In this conceptual analysis contribution to the special issue on radical embodied cognition, we discuss how embodied cognition can exist with and without representations. We explore this concept through the lens of judgment and decision making in sports (JDMS). Embodied cognition has featured in many investigations of human behavior, but no single approach has emerged. Indeed, the very definitions of the concepts “embodiment” and “cognition” lack consensus, and consequently the degree of “radicalism” is not universally defined, either. In this paper (...) we address JDMS not from a rigid theoretical perspective, but from two embodied cognition approaches: one that assumes there is mediation between the athlete and the environment through mental representation, and another that assumes direct contact between the athlete and the environment and thus no need for mental representation. Importantly, our aim was not to arrive at a theoretical consensus or set up a competition between approaches, but rather to provide a legitimate scientific discussion about how to explain empirical results in JDMS from contrasting perspectives within embodied cognition. For this, we first outline the definitions and constructs of embodied cognition in JDMS. Second, we detail the theory underlying the mental representation and direct contact approaches. Third, we comment on two published research papers on JDMS, one selected by each of us: (1) Correia et al. (2012) and (2) Pizzera (2012). Fourth, following the interpretation of the empirical findings of these papers, we present a discussion on the commonalities and divergences of these two perspectives and the consequences of using one or the other approach in the study of JDMS. (shrink)
Human motor skills are exceptional compared to other species, no less than their cognitive skills. In this perspective paper, we suggest that “movement matters!,” implying that motor development is a crucial driving force of cognitive development, much more impactful than previously acknowledged. Thus, we argue that to fully understand and explain developmental changes, it is necessary to consider the interaction of motor and cognitive skills. We exemplify this argument by introducing the concept of “embodied planning,” which takes an embodied cognition (...) perspective on planning development throughout childhood. From this integrated, comprehensive framework, we present a novel climbing paradigm as the ideal testbed to explore the development of embodied planning in childhood and across the lifespan. Finally, we outline future research directions and discuss practical applications of the work on developmental embodied planning for robotics, sports, and education. (shrink)
Embodied cognition postulates a bi-directional link between the human body and its cognitive functions. Whether this holds for higher cognitive functions such as problem solving is unknown. We predicted that arm movement manipulations performed by the participants could affect the problem-solving solutions. We tested this prediction in quantitative reasoning tasks that allowed two solutions to each problem. In two studies with healthy adults, we found an effect of problem-congruent movements on problem solutions. Consistent with embodied cognition, sensorimotor information gained via (...) right or left arm movements affects the solution in different types of problem-solving tasks. (shrink)
Research in sport pedagogy and its applied recommendations are still characterized by a contrast between the different learning theories from psychology. Traditional theories and their corresponding approaches to the specific case of teaching and learning “how to play [team sports like soccer]” are subject to compatibilities and incompatibilities. We discuss how behaviorism as an approach to teaching the game shows more incompatibilities with the nature of tactical actions when compared to constructivism. As coaches strive to teach the game and make (...) their players and team perform, we argue that teaching the game requires teaching approaches that will help develop their way to play without taking away their autonomy and adaptiveness. The teaching-learning-training process for playing the game should then be conducted to harmonize the characteristics of the contents, the context, and the individual at hand. We provide two illustrated examples and portray how the recommended approaches fit key contents of the game that are observed in the tactical behavior. We finally argue that the coherent design of games provides minimal conditions to teaching approaches, and that such a design should be a priority when elaborating the learning activities along the player development process. As a conclusion, the interactionist theory is the one that best serves the teaching of the game and the development of tactical behavior. We therefore defend that its principles can help coaches tailor their own strategy to teach the game with the many tools. (shrink)
Johnson et al. suggest that we rely on narratives to make choices under radical uncertainty. We argue that in its current version Conviction Narrative Theory (CNT) does not account for embodied, direct sensorimotor influences on choices under radical uncertainty that may bypass narratives, particularly in highly time-constrained situations. We therefore suggest to extend CNT by an embodied choice perspective.
Pylyshyn provides sound arguments against the dominant picture theory of mental imagery. However, we claim that mental imagery is intrinsically dynamic and that the very nature of mental imagery will not be uncovered by studying static pictures. Understanding mental imagery of motor actions reveals that any theory of mental imagery should start off with the temporal nature of real-life experiences.