Embodiment and Language

Authored by: Claudia Scorolli

The Routledge Handbook of Embodied Cognition

Print publication date:  May  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415623612
eBook ISBN: 9781315775845
Adobe ISBN: 9781317688662


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Embodied perspectives on concepts (e.g. Barsalou, 1999; Glenberg, 1997) emphasize that cognition is shaped by the physical properties of the world (i.e. “grounded”) in multiple ways (by simulations, or, occasionally, by bodily states); that our concepts are shaped by the physical constraints of our body (i.e. “embodied”); that cognitive processing strongly depends on current constraints and task demands (i.e. “situated”; see Pezzulo et al., 2013). Behavioral and brain-imaging studies collected in the last few years converge in indicating that seeing an object activates motor information 1 (e.g. Tucker and Ellis, 1998; Ellis and Tucker, 2000; Grèzes, Tucker, Armony, Ellis, and Passingham, 2003). Importantly the physical context, i.e. the actual possibility of reaching the object (Costantini, Ambrosini, Scorolli, and Borghi, 2011; Ambrosini, Scorolli, Borghi, and Costantini, 2012), and the social context, i.e. the presence of another agent (virtual avatar: Costantini, Committeri, and Sinigaglia, 2011; or other person: Gianelli, Scorolli, and Borghi, 2013), seem to modulate this information.

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