Although in the last three decades philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists have produced numerous studies on human cognition, the debate concerning its nature is still heated and current views on the subject are somewhat antithetical. On the one hand, there are those who adhere to a view implying ‘disembodiment’ which suggests that cognition is based entirely on symbolic processes. On the other hand, a family of theories referred to as the Embodied Cognition Theories (ECT) postulate that creating and maintaining cognition is linked with varying degrees of inherence to somatosensory and motor representations. Spinal cord injury induces a massive body-brain disconnection with the loss of sensory and motor bodily functions below the lesion level but without directly affecting the brain. Thus, SCI may represent an optimal model for testing the role of the body in cognition. In this review, we describe post-lesional cognitive modifications in relation to body, space and action representations and various instances of ECT. We discuss the interaction between body-grounded and symbolic processes in adulthood with relevant modifications after body-brain disconnection.

What the study of spinal cord injured patients can tell us about the significance of the body in cognition

Moro, V.
;
Scandola, M.;
2022

Abstract

Although in the last three decades philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists have produced numerous studies on human cognition, the debate concerning its nature is still heated and current views on the subject are somewhat antithetical. On the one hand, there are those who adhere to a view implying ‘disembodiment’ which suggests that cognition is based entirely on symbolic processes. On the other hand, a family of theories referred to as the Embodied Cognition Theories (ECT) postulate that creating and maintaining cognition is linked with varying degrees of inherence to somatosensory and motor representations. Spinal cord injury induces a massive body-brain disconnection with the loss of sensory and motor bodily functions below the lesion level but without directly affecting the brain. Thus, SCI may represent an optimal model for testing the role of the body in cognition. In this review, we describe post-lesional cognitive modifications in relation to body, space and action representations and various instances of ECT. We discuss the interaction between body-grounded and symbolic processes in adulthood with relevant modifications after body-brain disconnection.
Embodied cognition theories, Spinal cord injury, Deafferentation and deefferentation, Body in the mind
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1068166
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