Send to

Choose Destination
Front Psychol. 2011 Jan 25;1:242. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00242. eCollection 2010.

On the need for Embodied and Dis-Embodied Cognition.

Author information

Department of Philosophy, University of Louisville Louisville, KY, USA.


This essay proposes and defends a pluralistic theory of conceptual embodiment. Our concepts are represented in at least two ways: (i) through sensorimotor simulations of our interactions with objects and events and (ii) through sensorimotor simulations of natural language processing. Linguistic representations are "dis-embodied" in the sense that they are dynamic and multimodal but, in contrast to other forms of embodied cognition, do not inherit semantic content from this embodiment. The capacity to store information in the associations and inferential relationships among linguistic representations extends our cognitive reach and provides an explanation of our ability to abstract and generalize. This theory is supported by a number of empirical considerations, including the large body of evidence from cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology supporting a multiple semantic code explanation of imageability effects.


concepts; embodied cognition; imageability; language; representation; symbol grounding

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center