Monday, November 7, 2011

"Embodiment and Cognitive Science"

Here is a fascinating, extended review of Gibbs (2006) by philosopher, R. Rupert of Colorado University at Boulder. If you are philosophically and "embodimentally" inclined, you will appreciate it. For those who may not be quite there yet, here is a pull-quote from the conclusion of the piece [italics are mine]:

 "In the end, I think research done under the heading of the embodied approach has much to offer more traditional theorists; it pushes cognitive scientists toward considerations that will enhance the traditional program, encouraging its practitioners to build more realistic models (albeit using the standard tools of representation and computation). Time-scales will be smaller. Representations might be sparser in visual processing but more numerous in our conceptual representations (in order to account for the context-dependence of some behavior). Realizations of cognitive states might appear somewhere other than in the brain, or they might appear in different parts of the brain than some theorists would have expected. The pursuit of such a program might yield a clearer picture of how the physical states realizing mental representations come to have that status."

The same could of course be said for the field of pronunciation teaching today. So . . . take your local cognitive phonologist out to lunch! (Unless, of course, he or she is already "there" . . . )

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