Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):1-34 (2001)
AbstractThe overall goal of this target article is to demonstrate a mechanism for an embodied cognition. The particular vehicle is a much-studied, but still widely debated phenomenon seen in 7–12 month-old-infants. In Piaget's classic “A-not-B error,” infants who have successfully uncovered a toy at location “A” continue to reach to that location even after they watch the toy hidden in a nearby location “B.” Here, we question the traditional explanations of the error as an indicator of infants' concepts of objects or other static mental structures. Instead, we demonstrate that the A-not-B error and its previously puzzling contextual variations can be understood by the coupled dynamics of the ordinary processes of goal-directed actions: looking, planning, reaching, and remembering. We offer a formal dynamic theory and model based on cognitive embodiment that both simulates the known A-not-B effects and offers novel predictions that match new experimental results. The demonstration supports an embodied view by casting the mental events involved in perception, planning, deciding, and remembering in the same analogic dynamic language as that used to describe bodily movement, so that they may be continuously meshed. We maintain that this mesh is a pre-eminently cognitive act of “knowing” not only in infancy but also in everyday activities throughout the life span. Key Words: cognitive development; dynamical systems theory; embodied cognition; infant development; motor control; motor planning; perception and action.
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Citations of this work
The feeling body: Towards an enactive approach to emotion.Giovanna Colombetti & Evan Thompson - 2008 - In W. F. Overton, U. Müller & J. L. Newman (eds.), Developmental Perspectives on Embodiment and Consciousness. Erlbaum.
Busting Out: Predictive Brains, Embodied Minds, and the Puzzle of the Evidentiary Veil.Andy Clark - 2017 - Noûs 51 (4):727-753.
Letting structure emerge: connectionist and dynamical systems approaches to cognition.James L. McClelland, Matthew M. Botvinick, David C. Noelle, David C. Plaut, Timothy T. Rogers, Mark S. Seidenberg & Linda B. Smith - 2010 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14 (8):348-356.
References found in this work
The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception: Classic Edition.James J. Gibson - 1979 - Houghton Mifflin.
The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience.Francisco J. Varela, Evan Thompson & Eleanor Rosch - 1991 - MIT Press.