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Journal Article

The Three Terms Task - An open benchmark to compare human and artificial semantic representations


Hebart,  Martin N.       
Max Planck Research Group Vision and Computational Cognition, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Department of Medicine, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany;

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Borghesani, V., Armoza, J., Hebart, M. N., Bellec, P., & Brambati, S. M. (2023). The Three Terms Task - An open benchmark to compare human and artificial semantic representations. Scientific Data, 10(1): 117. doi:10.1038/s41597-023-02015-3.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-B6F0-7
Word processing entails retrieval of a unitary yet multidimensional semantic representation (e.g., a lemon’s colour, flavour, possible use) and has been investigated in both cognitive neuroscience and artificial intelligence. To enable the direct comparison of human and artificial semantic representations, and to support the use of natural language processing (NLP) for computational modelling of human understanding, a critical challenge is the development of benchmarks of appropriate size and complexity. Here we present a dataset probing semantic knowledge with a three-terms semantic associative task: which of two target words is more closely associated with a given anchor (e.g., is lemon closer to squeezer or sour?). The dataset includes both abstract and concrete nouns for a total of 10,107 triplets. For the 2,255 triplets with varying levels of agreement among NLP word embeddings, we additionally collected behavioural similarity judgments from 1,322 human raters. We hope that this openly available, large-scale dataset will be a useful benchmark for both computational and neuroscientific investigations of semantic knowledge.