Gesture in Reasoning

An embodied perspective

Authored by: Martha W. Alibali , Rebecca Boncoddo , Autumn B. Hostetter

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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Theories of embodied cognition claim that cognitive processes are rooted in interactions of the human body with the physical world. The core idea is that cognition depends on the specifics of the body and its actual or possible actions in the world. This embodied perspective is the basis for a diverse set of theoretical positions and specific claims regarding perception, cognition, and language (Anderson, 2003; Shapiro, 2011; Wilson, 2002). In this chapter, we take an embodied perspective on reasoning, which we define as cognitive processing in service of inference, judgment, or solving problems. We review research relevant to two central claims of the embodied cognition perspective: (1) reasoning is based in perception and action; and (2) reasoning is grounded in the physical environment.

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