Cognitive scientists have a variety of approaches to studying cognition: experimental psychology, computer science, robotics, neuroscience, educational psychology, philosophy of mind, and psycholinguistics, to name but a few. In addition, they also differ in their approaches to cognition - some of them consider that the mind works basically like a computer, involving programs composed of abstract, amodal, and arbitrary symbols. Others claim that cognition is embodied - that is, symbols must be grounded on perceptual, motoric, and emotional experience. The existence (...) of such different approaches has consequences when dealing with practical issues such as understanding brain disorders, designing artificial intelligence programs and robots, improving psychotherapy, or designing instructional programs. The symbolist and embodiment camps seldom engage in any kind of debate to clarify their differences. This book is the first attempt to do so. It brings together a team of outstanding scientists, adopting symbolist and embodied viewpoints, in an attempt to understand how the mind works and the nature of linguistic meaning. As well as being interdisciplinary, all authors have made an attempt to find solutions to substantial issues beyond specific vocabularies and techniques. (shrink)
This second volume in the Counterpoints Series focuses on alternative models of visual-spatial processing in human cognition. The editors provide a historical and theoretical introduction and offer ideas about directions and new research designs.
It has been proposed that processing sentential negation recruits the neural network of inhibitory control. In addition, inhibition mechanisms also play a role in switching languages for bilinguals. Since both processes may share inhibitory resources, the current study explored for the first time whether and how language-switching influences the processing of negation. To this end, two groups of Spanish-English bilinguals participated in an encoding-verification memory task. They read short stories involving the same two protagonists, referring to their activities in four (...) different scenarios in Spanish or English. Following each story, the participants received verification questions requiring “yes” or “no” responses depending on whether a given fact was correctly referred to one of the protagonists. Some of the verification questions were in the story’s original language and others in the alternate language. Results revealed that language-switching facilitated negative responses compared to affirmative responses, exclusively for questions switching from dominant language to non-dominant language. This effect might reflect that the domain-general mechanisms of inhibitory control are recruited at least partially for both language switch and negation process simultaneously, although this phenomenon is modulated by language dominance. (shrink)
(1) Non-projectable properties as opposed to the clamping of projectable properties play a primary role in triggering and guiding human action. (2) Embodiment in language-mediated memories should be qualified: (a) Language imposes a radical discretization on body constraints (second-order embodiment). (b) Metaphors rely on second-order embodiment. (c) Language users sometimes suspend embodiment.
The embodiment approach has shown that motor neural networks are involved in the processing of action verbs. There is developmental evidence that embodied effects on verb processing are already present in early years. Yet, the ontogenetic origin of this motor reuse in action verbs remains unknown. This longitudinal study investigates the co-occurrence of manual verbs and actions during mother-child daily routines when children were 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 years old. Eight mother-child dyads were video-recorded in 3-month intervals (...) across 12 months, and the timing of verbs and manual actions were coded by independent observers. Results showed that the probability of matched verb-action co-occurrences were much higher than that of random co-occurrences for Group 1 and Group 2, respectively. The distributions of the verb-action temporal intervals in both groups were quite symmetrical and skewed with the peak corresponding to both 0.00 s synchronic intervals and the shortest +5 s interval. Mother-led instances occurred in both groups whereas child-led instances were restricted to Group 2. Mothers pragmatically aligned their verbal productions, since they repeatedly used those verbs they shared with their children’s repertoire. In conclusion, the early multisensory communicative and manipulative scene affords grounding of verb meanings on the ongoing actions, facilitating verb-action pairing in the realm of social interactions, providing a new dimension to the prevailing solipsistic approach to embodiment. (shrink)