Prof. Dr. Irene Mittelberg
Summer term 2012
Research colloquium

The Exbodied Mind: Motion in Cognition and Communication Research

According to the theory of the embodied mind, the ways we are able to interact with our physical and social environment essentially shape how we think, perceive, and communicate. That is, our higher cognitive and language capabilities are grounded in how we are embodied, in the architecture of our bodies and how we can interact with our world. Although proposed by early philosophers and psychologists, the modern version of this theory has only relatively recently (in the past 20 years) taken cognitive science research by storm, challenging more traditional theories, especially Cartesian approaches, which viewed intelligence as predominantly abstract and disembodied. Turning these embodied mind premises inside out, the focus of the colloquium will be to ask how patterns of our bodily actions, such as communicative gestures, might give insights into human cognition and language.