Embodied Cognition as a Current Trend in Cognitive Psychology



The article describes one of the main trends in cognitive psychology — theoretical models associated with the phenomenon of embodied knowledge. We set shortcomings of the classical symbolic approach, the first theoretical approach established in cognitive psychology in 1950–70 years. The main branches of the new trend associated with embodied knowledge are described: grounded cognition, enactivism, phenomenological approach, neo-ecological approach, theory of dynamic systems. The first two of them are characterized in details.

General Information

Keywords: embodied cognition, embodiment, cognitive psychology, grounded cognition, enactivism, theory of perceptual symbols, indexical hypothesis

Journal rubric: General Psychology, Personality Psychology, History of Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Loginov N.I., Spiridonov V.F. Embodied Cognition as a Current Trend in Cognitive Psychology. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2017. Vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 25–42. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


Falikman M. V. Kognitivnaia nauka v XXI veke: organizm, sotsium, kul’tura [Cognitive science in the XXI century: the body, society, culture]. Psikhologicheskii zhurnal Mezhdunarodnogo universiteta prirody, obshchestva i cheloveka “Dubna” [ Psychological journal of the International University of Nature, Society and Man “Dubna” ], 2012, no. 3, pp. 31–37. (In Russian)

Wilson A., Golonka S. Embodied cognition is not what you think it is. Frontiers in Psychology, 2013, no. 4. 58 p.

Gallagher S. How the Body Shapes the Mind. New York, Oxford. University Press, 2005. 284 p.

Glenberg A., Witt J., Metcalfe J. From the Revolution to Embodiment 25 Years of Cognitive Psychology. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2013, no. 8 (5), pp. 573–585. http://doi.org/10.1177/1745691613498098

Varela F. J., Thompson E., Rosch E. The embodied mind: Cognitive science and human experience. Cambridge, MA, The MIT Press, 1991. 308 p.

Merleau-Ponty M. Fenomenologiia vospriiatiia [ Phenomenology of Perception]. Moscow, Juventa Publ., 1999. 608 p. (In Russian)

Lakoff G., Johnson M. Philosophy in the flesh: embodied mind and its challenge to Western thought. New York, Basic Books, 1999. 590 p.

Bain A. The senses and the intellect. London, Parker, 1855. 268 p.

Bain A. The emotions and the will. London, Parker, 1859. 215 p.

Ferrier D. The functions of the brain. London, Smith, Elder, 1876. 309 p.

Maudsley H. The Physiology of Mind. New York, D. Appleton, 1889. 210 p.

Ribot T. A. Psikhologiia vnimaniia [ Psychology of attention]. St. Petersburg, Public benefit, 1897. 102 p. (In Russian)

Freud Z. Tolkovanie snovidenii [ Interpretation of dreams]. Kiev, Health Publ., 1991. 383 p. (In Russian)

Pillsbury W. B. Attention. New York, Macmillan, 1908. 157 p.

Washburn M. F. Movement and mental imagery. Boston, Houghton-Mifflin, 1916. 290 p.

Jacobson E. Electrophysiology of mental activities. American Journal of Psychology, 1932, no. 44, pp. 677–694.

Max L. W. An experimental study of the motor theory of consciousness. Psychological Bulletin, 1933, no. 30, p. 714.

Max L. W. An experimental study of the motor theory of consciousness, III: Action current responses in deaf mutes during sleep, sensory stimulation and dreams. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 1935, no. 19, pp. 469–486.

Max L. W. An experimental study of the motor theory of consciousness, IV: Action — current responses in the deaf during awakening, kinesthetic imagery and abstract thinking. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 1937, no. 24, pp. 301–344.

Piaget J. Psikhologiia intellekta [ Psychology of the intellect]. St. Petersburg, Piter Publ., 2003. 192 р. (In Russian)

Bernstein N. A. Ocherki po fiziologii dvizhenii i fiziologii aktivnosti [ Essays on the physiology of movements and physiology of activity]. Moscow, Medicine Publ., 1966. 349 p. (In Russian)

Gibson D. D. Ekologicheskii podkhod k zritel’nomu vospriiatiiu [ Ecological approach to visual perception]. Мoscow, Progress Publ., 1988. 465 p. (In Russian)

Dreyfus H. Alchemy and AI, RAND Corporation. Santa-Monica, Calif., RAND Corporation, 1965. 94 p.

Dreyfus H. Chego ne mogut vychislitel’nye mashiny [ What computers can not do ]. Мoscow, Progress Publ., 1978. 310 p. (In Russian)

Wilson M. Six views of embodied cognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2002, no. 9 (4), pp. 625–636. http://doi.org/10.3758/BF03196322”

Wilson M. [Six views of embodied cognition]. Transl. N. Nagibina. Gorizonty kognitivnoi psikhologii: khrestomatiia [Horizons of Cognitive Psychology: Anthology]. Eds. V. F. Spiridonov, M. V. Falikman. Moscow, Russian State Humanitarian University — Languages of Slavic Cultures, 2012, pp. 19–28. (In Russian)

Shapiro L. Embodied cognition. New York, Routledge Publ., 2011. 237 p.

Barsalou L. W. Grounded Cognition: Past, Present, and Future. Topics in Cognitive Science, 2010, no. 2 (4), pp. 716–724. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1756-8765.2010.01115.x

Newell A., Simon H. A. Computer science as empirical enquiry. Communications of the ACM, 1976, no. 19, pp. 113–126.

Harnad S. The symbol grounding problem. Physica D, 1990, no. 42, pp. 335–346.

Searle D. Razum, mozg i programmy. Glaz razuma [ Reason, brain and programs. The eye of the mind]. Eds. D. Hofstadter, D. Dennett. Samara, Bakhrakh-M, 2003, pp. 314–331. (In Russian)

Robertson D. A., Glenberg A. M. Symbol Grounding and Meaning: A Comparison of High- Dimensional and Embodied Theories of Meaning. Journal of Memory and Language, 2000, no. 43 (3), pp. 379–401. http://doi.org/10.1006/jmla.2000.2714”

Putnam H. Razum, istina i istoriia [ Reason, truth and history]. Moscow, Praxis Publ., 2002. 296 p. (In Russian)

Landauer T. K., Dumais S. T. A solution to Plato’s Problem: The latent semantic analysis theory of acquisition, induction, and representation of knowledge. Psychological Review, 1997, no. 104, pp. 211–240.

Burgess C., Lund K. Modelling parsing constraints with high-dimensional context space. Language and Cognitive Processes, 1997, no. 12, pp. 177–210.

Barsalou L. W. Perceptual symbol systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1999, no. 22 (4), pp. 577– 660. http://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X99252144”

Lakoff D., Johnson M. Metafory, kotorymi my zhivem [ The metaphors that we live in]. Moscow, Editorial URS, 2004. 256 p. (In Russian)

Lakoff D. Zhenshchiny, ogon’ i drugie opasnye veshchi. Chto kategorii iazyka govoriat nam o myshlenii [ Women, fire and other dangerous things. What categories of language tell us about thinking]. Moscow, Languages of Slavic culture Publ., 2004. 632 p. (In Russian)

Glenberg A. M. What memory is for. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1997, no. 20, pp. 1–19.

Glenberg A. M., Robertson D. A. Indexical understanding of instructions. Discourse Processes, 1999, no. 28, pp. 1–26.

Barsalou L. W., Solomon K. O., Wu L. L. Perceptual simulation in conceptual tasks. Amsterdam studies in the theory and history of linguistic science series, 1999, no. 4, pp. 209–228.

Falikman M. V., Spiridonov V. F. Kognitivnaia psikhologiia: istoriia i sovremennost’: khrestomatiia [ Cognitive Psychology: History and Modernity: Anthology]. Moscow, Lomonosov Publ., 2011. 383 p. (In Russian)

Pecher D., Zeelenberg R., Barsalou L. W. Verifying different-modality properties for concepts produces switching costs. Psychological Science, 2003, no. 14 (2). pp. 119–124.

Kaschak M. P., Glenberg A. M. Constructing Meaning: The Role of Affordances and Grammatical Constructions in Sentence Comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language, 2000, no. 43 (3), pp. 508–529. http://doi.org/10.1006/jmla.2000.2705”

Lakoff G. The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor. Metaphor and Thoughts. New York, Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp. 202–251. http://doi.org/10.1207/s15327868ms1401_6”

Schubert T. W. Your highness: vertical positions as perceptual symbols of power. Journal of personality and social psychology, 2005, no. 89 (1), pp. 1–21.

Casasanto D. Embodiment of abstract concepts: good and bad in right- and left-handers. Journal of Experimental Psychology. General, 2009, no. 138 (3), pp. 351–367.

Glenberg A. M., Kaschak M. P. Grounding language in action. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 2002, no. 9 (3), pp. 558–565.

Klatzky R. L., Pellegrino J. W., McCloskey B. P., Doherty S. Can you squeeze a tomato? The role of motor representations in semantic sensibility judgments. Journal of Memory and Language, 1989, no. 28 (1), pp. 56–77.

Spivey M. J., Tyler M., Richardson D., Young E. Eye movements during comprehension of spoken scene descriptions. Proceedings of the 22nd annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Mahwah, New York, Lawrence Erlbaum, 2000, pp. 487–492.

Boroditsky L. Metaphoric structuring: Understanding time through spatial metaphors. Cognition, 2000, no. 75 (1), pp. 1–28.

Fincher-Kiefer R. Perceptual components of situation models. Memory & Cognition, 2001, no. 29 (2), pp. 336–343.

Martin A., Chao L. L. Semantic memory and the brain: structure and processes. Current opinion in neurobiology, 2001, no. 11 (2), pp. 194–201.

Pulvermüller F. Words in the brain’s language. Behavioral and brain sciences, 1999, no. 22 (02), pp. 253–279.

Pulvermüller F. The neuroscience of language: On brain circuits of words and serial order. New York, Cambridge University Press, 2002. 333 p.

Barsalou L. W. On staying grounded and avoiding quixotic dead ends. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 2016, no. 23 (4), pp. 1122–1142.

Stewart J., Stewart J. R., Gapenne O., Di Paolo E. A. Enaction: Toward a new paradigm for cognitive science. Cambridge, Massachusetts, The MIT Press, 2010. 464 p.

O’Regan J. K., No. A. A sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness. Behavioral and brain sciences, 2001, no. 24 (05), pp. 939–973.

No A. Action in perception. Cambridge, Massachusetts, The MIT Press, 2004. 296 p.

No A. Vision without representation. Perception, action, and consciousness: sensorimotor dynamics and two visual systems. New York, Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 245–256.

O’Regan J. K. Why red doesn’t sound like a bell: Understanding the feel of consciousness, New York, Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 223.

Kaspar K., Knig S., Schwandt J., K.nig P. The experience of new sensorimotor contingencies by sensory augmentation. Consciousness and cognition, 2014, no. 28, pp. 47–63.

Ptito M., Moesgaard S. M., Gjedde A., Kupers R. Cross-modal plasticity revealed by electrotactile stimulation of the tongue in the congenitally blind. Brain, 2005, no. 128 (3), pp. 606–614.

Auvray M., Hanneton S., O’Regan J. K. Learning to perceive with a visuo-auditory substitution system: localisation and object recognition with “The Voice”. Perception, 2007, no. 36 (3), pp. 416–430.

Deroy O., Auvray M. Reading the world through the skin and ears: a new perspective on sensory substitution. Frontiers in psychology, 2012, no. 3, p. 457.

Haigh A., Brown D. J., Meijer P., Proulx M. J. How well do you see what you hear? The acuity of visual-to-auditory sensory substitution. Frontiers in Psychology, 2013, no. 4, p. 330. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00330”

Striem-Amit E., Guendelman M., Amedi A. “Visual” acuity of the congenitally blind using visual to auditory sensory substitution. PloS one, 2012, no. 7 (3). е33136.

Maidenbaum S., Levy-Tzedek S., Chebat D. R., Amedi A. Increasing accessibility to the blind of virtual environments, using a virtual mobility aid based on the “EyeCane”: Feasibility study. PloS one, 2013, no. 8 (8). е72555.

O’Regan J. K., Block N. Discussion of J. Kevin O’Regan’s “Why Red Doesn’t Sound Like a Bell: Understanding the Feel of Consciousness”. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 2012, no. 3 (1), pp. 89–108.

Thompson E., Varela F. J. Radical embodiment: neural dynamics and consciousness. Trends in cognitive sciences, 2001, no. 5 (10), pp. 418–425.

Thompson E. Sensorimotor subjectivity and the enactive approach to experience. Phenomenology and the cognitive sciences, 2005, no. 4 (4), pp. 407–427.

Thompson E. Mind in life: Biology, phenomenology, and the sciences of mind. Cambridge, Massachusetts, The MIT Press, Harvard University Press, 2007. 568 p.

Hutto D. D., Myin E. Radicalizing Enactivism. Basic Minds without Content. Cambridge, Massachusetts, The MIT Press, 2013. 206 p. http://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9780262018548.001.0001

Chalmers D. J. Facing up to the problem of consciousness. Journal of consciousness studies, 1995, no. 2 (3), pp. 200–219.

Information About the Authors

Nikita I. Loginov, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Chair of General Psychology, Psychological Department, RANEPA, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5994-4191, e-mail: lognikita@yandex.ru

Vladimir F. Spiridonov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor Dean of Psychological Department, Head of Laboratory of Cognitive Research, Psychological Department, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5081-879X, e-mail: vfspiridonov@yandex.ru



Total: 144
Previous month: 15
Current month: 4


Total: 65
Previous month: 6
Current month: 4