embodied-cognition   87

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The Extended Mind
Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin? The question invites two standard replies. Some accept the demarcations of skin and skull, and say that what is outside the body is outside the mind. Others are impressed by arguments suggesting that the meaning of our words "just ain't in the head", and hold that this externalism about meaning carries over into an externalism about mind. We propose to pursue a third position. We advocate a very different sort of externalism: an active externalism, based on the active role of the environment in driving cognitive processes. […]

In these cases, the human organism is linked with an external entity in a two-way interaction, creating a coupled system that can be seen as a cognitive system in its own right. All the components in the system play an active causal role, and they jointly govern behavior in the same sort of way that cognition usually does. If we remove the external component the system's behavioral competence will drop, just as it would if we removed part of its brain. Our thesis is that this sort of coupled process counts equally well as a cognitive process, whether or not it is wholly in the head.
cognition  psychology  brain  embodied-cognition  situated-cognition 
october 2018 by jbrennan
Where the Action Is | The MIT Press
Computer science as an engineering discipline has been spectacularly successful. Yet it is also a philosophical enterprise in the way it represents the world and creates and manipulates models of reality, people, and action. In this book, Paul Dourish addresses the philosophical bases of human-computer interaction. He looks at how what he calls "embodied interaction"—an approach to interacting with software systems that emphasizes skilled, engaged practice rather than disembodied rationality—reflects the phenomenological approaches of Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and other twentieth-century philosophers. The phenomenological tradition emphasizes the primacy of natural practice over abstract cognition in everyday activity. Dourish shows how this perspective can shed light on the foundational underpinnings of current research on embodied interaction. He looks in particular at how tangible and social approaches to interaction are related, how they can be used to analyze and understand embodied interaction, and how they could affect the design of future interactive systems.
situated-cognition  embodied-cognition  cognition  computer-as-a-space  book 
october 2018 by jbrennan
Children learn best when engaged in the living world not on screens | Aeon Essays
According to Merleau-Ponty, European philosophy has long prioritised ‘seeing’ over ‘doing’ as a path to understanding. Plato, René Descartes, John Locke, David Hume, Immanuel Kant: each, in different ways, posits a gap between the mind and the world, the subject and the object, the thinking self and physical things. Philosophers take for granted that the mind sees things from a distance. When Descartes announced ‘I think therefore I am’, he was positing a fundamental gulf between the thinking self and the physical body. Despite the novelty of digital media, Merleau-Ponty would contend that Western thought has long assumed that the mind, not the body, is the site of thinking and learning.

According to Merleau-Ponty, however, ‘consciousness is originally not an “I think that”, but rather an “I can”’. In other words, human thinking emerges out of lived experience, and what we can do with our bodies profoundly shapes what philosophers think or scientists discover. ‘The entire universe of science is constructed upon the lived world,’ he wrote. Phenomenology of Perception aimed to help readers better appreciate the connection between the lived world and consciousness.

Philosophers are in the habit of saying that we ‘have’ a body. But as Merleau-Ponty points out: ‘I am not in front of my body, I am in my body, or rather I am my body.’ This simple correction carries important implications about learning. What does it mean to say that I am my body? […]

Teachers and parents will have to use incentives, threats and medication to make children sit at computers for long stretches of time when children want to run, play, paint, eat, sing, compete and laugh. To put it bluntly: advocates of screen learning sometimes seem to forget that children are young animals that want to move in the world, not watch it from a distance. […]

If the move to digital learning continues, children will spend much, if not most, of their waking hours in front of screens. They will use apps before they go to school, spend their days in front of computers, do their homework online, and then entertain themselves with digital media. Children are losing opportunities to experience the world in all its richness. The gestalt of a farm transcends what pixels and speakers can convey. Screens drain the vitality from many educational experiences that could be better done in the flesh. This drift toward screen learning is only inevitable if people do nothing to stop it. So let’s stop it.
education  schools  computers  embodied-cognition  situated-cognition 
august 2018 by jbrennan
Moravec's paradox - Wikipedia
Moravec's paradox is the discovery by artificial intelligence and robotics researchers that, contrary to traditional assumptions, high-level reasoning requires very little computation, but low-level sensorimotor skills require enormous computational resources. The principle was articulated by Hans Moravec, Rodney Brooks, Marvin Minsky and others in the 1980s. As Moravec writes, "it is comparatively easy to make computers exhibit adult level performance on intelligence tests or playing checkers, and difficult or impossible to give them the skills of a one-year-old when it comes to perception and mobility".[1]

Similarly, Minsky emphasized that the most difficult human skills to reverse engineer are those that are unconscious. "In general, we're least aware of what our minds do best", he wrote, and added "we're more aware of simple processes that don't work well than of complex ones that work flawlessly".[2]


One possible explanation of the paradox, offered by Moravec, is based on evolution. All human skills are implemented biologically, using machinery designed by the process of natural selection. In the course of their evolution, natural selection has tended to preserve design improvements and optimizations. The older a skill is, the more time natural selection has had to improve the design. Abstract thought developed only very recently, and consequently, we should not expect its implementation to be particularly efficient.

As Moravec writes:

Encoded in the large, highly evolved sensory and motor portions of the human brain is a billion years of experience about the nature of the world and how to survive in it. The deliberate process we call reasoning is, I believe, the thinnest veneer of human thought, effective only because it is supported by this much older and much more powerful, though usually unconscious, sensorimotor knowledge. We are all prodigious olympians in perceptual and motor areas, so good that we make the difficult look easy. Abstract thought, though, is a new trick, perhaps less than 100 thousand years old. We have not yet mastered it. It is not all that intrinsically difficult; it just seems so when we do it.[3]

A compact way to express this argument would be:

- We should expect the difficulty of reverse-engineering any human skill to be roughly proportional to the amount of time that skill has been evolving in animals.
- The oldest human skills are largely unconscious and so appear to us to be effortless.
- Therefore, we should expect skills that appear effortless to be difficult to reverse-engineer, but skills that require effort may not necessarily be difficult to engineer at all.
concept  wiki  reference  paradox  ai  intelligence  reason  instinct  neuro  psychology  cog-psych  hardness  logic  deep-learning  time  evopsych  evolution  sapiens  the-self  EEA  embodied  embodied-cognition  abstraction  universalism-particularism  gnosis-logos  robotics 
june 2018 by nhaliday
| StigAntonNielsen.com – Research and Projects on Architecture, Technology, Computation, Philosophy, Materials, Making, Robots, and more…
StigAntonNielsen.com – Research and Projects on Architecture, Technology, Computation, Philosophy, Materials, Making, Robots, and more…
architecture  embodied-cognition  Design 
january 2018 by tonyyet
Frontiers | A perceptual account of symbolic reasoning | Psychology
People can be taught to manipulate symbols according to formal mathematical and logical rules. Cognitive scientists have traditionally viewed this capacity—the capacity for symbolic reasoning—as grounded in the ability to internally represent numbers, logical relationships, and mathematical rules in an abstract, amodal fashion. We present an alternative view, portraying symbolic reasoning as a special kind of embodied reasoning in which arithmetic and logical formulae, externally represented as notations, serve as targets for powerful perceptual and sensorimotor systems. Although symbolic reasoning often conforms to abstract mathematical principles, it is typically implemented by perceptual and sensorimotor engagement with concrete environmental structures.

aka. 符号也是扎根于现实的具身的物理世界,而不是单独存在于以太当中
embodied-cognition  symbolic_reasoning 
november 2017 by tonyyet
How to Feel Happy Just By Walking Differently - PsyBlog
"It’s well-known that when we’re in a good mood, our style of walking tends to reflect how we feel: we bounce along, shoulders back, swinging our arms in style. ...

"Now, a new study finds that it also works the other way around: people who imitate a happy style of walking, even without realising it, find themselves feeling happier (Michalak et al., 2015).

"The study had participants walking on a treadmill after looking at a list of positive and negative words.
"While on the treadmill each person’s gait and posture was continuously measured and fed back to them visually.
"On the screen they had to try and move a bar either one way or the other by changing their walking style.

"Although they didn’t realise it, walking in a happy way made the bar move in one direction and walking in a depressed way moved it the other. ...

"Afterwards, they were asked to write down as many of the positive and negative words that they’d been shown earlier.
"Those who’d been walking in a happy, upbeat way remembered more of the positive words, suggesting they were happier.
"The study also found that those who walked in a slumped, round-shouldered, depressed way, remembered more of the negative words.

"This ties in with research on people who are depressed: they have a strong tendency to remember negative events, rather than the positive.
"A bias towards recalling negative events is part of the vicious cycle that perpetuates a depressed state of mind."
Author: Jeremy Dean, Psyblog, November 2014
happiness  walking  depression  psychology  embodied-cognition 
june 2017 by katherinestevens
The One-Time Injection That Treats Depression - PsyBlog
"For the study, 74 depressed people were given an injection to the facial muscles between the eyebrows — those related to frowning.
"Half were injected with botox, the other half with a placebo.
"The results showed that depression symptoms reduced by 47% in the group given the botox injection.
"The reduction was just 21% in the placebo group."

Why/how does it work?
"The botox injection makes it more difficult for people to frown.
"So, with less frowning, people feel less depressed — or so the theory goes.
"This is linked to a relatively new area of psychology called embodied cognition.
"Embodied cognition is the idea that we think with our bodies."
Author: Jeremy Dean, Psyblog, June 2017
embodied-cognition  psychology  depression 
june 2017 by katherinestevens
Future Programming | elevr
We’re currently prototyping designs for a VR programming interface/language that is both visual and embodied. It is intended to be intuitive, sculptural, and expressive, taking advantage of special abilities humans have in embodied 3D space: recognition of objects and patterns, scale, environments, and motor schema.
programming-environments  virtual-reality  anyland  logo  turtle-graphics  embodied-cognition 
april 2017 by jbrennan

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