Sunday 18 March 2012

A field spotter's guide to embodied cognition

This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.orgI've spent quite a bit of time lately on the blog and Twitter talking about what embodied cognition is not. For example, it's not about moving through time (Miles et al, 2010), and it's not about leaning to the left (Eerland, Guadalupe & Zwaan, 2011). It is about finding new solutions to old problems by expanding the resources available to a perceiving-acting organism; for instance, allowing it to move so as to produce useful information, as in the outfielder problem (e.g. McBeath et al, 1995). Embodiment produces radically different solutions - for instance, instead of Asimo, you get Big Dog.

We still get asked about various new studies coming through; what about 'enclothed cognition' (Adam & Galinsky, 2012), is it embodied? (No). It occurred to me that it might be useful to lay out how I know when something isn't embodied cognition (the easy thing to spot) and when it is (a little harder).