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Clarifying Embodied Cognition: SimulationTheories of Shared Neural Mechanisms used Sensorimotor and Cognitive Processes
University of Skövde, Sweden.
University of Skövde, Sweden.
University of Skövde, Sweden.
2007 (English)In: Original published in: Body, Language and Mind, Vol. 1: Embodiment / [ed] Tom Ziemke, Jordan Zlatev, Roslyn M. Frank, Mouton de Gruyter , 2007Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Although an increasing number of cognitive scientists are convinced that cognition is embodied, there still is relatively little agreement on what exactly that means. Notions of what it actually means for a cognizer to be embodied range from simplistic ones such as ‘being physical’ or ‘interacting with an environment’ to more demanding ones that consider aparticular morphology or a living body prerequisites for embodied cognition. Based on experimental evidence from a range of disciplines, we argue that one of the keys to understanding the embodiment of cognition is the sharing of neural mechanisms between sensorimotor processes and higher-level cognitive processes. The latter are argued to be embodied in the sense that they make use of (partial) simulations or emulations of sensorimotor processes through the re-activation of neural circuitry also active in bodily perception and action.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Mouton de Gruyter , 2007.
Keyword [en]
Action, embodied cognition, gesture, intersubjectivity, language, mirror neurons, perception, simulation theories
National Category
Social Sciences Interaction Technologies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-99979OAI: diva2:659174

Minor and cosmetic changes to title and text have been introduced in this version the request of De Gruyter Mounton for bibliographical reasons. ISBN: 978-3-11-019327-5

Available from: 2013-10-24 Created: 2013-10-24 Last updated: 2013-11-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Simulations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simulations
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is concerned with explanations of embodied cognition as internal simulation. The hypothesis is that several cognitive processes can be explained in terms of predictive chains of simulated perceptions and actions.

In other words, perceptions and actions are reactivated internally by the nervous system to be used in cognitive phenomena such as mental imagery.

This thesis contributes by advancing the theoretical foundations of simulations and the empirical grounds on which they are based, including a review of the empiricial evidence for the existence of simulated perceptions and actions in cognition, a clarification of the representational function of simulations in cognition, as well as identifying implicit, bodily and environmental anticipation as key mechanisms underlying such simulations. The thesis also develops the ³inception of simulation² hypothesis, which suggests that dreaming has a function in the development of simulations by forming associations between experienced, non-experienced but realistic, and even unrealistic perceptions during early childhood. The thesis further investigates some aspects of simulations and the ³inception of simulation² hypothesis by using simulated robot models based on echo state networks. These experiments suggest that it is possible for a simple robot to develop internal simulations by associating simulated perceptions and actions, and that dream-like experiences can be beneficial for the development of such simulations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 64 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1551
National Category
Engineering and Technology
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-98050 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-98050 (DOI)978-91-7519-491-2 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-11-21, G110, hus G, Högskolan i Skövde, Skövde, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2013-10-21 Created: 2013-09-26 Last updated: 2013-11-26Bibliographically approved

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