Alan H Kawamoto
  • Title
    • Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Psychology Department
  • Phone
    831-459-5698, 831-459-4299, 831-459-5084
  • Email
  • Fax
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Social Sciences 2, Room 373
  • Office Hours (Spring 2024) Friday 9:15-10:15 am in rm 373 ZOOM - https://ucsc.zoom.us/j/99317794410?pwd=KzNJb1VXSkdlcDlyUlBPOW5CUDhKZz09
  • Mail Stop Psychology Faculty Services
  • Courses Psych 124: Psychology of Reading

Summary of Expertise

Empirical and computer simulation approaches to the study of perceptual and cognitive processes, with a focus on psycholinguistics.

Research Interests

Alan Kawamoto's research interests are in cognitive science. The goal of his research is to understand how information is presented and processed, using computer simulations and empirical methods. The theoretical framework that motivates this research is known as parallel distributed processing, or connectionism. In parallel distributed processing, a large number of simple processing units are connected to each other in a network. The strengths of these connections are determined using various learning algorithms. Each unit has a level of activation that is determined in part by the activation it receives from the environment, from the other units in the network, and from itself. Information is processed through the transmission of a value reflecting the level of activation of a unit throughout the units in the network. The appropriate level of activation for all units in the network is determined in parallel, i.e., simultaneously.

Professor Kawamoto's current work focuses on memory in general and the lexical memory and speech production in particular. He is studying how words are recognized and pronounced in isolation or in a context (syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, or prosodic). Unambiguous as well as ambiguous words (e.g., wind and project) are being considered. Syntactic issues are also considered as they relate to the problem of accessing information from the mental lexicon.

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D., Brown University
B.S., Stanford University

Selected Publications

  • Kawamoto, A. H., Liu, Q., Mura, K. & Sanchez, A., "Articulatory preparation in the delayed naming task," Journal of Memory & Language, 2008, 58, 347-365.
  • Kawamoto, A.H., and Kello, C.T. Effect of onset cluster complexity in speeded naming: A test of rule-based approaches," Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 1999, 25, 361-375.
  • Kawamoto, A.H.; Kello, C.T.; Jones, R.; and Bame, K. Initial phoneme versus whole-word criterion to initiate pronunciation: Evidence based on response latency and initial phoneme duration. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 1998, 24, 862-885.
  • Kawamoto, A.H.; Farrar, W.T.; and Kello, C.T. When two meanings are better than one: Modeling the ambiguity advantage using a recurrent distributed network. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 1994, 20, 1233-1247.
  • Nonlinear dynamics in the resolution of lexical ambiguity: A parallel distributed processing account. Journal of Memory and Language, 1993, 32, 474-516.
  • Time-course of processing in feed-forward connectionist networks: An analysis of the exclusive-or problem. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 1993, 37, 556-74.
  • McClelland, J. L., and Kawamoto, A. H. Mechanisms of sentence processing: Assigning roles to constituents of sentences. In J. L. McClelland and D. E. Rumelhart (Eds.), Parallel Distributed Processing. Explorations in the Microstructure of Cognition. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1986.