Archive for September 22nd, 2014

September 22, 2014

Embodied Cognition

Image schema

Embodied Cognition is a theory stating that the nature of the human mind is largely determined by the form of the human body. Philosophers, psychologists, cognitive scientists, and artificial intelligence researchers who study the ’embodied mind’ argue that all aspects of cognition are shaped by the body, such as high level mental constructs (e.g. concepts, categories) and performance on various intellectual tasks (e.g. reasoning, judgment). These mental processes are limited by physical ones, such as the motor and perceptual systems, the body’s interactions with the environment (situatedness), and the ontological assumptions about the world that are built into the body and the brain.

In social psychology, embodiment is relevant to studies of social interaction and decision-making. According to embodied cognition, the motor system influences our cognition, just as the mind influences bodily actions. For example, when participants hold a pencil in their teeth engaging the muscles of a smile, they comprehend pleasant sentences faster than unpleasant ones, while holding a pencil between their nose and upper lip to engage the muscles of a frown has the reverse effect.

read more »