Few Believe the World Is Flat: How Embodiment Is Changing the Scientific Understanding of Cognition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Science has changed many of our dearly held and commonsensical (but incorrect) beliefs. For example, few still believe the world is flat, and few still believe the sun orbits the earth. Few still believe humans are unrelated to the rest of the animal kingdom, and soon few will believe human thinking is computer-like. Instead, as with all animals, our thoughts are based on bodily experiences, and our thoughts and behaviors are controlled by bodily and neural systems of perception, action, and emotion interacting with the physical and social environments. We are embodied; nothing more. Embodied cognition is about cognition formatted in sensorimotor experience, and sensorimotor systems make those thoughts dynamic. Even processes that seem abstract, such as language comprehension and goal understanding, are embodied. Thus, embodied cognition is not limited to 1 type of thought or another: It is cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume69
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

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Cognition
Social Environment
Orbit
Solar System
Emotions
Language

Keywords

  • cognitive neuroscience
  • embodied cognition
  • goals
  • language
  • perception and action

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

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abstract = "Science has changed many of our dearly held and commonsensical (but incorrect) beliefs. For example, few still believe the world is flat, and few still believe the sun orbits the earth. Few still believe humans are unrelated to the rest of the animal kingdom, and soon few will believe human thinking is computer-like. Instead, as with all animals, our thoughts are based on bodily experiences, and our thoughts and behaviors are controlled by bodily and neural systems of perception, action, and emotion interacting with the physical and social environments. We are embodied; nothing more. Embodied cognition is about cognition formatted in sensorimotor experience, and sensorimotor systems make those thoughts dynamic. Even processes that seem abstract, such as language comprehension and goal understanding, are embodied. Thus, embodied cognition is not limited to 1 type of thought or another: It is cognition.",
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