. In Gordon, P., editor, Proceedings of the 21th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, page 118, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill. [ bib | .pdf ]
Thumbnail of a poster von der Malsburg, T. and Vasishth, S. (2007). A time-sensitive similarity measure for scanpaths. In Kliegl, R. and Engbert, R., editors, Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Eye Movements (ECEM), Potsdam, Germany. Journal of Eye Movement Research. [ bib | .pdf ]

Artistic works

See this video about a sound installation I created together with sound artist Christoph Illing.

Schurer, B. and von der Malsburg, T. (2017). Automatic reading (obfuscation). In Ribas, L. and Taveira, R., editors, Proceedings of the fifth conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics and X, Lisbon, Portugal. The xCoAx 2017 organizing committee. Eye-tracking and sound installation. [ bib | .pdf ]
During reading, we rapidly construct meaning from sequences of rather cryptic symbols. A multitude of processes are involved in making meaning happen, however, most of them are conveniently tucked away from the reader’s conscious experience allowing them to read effortlessly without having to worry about any of the practicalities such as where to place the gaze next and for how long. The present work reflects on the marvelous feat that is reading. In an experiment-like situation, we create a perceptual short-circuit that unlocks the otherwise unconscious processes involved in reading. To this end, the test subject is exposed to a written libretto while a computer tracks their eye movements and translates them to sound in real time. The artistic implementation is based on parametric synthesis (“mapping”) and model-based sonification.
Illing, C. and von der Malsburg, T. (2015). Brain decomposition. Einraumhaus C/O, Mannheim, Germany. 17-26 Apr. 2015. Sound installation. [ bib | http ]
Illing, C. and von der Malsburg, T. (2014). Brain decompositions. Sound Dome of the Centre for Art and Media (ZKM), Karlsruhe, Germany. 13 Dec. 2014. Performance. [ bib | http ]
von der Malsburg, T. and Illing, C. (2014). Dem Gehirn zuhören. Wissenschaftsetage im Bildungsforum. Sound installation part of an exhibition about science in the state of Brandenburg. [ bib ]
von der Malsburg, T. and Illing, C. (2013). Decomposing electric brain potentials for audification on a matrix of speakers. In Verdicchio, M. and Carvalhais, M., editors, Proceedings of the first conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics and X, pages 305-307, Bergamo, Italy. The xCoAx 2013 organizing committee. Sound installation. [ bib | .pdf ]

Blog

Software

Scasim
An R package that implements our measure for scanpath similarity along with some tools for data prerocessing and visualization of scanpaths. The measure is described in von der Malsburg & Vasishth (JML, 2011).
Saccades
An R package for detecting saccades and fixations in raw eyetracking data. Implements the velocity-based algorithm proposed by Engbert & Kliegl (Vis Res, 2003).
edfR
An R package for reading EDF files generated by EyeLink eye-trackers.
helm-bibtex
A bibliography manager for Emacs.
TEDview
A program for visualizing discrete temporal data, e.g., events taking place in an incremental dialogue system. See von der Malsburg, Baumann, Schlangen (2009) for details.
py-span-task
A program for testing reading or operation span. Implements the recommendations given by Conway, Kane, Bunting, Hambrick, Wilhelm, & Engle (Psych Bull & Rev, 2005).