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Embodied cognition: Your body's processing (Be careful about what you and your body hear)

Posted Feb 02 2010 12:00am

BrainSearchingSpaceCR_72dpi Embodied cognition has recently been enjoying much attention. Now The New York Times has just published an article on the topic, so it has definitely entered the mainstream of thought. I bet we will be hearing a lot more about embodied cognition—and that, as typically happens when research enters the mainstream, assertions will be made beyond what the research supports. Practice caution with what you hear and read.

From "Abstract Thoughts? The Body Takes Them Literally":

“How we process information is related not just to our brains but to our entire body,” said Nils B. Jostmann of the University of Amsterdam. “We use every system available to us to come to a conclusion and make sense of what’s going on.”

Research in embodied cognition has revealed that the body takes language to heart and can be awfully literal-minded.

The Times article surveys several of the same studies linked to from my post We think with more than just our minds: Conflict reaches clear down to our toes. From that post:

A negotiation is so much more than minds and brains interacting with each other. Our bodies are an integral part of any conflict resolution and not just to hold up our heads that house our brains. Whole people are in the room and the conflict goes from head to toe. Our cognition is embodied.

Other posts of mine about embodied cognition:

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