Arthur Samuel, Ph.D.


Office: Psychology A-240
Phone: (631) 632-7792


University of California, San Diego (1979)
Professor, Cognitive Science

Research Interests:

Spoken word recognition, language comprehension, visual attention, speech perception, encoding of information.

Current Research:

My work is primarily concerned with how humans process incoming information, involving its perception, comprehension, and encoding into memory. Most of the work in my lab focuses on the perception of spoken language: How do humans decode the complex acoustic signal, and recognize spoken words?

These issues can be approached in many ways, at several levels. The work in our lab has used many different methodologies, and looked at the problem from both a "bottom-up" and a "top-down" perspective. We have maintained an ongoing research effort aimed at clarifying the early types of representations used for the speech signal, and have been able to identify at least three qualitatively different levels of representation. The most concentrated effort in our lab in recent years has been on studying the recognition of spoken words. Within this domain, two recurring interests have been (1) what is the organization of the word recognition system -- in particular, are there top-down influences from this lexical level to lower, perhaps phonemic representations?, and (2) What is the role of TIME in perceptual processing -- how do the activation levels of representations at various levels rise and fall over time?

Two other topics have repeatedly appeared in the work from our lab. First, we have consistently tried to determine the generality of the perceptual principles and processes that we study. In most cases, we have found that the same principles and processes operate in nonlinguistic domains (such as music perception) -- speech is just one type of complex acoustic signal that the system can operate on. Second, we have repeatedly found that it is necessary to understand the operation of attention, in order to understand the complete pattern of results in any study. Thus, we have examined the role of attention in the perception of speech. We have also been examining attentional principles, in the visual domain. This effort reflects the general approach taken here: In order to study any complex stimulus domain, it will be important to study many cognitive processes, including attention, perception, and encoding of the information in memory.

Representative Publications: 


Larraza, S., Samuel, A.G., & Oñederra, M.L.  (2016). Listening to accented speech in a second language: First language and age of acquisition effects. Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 42, 1774-1797.

Larraza, S., Samuel, A.G., & Oñederra, M.L.  (2017). Where do dialectal effects on speech processing come from? Evidence from a cross-dialect investigation. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70, 92-108.

Zheng, Y., & Samuel, A.G. (2017). Does seeing an Asian face make speech sound more accented?  Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 79, 1841-1859.

Martin, A.E, Monahan, P.J, & Samuel, & A.G. (2016). Prediction of agreement and phonetic overlap shape sublexical identification. Language and Speech, in press.

Samuel, A.G. (2016). Commentary on “Sentential Influences on Acoustic-Phonetic Processing: A Granger Causality Analysis of Multimodal Imaging Data”.  Language and Cognitive Neuroscience, 31,864-868.

Baese-Berk, M., & Samuel, A.G. (2016). Listeners beware: Speech production may be bad for learning speech sounds. Journal of Memory and Language, 89, 23-36.

Samuel, A.G. (2016).  Lexical representations are malleable for about one second: Evidence for the non-automaticity of perceptual recalibration. Cognitive Psychology, 88, 88-114.

Ishida, M., Samuel, A.G., & Arai, T. (2016).  Some people are “more lexical” than others. Cognition151, 68-75.

Baart, M., & Samuel, A.G. (2015).  Early processing of auditory lexical predictions revealed by ERPs.  Neuroscience Letters, 585, 98-102.

Zhang, X., & Samuel, A.G. (2015). The activation of embedded words in spoken word recognition.  Journal of Memory and Language, 79-80, 53-75.

Samuel, A.G., & Larraza, S. (2015). Does listening to non-native speech impair native speech perception? Journal of Memory and Language, 81, 51-71.

Baart, M., & Samuel, A.G. (2015).  Turning a blind eye to the lexicon: Electrophysiological evidence for independent processing of lip-read and lexical context during speech sound processing. Journal of Memory and Language, 85, 42-59.

Gwilliams, L., Monahan, P., Samuel, A.G. (2015). Sensitivity to the morphological composition in spoken word recognition: Evidence from grammatical and lexical identification tasks.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 41, 1663-1674.

Samuel, A.G., & Frost, R. (2015). Lexical support for phonetic perception during non-native spoken word recognition. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 22, 1746-1752.

Samuel, A.G., & Lieblich, J. (2014). Visual speech acts differently than lexical context in supporting speech perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and  Performance, 40, 1479-1490.

Hu, K.H., Zhan, J., Li, B., He, S., & Samuel, A.G. (2014). Multiple cueing dissociates location- and feature-based repetition effects. Vision Research, 101, 73-81.

Urizar, X., & Samuel, A.G. (2014).  A corpus-based study of fillers among native Basque speakers and the role of Zera. Language and Speech, 57, 338-366.

 Mattys, S.L., Barden, K., & Samuel, A.G. (2014). Extrinsic cognitive load impairs low-level speech Perception. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 21(3), 748-754.

Zhang, X., & Samuel, A.G. (2014). Perceptual learning of speech under optimal and adverse conditions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40, 200-217.

Pufahl, A., & Samuel, A.G. (2014). How lexical is the lexicon? Evidence for integrated auditory memory representations.  Cognitive Psychology, 70, 1-30.

Hu, F.K., Fan, Z., Samuel, A.G., & He, S-C. (2013).  Effects of display size on location and feature inhibition.  Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 75, 1619-1632.

Samuel, A.G. (2013).  Speech perception.  In H. Pashler (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Mind.  SAGE Publications.

Samuel, A.G., & Sumner, M.  (2012).  Current directions in research on spoken word recognition.  In M.Spivey, M. Joanisse, & K. McRae (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Psycholinguistics.  New York: Cambridge University Press.

Gregg, M.K., & Samuel, A.G. (2012).  Feature assignment in perception of auditory figure.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38, 998-1013.

Zhang, X., Samuel, A.G., & Liu, S. (2012). The perception and representation of segmental and prosodic Mandarin contrasts in native speakers of Cantonese. Journal of Memory and Language,66, 438-457.

Kraljic, T., & Samuel, A.G. (2011).  Perceptual learning evidence for contextually-specific representations.  Cognition, 121, 459-465.

Hu, F.K.,  & Samuel, A.G. (2011). Facilitation versus inhibition in non-spatial attribute discrimination tasks.  Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 73, 784-796.

Harris, A.C., & Samuel, A.G.  (2011). Perception of exuberant exponence in Batsbi:  Functional or incidental?  Language, 87, 447-469.

Samuel, A.G. (2011).  Speech perception.  Annual Review of Psychology, vol 62.

Samuel, A.G. (2011).  The lexicon and phonetic categories: Change is bad, change is necessary.  In M.G. Gaskell & P. Zwitserlood (Eds.), Lexical Representation: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Galati, A., & Samuel, A.G. (2011).  The role of speech-gesture congruency and delay in remembering action events.  Language and Cognitive Processes, 26, 406-436.

Hu, F.K., Samuel, A.G., & Chan, A.S. (2011). Eliminating inhibition of return by changing salient non-spatial attributes in a complex environment.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 140, 35-50.

Current Research Support:

1. Principal Investigator, Ministerio de Ciencia E Innovacion, 2015-2017 “Lexical Activation of Words Within Other Words”

2. Co-P.I., NSF IBSS Grant, 2015-2018, “Communication in the Global University: Longitudinal Study of Language Adaptation at Multiple Timescales in Native- and Non-Native Speakers.

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