Eroding the Boundaries of Cognition: Implications of Embodiment1
Article first published online: 9 JUL 2012
Copyright © 2012 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Topics in Cognitive Science
Volume 4, Issue 4, pages 717–730, October 2012
How to Cite
Anderson, M. L., Richardson, M. J. and Chemero, A. (2012), Eroding the Boundaries of Cognition: Implications of Embodiment. Topics in Cognitive Science, 4: 717–730. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2012.01211.x
- Issue published online: 11 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 9 JUL 2012
- Received 6 January 2011; received in revised form 15 August 2011; accepted 21 August 2011
- Embodied cognition;
- Dynamic systems;
- Social coordination;
- Faculty psychology
To accept that cognition is embodied is to question many of the beliefs traditionally held by cognitive scientists. One key question regards the localization of cognitive faculties. Here we argue that for cognition to be embodied and sometimes embedded, means that the cognitive faculty cannot be localized in a brain area alone. We review recent research on neural reuse, the 1/f structure of human activity, tool use, group cognition, and social coordination dynamics that we believe demonstrates how the boundary between the different areas of the brain, the brain and body, and the body and environment is not only blurred but indeterminate. In turn, we propose that cognition is supported by a nested structure of task-specific synergies, which are softly assembled from a variety of neural, bodily, and environmental components (including other individuals), and exhibit interaction dominant dynamics.