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Keywords: embodied cognition; language comprehension; embodied reading comprehension intervention (EMBRACE); cognitive neuroscience; joint action and mirror neuron system
What is Embodied Cognition?
How do words, objects, and events become meaningful to us? Glenberg and his students are attacking these problems by developing an embodied theory of cognition: All cognitive processes are based on bodily and neural processes of perception, action, and emotion. Recent work in the lab has demonstrated a) how language comprehension depends on action and emotion, b) how coordinated action links us to other people, c) contributions of mirror neurons to language and action understanding, d) how embodiment theory can be used to design educational interventions to enhance young children's reading comprehension.
Research in the Glenberg lab is organized into two tracks. The first investigates the embodied basis of cognition with a focus on language. This basic research is guided by the question: How do bodily and neural systems of action, perception, and emotion contribute to high-level cognition? The second track applies the basic research to developing a reading comprehension intervention for emerging readers.The intervention is designed to help children construct embodied mental models while reading: Children literally manipulate toys to correspond to the sentences they read, and then they learn to imagine manipulating the toys. This intervention greatly increases reading comprehension and has the collateral benefit of helping children love to read.
Our lab motto is Ago Ergo Cogito - "I act, therefore I think"
Soliman, T., Ferguson, R., Dexheimer, S., & Glenberg, A. M. (2015). Consequences of joint action: Entanglement with your partner. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144, 873-888.
Glenberg, A. M. (2015). Few believe the world is flat: How embodiment is changing the scientific understanding of cognition. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69, 165-171.
Soliman, T., Gibson, A., Glenberg (2013). Sensory motor mechanisms unify psychology: The embodiment of culture. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00885
Zarr N, Ferguson R and Glenberg AM (2013) Language comprehension warps the mirror neuron system. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 7:870. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00870
Glenberg, A. M., Witt, J. K., & Metcalfe, J. (2013). From the Revolution to Embodiment: 25 Years of Cognitive Psychology. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8, 573-585.
Guan, C. Q., Meng, W., Yao, R., and Glenberg, A. (2013). The motor system contributes to comprehension of abstract language. PLoS ONE 8(9): e75183.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075183
Ibáñez, A., Cardona, J. F., Dos Santos, Y. V., Blenkmann, A., Aravena, P., Roca, M., … Bekinschtein, T. (2013). Motor-language coupling: Direct evidence from early Parkinson’s disease and intracranial cortical recordings. Cortex, 49(4), 968–984. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2012.02.014
Glenberg, A. M., & Gallese, V. (2012). Action-based Language: A theory of language acquisition, comprehension, and production. Cortex, 48, 905-922. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2011.04.010.
Glenberg, A. M. (2011). How reading comprehension is embodied and why that matters. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 4, 5-18.
Glenberg, A. M. (1997). What memory is for. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 20, 1-19.