We assessed the automaticity of spatial-numerical and spatial-musical associations by testing their intentionality and load sensitivity in a dual-task paradigm. In separate sessions, 16 healthy adults performed magnitude and pitch comparisons on sung numbers with variable pitch. Stimuli and response alternatives were identical, but the relevant stimulus attribute (pitch or number) differed between tasks. Concomitant tasks required retention of either color or location information. Results show that spatial associations of both magnitude and pitch are load sensitive and that the spatial (...) association for pitch is more powerful than that for magnitude. These findings argue against the automaticity of spatial mappings in either stimulus dimension. (shrink)
TEST is a novel taxonomy of knowledge representations based on three distinct hierarchically organized representational features: Tropism, Embodiment, and Situatedness. Tropic representational features reflect constraints of the physical world on the agent's ability to form, reactivate, and enrich embodied (i.e., resulting from the agent's bodily constraints) conceptual representations embedded in situated contexts. The proposed hierarchy entails that representations can, in principle, have tropic features without necessarily having situated and/or embodied features. On the other hand, representations that are situated and/or embodied (...) are likely to be simultaneously tropic. Hence, although we propose tropism as the most general term, the hierarchical relationship between embodiment and situatedness is more on a par, such that the dominance of one component over the other relies on the distinction between offline storage versus online generation as well as on representation-specific properties. (shrink)
Grounded theories assume that there is no central module for cognition. According to this view, all cognitive phenomena, including those considered the province of amodal cognition such as reasoning, numeric and language processing, are ultimately grounded in (and emerge from) a variety of bodily, affective, perceptual and motor processes. The development and expression of cognition is constrained by the embodiment of cognitive agents and various contextual factors (physical and social) in which they are immersed. The grounded framework has received numerous (...) empirical confirmations. Still, there are very few explicit computational models that implement grounding in sensory, motor and affective processes as intrinsic to cognition, and demonstrate that grounded theories can mechanistically implement higher cognitive abilities. We propose a new alliance between grounded cognition and computational modeling towards a novel multidisciplinary enterprise: Computational Grounded Cognition. We clarify the defining features of this novel approach and emphasize the importance of using the methodology of Cognitive Robotics, which permits simultaneous consideration of multiple aspects of grounding, embodiment, and situatedness, showing how they constrain the development and expression of cognition. (shrink)
Spatial-numerical associations (SNAs) are prevalent yet their origin is poorly understood. We first consider the possible prime role of reading habits in shaping SNAs and list three observations that argue against a prominent influence of this role: (1) directional reading habits for numbers may conflict with those for non-numerical symbols, (2) short-term experimental manipulations can overrule the impact of decades of reading experience, (3) SNAs predate the acquisition of reading. As a promising alternative, we discuss behavioral, neuroscientific and neuropsychological evidence (...) in support of finger counting as the most likely initial determinant of SNAs. Theoretical implications of this “manumerical cognition” stance for the distinction between grounded, embodied, and situated cognition are discussed. (shrink)
Embodied theories are increasingly challenging traditional views of cognition by arguing that conceptual representations that constitute our knowledge are grounded in sensory and motor experiences, and processed at this sensorimotor level, rather than being represented and processed abstractly in an amodal conceptual system. Given the established empirical foundation, and the relatively underspecified theories to date, many researchers are extremely interested in embodied cognition but are clamouring for more mechanistic implementations. What is needed at this stage is a push toward explicit (...) computational models that implement sensory-motor grounding as intrinsic to cognitive processes. In this article, six authors from varying backgrounds and approaches address issues concerning the construction of embodied computational models, and illustrate what they view as the critical current and next steps toward mechanistic theories of embodiment. The first part has the form of a dialogue between two fictional characters: Ernest, the “experimenter”, and Mary, the “computational modeller”. The dialogue consists of an interactive sequence of questions, requests for clarification, challenges, and (tentative) answers, and touches the most important aspects of grounded theories that should inform computational modeling and, conversely, the impact that computational modeling could have on embodied theories. The second part of the article discusses the most important open challenges for embodied computational modelling. (shrink)
What are the underlying processes that enable human beings to recognize a happy face? Clearly, featural and configural cues will help to identify the distinctive smile. In addition, the motivational state of the observer will influence the interpretation of emotional expressions. Therefore, a model accounting for emotion recognition is only complete if bottom-up and top-down aspects are integrated.
The reliable covariation between numerosity and spatial extent is considered as a strong constraint for inferring the successor principle in numerical cognition. We suggest that children can derive a general number concept from the (experientially) infinite succession of spatial positions during object manipulation.
Small numbers are spontaneously associated with left space and larger numbers with right space (the SNARC effect), for example when classifying numbers by parity. This effect is often attributed to reading habits but a causal link has so far never been documented. We report that bilingual Russian-Hebrew readers show a SNARC effect after reading Cyrillic script (from left-to-right) that is significantly reduced after reading Hebrew script (from right-to-left). In contrast, they have similar SNARC effects after listening to texts in either (...) language. These results support the view that spatially directional scanning habits contribute to the spatial association of numbers but also emphasize its flexibility. (shrink)