Katie Twomey website

Katherine (Katie) Twomey

Lecturer

Phone: 0161 275 2576
Organisation:

University of Manchester

A bit about Katherine (Katie) Twomey

I am a Lecturer in Language and Communicative Development at the University of Manchester. I use empirical and computational methods to examine the foundations of language acquisition, with a particular interest in the effect of nonlinguistic input on early language development. Previously I worked as a Senior Research Associate at Lancaster University (UK) with Gert Westermann, and before that a postdoc in the University of Liverpool (UK) Child Language Study Centre with Ben Ambridge and Franklin Chang, where I used corpus analysis and a connectionist model of sentence production to investigate school-age children’s acquisition of the English locative construction.  I completed my PhD at the WORD Lab at the University of Sussex (UK), where I focused on toddlers’ word learning and object and action categorisation.  This research included fast mapping, familiarisation and habituation experiments and Dynamic Neural Field neural network modelling.  I also collaborate with Prof. Angelo Cangelosi (Computer Science, UoM) in using developmental robotic systems to conduct embodied word learning studies.

My Role in LuCiD

My LuCiD research looks at the effect of different sources of environmental variability on children’s early category formation and word learning, and the interaction between children’s curiosity-driven learning and their language development.

In my empirical studies I ask what children do when they form categories and learn words. I use eye-trackers in categorisation tasks with infants to discover what factors (e.g., colour variation, object/action familiarity) influence children’s object and action category formation. I also conduct word learning studies with toddlers to explore how these same aspects of the environment affect longer-term word learning.

In my computational work I ask how they do it! I use connectionist neural network models and developmental robots to examine the development over time of the cognitive processes which underlie infants’ behaviour in these empirical tasks.

LuCiD publications (41) by Katherine (Katie) Twomey

Silverstein, P., Westermann, G., Parise, E., Twomey, K. (2019). Do infants learn to follow gaze through reinforcement learning? Testing a robot prediciton. In J. Torresen & K. Dautenhahn (Eds.) Proceedings of the 9th Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robots

Horst, J., Twomey, K., Morse, A., Nurse, R., Cangelosi, A. (2019). When object colour is a red herring: Extraneous perceptual information hinders word learning via referent selection. IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems doi: 10.1109/TCDS.2019.2894507

Hilton, M., Twomey, K., Westermann, G. (2019). Taking their eye off the ball: How shyness affects children's attention during word learning. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 183, 134-145.

Ke. H., Westermann, G., & Twomey, K. E. (2018). Infants generate structured learning environments during curiosity-driven category exploration. Poster to be presented at Expanding the Field 2018: Multidisciplinary Developmental Dynamics Workshop, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Twomey, K. E. & Cangelosi A (2018). Modeling Cognitive Mechanisms in an Embodied System Paper presented at the European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Leiden, The Netherlands

Ke, H., Malem, B., Westermann, G. & Twomey, K. E. (2018). New evidence for systematicity in infants’ curiosity-driven learning. (1) Poster presented at the 2018 Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.

Ke, H., Westermann, G., & Twomey, K. E. (2018). New evidence for systematicity in infants’ curiosity-driven learning. In Eiterjoerge, S. (chair) Using Innovative Methods to Understand Infants’ Curiosity-Driven Learning. Symposium to be presented at the XXI ICIS International Conference on Infant Studies, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Twomey, K., Ma, S., Westermann, G. (2017). Extraneous visual noise facilitates word learning. Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

Twomey, K. E. & Westermann, G. (in press). (2017). Learned labels shape pre-speech infants’ object representations. Infancy.

Twomey, K. E., & Westermann, G. (in press). (2017). Curiosity-based learning in infants: A neurocomputational approach. Developmental Science.

Twomey, K. E., Ma, L., & Westermann, G. (2017). All the Right Noises: Background Variability Helps Early Word Learning Cognitive Science. https://doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12539

Keating, L. & Twomey, K. E. (2017). A closer look at the shape bias. Poster presented at the Lancaster University 2017 Christmas Conference, Lancaster, UK.

Twomey, K. E., Smith, A., Monaghan, P. & Westermann, G. (2016). Neural Network Models of Psychological Phenomena Proceedings of the 14th Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop (NCPW).

Twomey, K. E., & Westermann, G. (2016). A learned label modulates object representations in 10-month-old infants. In Papafragou, A., Grodner, D., Mirman, D., & Trueswell, J.C. (Eds.) (2016). Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.Page 10.

Loucaides, M., Twomey, K. E., and Westermann, G. (2016). The effect of labelling on infants’ object exploration. (1) Marina Loucaides, Katherine E Twomey and Gert Westermann presented this poster.

Thill, S., & Twomey, K. (2016). What’s on the inside counts: A grounded account of concept acquisition and development. Front. Psychol. (Cognition), 7, 402.

Twomey, K. E., Westermann, G., Oudeyer, P.-Y., & Yu, C. (2016). Understanding infants’ curiosity-based learning: empirical and computational approaches. Symposium presented at the XX Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies New Orleans, LA, USA.

Hilton, M., Twomey, K. E., & Westermann, G. (2016). Caregivers as experimenters: Reducing unfamiliarity helps shy children learn words. Paper presented at the XX Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, New Orleans, LA, USA.

Twomey, K. E. (2016). Book review: The Handbook of Language Emergence. First Language.

Capelier-Mourguy, A., Twomey, K. E., & Westermann, G. (2016). New light on the status of labels. Poster presented at the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Page 2 (Conference proceedings).

Loucaides, M., Twomey, K. E., & Westermann, G. (2016). The effect of labelling on infants’ object exploration. Poster presented at the 1st Lancaster Conference on Infant & Child Development, Lancaster, UK.

Twomey, K. E., Morse, A. F., Cangelosi, A., & Horst, J. S. (2016). Children’s referent selection and word learning: insights from a developmental robotic system. Interaction Studies, 17(1).

Westermann, G. & Twomey, K. E (2016). A computational model of infants’ curiosity-based learning. In Twomey, K. E., (chair) Understanding Infants’ Curiosity-Based Learning: Empirical and Computational Approaches. Symposium presented at the XX Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, New Orleans, LA, USA. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3821.5288

Twomey, K. E., Malem, B. & Westermann, G. (2016). Infants’ information seeking in a category learning task. (chair) Understanding Infants’ Curiosity-Based Learning: Empirical and Computational Approaches. Symposium presented at the XX Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, New Orleans, LA, USA.

Horst, J. S., Twomey, K. E., Morse, A., Nurse, R., & Cangelosi, A (2016). Toddlers and robots learn more object names when everything they see together is the same colour. Paper presented at the 1st Lancaster Conference on Infant & Child Development, Lancaster, UK.

Capelier-Mourguy, A., Twomey, K. E., Kovic, V. & Westermann, G. (2016). Categories with Mismatching Feature Salience and Diagnosticity: How a Label Helps Learning. Poster presented at the 15th Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop. Phliadelphia, USA.

Hilton, M., Twomey, K. E. and Westermann, G. (2016). FaceTime: Shy children’s increased attention to faces and its effect on word learning. Paper presented at the 1st Lancaster Conference on Infant & Child Development, Lancaster, UK.

Capelier-Mourguy, A., Twomey, K. E. & Westermann, G. (2016). A neurocomputational model of the effect of learned labels on infants’ object representations. Paper presented at the 38th Annual Cognitive Science Society Meeting. Philadelphia, USA.

Twomey, K. E. & Westermann, G. (2016). Learned labels shape prelinguistic infants’ object representations. Paper presented at the 1st Lancaster Conference on Infant & Child Development, Lancaster, UK. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.22396.13442

Ma, S., Twomey, K. E., & Westermann, G. (2016). The effect of background variability on referent selection in fast mapping tasks: Evidence from eye movements. Poster presented at the XX Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, New Orleans, LA, USA. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.20877.33763

Twomey, K. E., Chang, F., & Ambridge, B. (2016). Lexical distributional cues, but not situational cues, are readily used to learn abstract locative verb-structure associations. Cognition, 153, 124–139.

Twomey, K. E., Morse, A. F., Cangelosi, A., & Horst, J. S. (2016). How context affects early language acquisition: An embodied model of early referent selection and word learning. Poster presented at the 2016 IEEE ICDL-EPIROB Workshop on Language Learning, Cergy-Pontoise, France. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.26329.93282

Twomey, K. E., Smith, A., Monaghan, P. & Westermann, G. (2016). Neurocomputational Models of Cognitive Development and Processing: Proceedings of the 14th Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop (NCPW). World Scientific. Trends in Psychology and Artificial Intelligence. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Twomey, K., Westermann, G. (2015). A neural network model of curiosity-driven infant categorization. (1) Paper presented at 5th IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics Brown University, Rhode Island, USA.

Twomey, K. E., & Westermann, G. (2015). A neural network model of curiosity-driven infant categorization. Paper presented at the Fifth Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics, Brown University, USA.

Frost, R., Twomey, K. E., Taylor, G., Westermann, G. and Monaghan P. (2015). Word for word. Nursery World Magazine, 27 July, 21-23

Twomey, K. E., & Westermann, G. (2015). Curiosity optimises learning in a simulated infant categorisation task. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Developmental and Social Section Annual Conference, Manchester, UK.

Ambridge, B., Bidgood, A., Twomey, K. E., Pine, J. M., Rowland, C. F. & Freudenthal, D. (2015). Preemption versus Entrenchment: Towards a construction-general solution to the problem of the retreat from verb argument structure overgeneralization. PLoS ONE, 10 (4): e0123723.

Twomey, K., Morse, A., Cangelosi, A., Horst, J. (2014). Competition affects word learning in a developmental robotic system. In G. Westermann, P. Monaghan, K. E. Twomey & A. Smith (Eds.), Proceedings of the 14th Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop (NCPW14). World Scientific.

Westermann, G. and Twomey, K. (2014). Some thoughts on curiosity in infants and neural network models. Paper presented at the 1st Interdisciplinary Symposium on Information-Seeking, Curiosity and Attention (Neurocuriosity 2014). Bordeaux, France

A. Capelier-Mourguy, Katherine Twomey and Gert Westermann. (2010). Where's my label?! Studying how a missing label and other missing features are perceived. A. Capelier-Mourguy, Katherine Twomey and Gert Westermann presented this poster.

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