Handbook of Cognitive Science

Handbook of Cognitive Science

An Embodied Approach

1st Edition - August 15, 2008

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  • Editors: Paco Calvo, Toni Gomila
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780080466163
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080914879

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The Handbook of Cognitive Science provides an overview of recent developments in cognition research, relying upon non-classical approaches. Cognition is explained as the continuous interplay between brain, body, and environment, without relying on classical notions of computations and representation to explain cognition. The handbook serves as a valuable companion for readers interested in foundational aspects of cognitive science, and neuroscience and the philosophy of mind. The handbook begins with an introduction to embodied cognitive science, and then breaks up the chapters into separate sections on conceptual issues, formal approaches, embodiment in perception and action, embodiment from an artificial perspective, embodied meaning, and emotion and consciousness. Contributors to the book represent research overviews from around the globe including the US, UK, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, France, Sweden, and the Netherlands.


Professionals, researchers, and advanced students in cognitive science, psychology, and philosophy.

Table of Contents

  • Contents


    List of Contributors

    1 Directions for an Embodied Cognitive Science: Toward an Integrated Approach

    Cognitivism in a Blind Alley

    Alternative Approaches to Cognitivism

    Post-Cognitivism in the Making: Common Ground and Conceptual Issues

    Scaling up: Higher Level Cognitive Processes


    Section I The Interactive Architecture of Cognition: Conceptual Issues

    2 Is Embodiment Necessary?


    Interactive Representation

    What Kind of Embodiment?


    3 Embodiment and Explanation

    Three Threads

    The Separability Thesis

    Beyond Flesh-Eating Functionalism

    Ada, Adder, and Odder

    A Tension Revealed

    Participant Machinery and Morphological Computation

    Quantifying Embodiment



    4 Can a Swarm be Embodied?


    Three Examples of Swarms

    Artifi cial Swarms and Strong Embodiment

    Is a Living Swarm an Embodied Entity?


    Section II Robotics and Autonomous Agents

    5 CajunBot: A Case Study in Embodied Cognition


    CajunBot and the DARPA Grand Challenge, 2005

    CajunBot Sensor Systems

    Path Planning

    Steering Control


    CajunBot Performance and Results



    6 The Dynamics of Brain–Body–Environment Systems: A Status Report


    Experimental Accomplishments

    Theoretical Accomplishments

    Outstanding Challenges

    7 The Synthetic Approach to Embodied Cognition: A Primer



    Body Dynamics and Morphology

    Information Self-Structuring

    Learning and Development

    Case Study 1: Embodied Categorization

    Case Study 2: Application of Embodied Cognition to Prosthetics

    Discussion: The Interaction of Physical and Information Processes


    8 Animate Vision, Virtual Environments, and Neural Codes

    Embodied Intelligence

    An Avatar Control System Design

    Summary: The Advantages of Embodied Cognition

    Section III Perceiving and Acting

    9 Ecological Psychology: Six Principles for an Embodied–Embedded Approach to Behavior

    Ecological Principle I: Organism–Environment Systems are the Proper Units of Analysis

    Ecological Principle II: Environmental Realities Should Be Defined at the Ecological Scale

    Ecological Principle III: Behavior Is Emergent and Self-Organized

    Ecological Principle IV: Perception and Action are Continuous and Cyclic

    Ecological Principle V: Information Is Specificational

    Ecological Principle VI: Perception Is of Affordances


    10 Seeing What We Can Do: Insights into Vision and Action Through Observations of Natural Behavior


    Methods of Assessing Visual Processes in Isolation and in Concert

    Isolating Visual Processes Within an Embodied Context

    Trade-Offs Between Gaze and Working Memory Use

    Bridging the Gap Between Laboratory Experiments and Natural Behavior

    Future Directions of Research in Embodied Visual Cognition

    11 Why We Don’t Mind to be Inconsistent


    Detecting Attributes

    Spatial Perception

    Inconsistent Action

    Combining Information

    Conscious Perception

    Section IV A Dynamic Brain

    12 Neuronal and Cortical Dynamical Mechanisms Underlying Brain Functions


    How to Build a Suitable Neuronal Model for a Psychological Experiment

    Calculating the f MRI Signal for an Example Set Shifting Model

    Response Times and Error Rates in an Example Set Shifting Task

    Summary and Back to “color phi”

    13 Dynamic Field Theory as a Framework for Understanding Embodied Cognition

    Dynamical Systems

    Dynamic Neural Fields and Peaks as Units of Representation

    Interactions Between Multiple Activation Peaks

    Preshape in Dynamic Neural Fields

    Categorical Behavior from Continuous Representations

    Embodying Dynamic Neural Fields on Autonomous Robots


    14 A Lazy Brain? Embodied Embedded Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience



    The Computational Unfeasibility of a Brain in Complete Control

    Ignorantly Successful in a User-Friendly Environment

    Generating Research Questions for Cognitive Neuroscience and Robotics


    Section V Embodied Meaning

    15 The Role of Sensory and Motor Information in Semantic Representation: A Review


    Direct Versus Indirect Engagement

    A Brief Review of the Evidence


    16 Embodied Concept Learning

    How Concepts Are Learned

    Evidence for Embodied Concepts

    Learning Basic Words/Concepts

    Learning and Using Abstract and Technical Words and Concepts


    17 Mathematics, the Ultimate Challenge to Embodiment: Truth and the Grounding of Axiomatic Systems

    Mathematics, a Real Challenge to Embodiment

    Everyday Embodied Mechanisms for Human Imagination

    Mathematical Abstraction: The Embodiment of Axioms, Sets, and Hypersets

    Everyday Abstraction: The Embodiment of Spatial Construals of Time and Their “Axioms”


    18 Embodiment for Education

    Why Education?

    Embodied Mathematics

    Embodied Reading

    PM and IM and Vocabulary Acquisition

    PM and IM in Science Exposition


    Section VI Scaling-Up

    19 How Did We Get from There to Here? An Evolutionary Perspective on Embodied Cognition


    Flexibility and Resemblance: Keys to Off-Line Embodiment?

    Future Directions

    20 Thinking with the Body: Towards Hierarchical, Scalable Cognition


    Separating Mind and Body

    The Phenomenon of Control

    Control from Body to Mind

    Integration Is Key



    21 On the Grounds of (X)-Grounded Cognition

    The Massive Redeployment Hypothesis

    Implications of MRH for X-Grounded Cognition



    Section VII Emotion and Social Interaction

    22 Understanding Others: Embodied Social Cognition

    An Embodied Approach

    Implicit Simulation or Embodied Practices


    23 Getting to the Heart of Emotions and Consciousness

    Introduction: Descriptive Foundations and Animation

    On the Distinction Between Behavior and Movement

    Concepts Emanating from Movement

    Affective Feelings

    Dynamic Congruency


Product details

  • No. of pages: 498
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 2008
  • Published: August 15, 2008
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780080466163
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080914879

About the Editors

Paco Calvo

Affiliations and Expertise

Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain

Toni Gomila

Affiliations and Expertise

Universitat Illes Balears, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

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