Robert F. Port

Professional Information

  B.A., Social Relations, Johns Hopkins University, 1965
M.A, Linguistics, Columbia University, 1972
Ph.D., University of Connecticut, 1976. My thesis work was conducted at Haskins Laboratories , New Haven, Connecticut.

Personal Information

My wife Diane Kewley-Port and I were on sabbatical for academic year 1995-1996 and spent 5 months at ATR Labs, Human Information Processing (Kyoto Prefecture, Japan). We lived only three miles from the awesome 16 meter high (from knees to curly head) Daibutsu (Great Buddha) of Nara completed in 751 AD.

Afro Hoosier Intl.
A band playing popular music from Africa and the African diaspora. The band was founded in 1999 and plays weddings, parties, festivals and clubs that emphasize local music in Bloomington and central Indiana.  At our webpage you can sign up for email notices of our upcoming gigs.

Research Topics

The primary focus of my work is problem of time and temporal patterns. Temporal patterns are a major problem for cognitive science since conventional symbolic models deal naturally only with static systems or with patterns specifiable in absolute durations (like milliseconds). 

Thus my research focusses on auditory pattern perception, speech and linguistics. I have addressed such topics as the temporal structure of words and phrases in English, Japanese, German, Arabic, etc. I am convinced that only models based on dynamical systems offer the right properties for handling time in a way that will be useful for an animal living in a physical world. Some kinds of connectionist models and other models based on differential equations have the right kind of dynamical properties.

This work is compatible with a view of general cognition that is based on dynamical systems theory rather than symbol-based computational models.

November, 2010