ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (9): 1372-1381.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2012.01372

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Research on Embodied Theories of Conceptual Representation

YIN Rong;QU Fang-Bing;YE Hao-Sheng   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China) (2 The Center for Mind and Brain, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China)
  • Received:2011-12-01 Online:2012-09-15 Published:2012-09-15
  • Contact: YE Hao-Sheng

Abstract: The viewpoints of embodied cognition advocate that cognition is essentially embodied and the body plays a pivotal role in an organism’s cognitive processes. Traditional symbolic–computational theories assume conceptual representation is stored as abstract symbols in semantic memory, separated from systems governing perception and action. The embodied theories of conceptual representation hold that conceptual representation is grounded in the same neural systems that govern sensation, perception and action. According this viewpoint, concepts are essentially neural recordings during perceptual and motor experiences, and these recordings can later be re–enacted as the way of conceptual processing. Recent work has focused on the emergence of perceptual phenomena in conceptual processing, the effect of body movement on conceptual processing, the embodied effect for processing abstract conception, the embodied effect for processing combined concept and modality switching costs effect. Future researches should focus on combining symbolic–computational theories and embodied theories.

Key words: embodied cognition, conceptual representation, conceptual processing, abstract concept, embodied simulation