Embodied cognitive neuroscience and its consequences for psychiatry

Poiesis and Praxis 6 (3-4):219-233 (2009)
Abstract
Recent years have seen the emergence of a new interdisciplinary field called embodied or enactive cognitive science. Whereas traditional representationalism rests on a fixed inside–outside distinction, the embodied cognition perspective views mind and brain as a biological system that is rooted in body experience and interaction with other individuals. Embodiment refers to both the embedding of cognitive processes in brain circuitry and to the origin of these processes in an organism’s sensory–motor experience. Thus, action and perception are no longer interpreted in terms of the classic physical–mental dichotomy, but rather as closely interlinked. This paper describes the cycles of brain–organism interaction, of sensory–motor interaction with the environment and of embodied interaction with others. The brain is then interpreted as an organ of modulation and transformation that mediates the cycles of organism–environment interaction. Finally, consequences of the embodied and enactive approach for psychiatry are pointed out, in particular for a circular concept of mental illness.
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Fred Adams (2010). Embodied Cognition. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):619-628.
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