Tutorial on Embodiment

5.1.4. Summary


We have briefly described the main cognitive science paradigms and how they emerged in a chronological order. It would probably not be fair to say that the new ones have replaced the old ones; however, the newly appearing paradigms were motivated by shortcomings of their predecessors. The sequence can be interpreted as a turn away from a purely abstract computational view of cognition to a more dynamic, and embodied view. This is illustrated schematically in Fig.

Fig. The history of ideas appears to be shaped by a sequence of emerging paradigms. These changes were driven by the explanatory need to address previous shortcomings in explaining cognition by appealing to a more inclusive set of determining factors. (Figure and text from Froese 2010).


In what follows, we will illustrate the embodied perspective on cognition on two sets of case studies. First, we will look at embodied categorization; we will study the effect of sensory-motor interaction and dynamics on how agents learns to represent objects and how they develop categories. Second, we will look into how an agent can gradually acquire a notion of its body body, develop simple predictive capabilities and how these can be further extended, giving rise to mental simulation or imagery.



Froese, T. (2010), "From Cybernetics to Second-Order Cybernetics: A Comparative Analysis of Their Central Ideas", Constructivist Foundations, 5(2), pp. 75-85.