Dr. Leila Wehbe, Carnegie Mellon University
April 5, 2024
9:00 am
Foster Auditorium, Pattee and Paterno Library

Dr. Leila Wehbe, Carnegie Mellon University

“Capturing Language Representations in the Human Brain with Language Models”

Leila Wehbe, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
Department of Psychology

It has become increasingly common to use representations extracted from modern language models to study language comprehension in the human brain. This approach often achieves accurate prediction of brain activity, often accounting for almost all the variance in the recordings that is not attributable to noise. However, better prediction performance doesn't always lead to better scientific interpretability. This talk presents some approaches for the difficult problem of making scientific inferences about how the brain represents high-level meaning. While these inferences are based on the powerful ability of today's language models to predict brain recordings, this talk also explores the limitations of these models and their divergence from brain activity recordings, suggesting some language phenomena that they process differently than humans.