Jashn Arora


Neural Language Taskonomy: Which NLP Tasks are the most Predictive of fMRI Brain Activity?
Subba Reddy Oota | Jashn Arora | Veeral Agarwal | Mounika Marreddy | Manish Gupta | Bapi Surampudi
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Several popular Transformer based language models have been found to be successful for text-driven brain encoding. However, existing literature leverages only pretrained text Transformer models and has not explored the efficacy of task-specific learned Transformer representations. In this work, we explore transfer learning from representations learned for ten popular natural language processing tasks (two syntactic and eight semantic) for predicting brain responses from two diverse datasets: Pereira (subjects reading sentences from paragraphs) and Narratives (subjects listening to the spoken stories). Encoding models based on task features are used to predict activity in different regions across the whole brain. Features from coreference resolution, NER, and shallow syntax parsing explain greater variance for the reading activity. On the other hand, for the listening activity, tasks such as paraphrase generation, summarization, and natural language inference show better encoding performance. Experiments across all 10 task representations provide the following cognitive insights: (i) language left hemisphere has higher predictive brain activity versus language right hemisphere, (ii) posterior medial cortex, temporo-parieto-occipital junction, dorsal frontal lobe have higher correlation versus early auditory and auditory association cortex, (iii) syntactic and semantic tasks display a good predictive performance across brain regions for reading and listening stimuli resp.

Multi-view and Cross-view Brain Decoding
Subba Reddy Oota | Jashn Arora | Manish Gupta | Raju S. Bapi
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Can we build multi-view decoders that can decode concepts from brain recordings corresponding to any view (picture, sentence, word cloud) of stimuli? Can we build a system that can use brain recordings to automatically describe what a subject is watching using keywords or sentences? How about a system that can automatically extract important keywords from sentences that a subject is reading? Previous brain decoding efforts have focused only on single view analysis and hence cannot help us build such systems. As a first step toward building such systems, inspired by Natural Language Processing literature on multi-lingual and cross-lingual modeling, we propose two novel brain decoding setups: (1) multi-view decoding (MVD) and (2) cross-view decoding (CVD). In MVD, the goal is to build an MV decoder that can take brain recordings for any view as input and predict the concept. In CVD, the goal is to train a model which takes brain recordings for one view as input and decodes a semantic vector representation of another view. Specifically, we study practically useful CVD tasks like image captioning, image tagging, keyword extraction, and sentence formation. Our extensive experiments lead to MVD models with ~0.68 average pairwise accuracy across view pairs, and also CVD models with ~0.8 average pairwise accuracy across tasks. Analysis of the contribution of different brain networks reveals exciting cognitive insights: (1) Models trained on picture or sentence view of stimuli are better MV decoders than a model trained on word cloud view. (2) Our extensive analysis across 9 broad regions, 11 language sub-regions and 16 visual sub-regions of the brain help us localize, for the first time, the parts of the brain involved in cross-view tasks like image captioning, image tagging, sentence formation and keyword extraction. We make the code publicly available.

Visio-Linguistic Brain Encoding
Subba Reddy Oota | Jashn Arora | Vijay Rowtula | Manish Gupta | Raju S. Bapi
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Brain encoding aims at reconstructing fMRI brain activity given a stimulus. There exists a plethora of neural encoding models which study brain encoding for single mode stimuli: visual (pretrained CNNs) or text (pretrained language models). Few recent papers have also obtained separate visual and text representation models and performed late-fusion using simple heuristics. However, previous work has failed to explore the co-attentive multi-modal modeling for visual and text reasoning. In this paper, we systematically explore the efficacy of image and multi-modal Transformers for brain encoding. Extensive experiments on two popular datasets, BOLD5000 and Pereira, provide the following insights. (1) We find that VisualBERT, a multi-modal Transformer, significantly outperforms previously proposed single-mode CNNs, image Transformers as well as other previously proposed multi-modal models, thereby establishing new state-of-the-art. (2) The regions such as LPTG, LMTG, LIFG, and STS which have dual functionalities for language and vision, have higher correlation with multi-modal models which reinforces the fact that these models are good at mimicing the human brain behavior. (3) The supremacy of visio-linguistic models raises the question of whether the responses elicited in the visual regions are affected implicitly by linguistic processing even when passively viewing images. Future fMRI tasks can verify this computational insight in an appropriate experimental setting. We make our code publicly available.