Download The Spatial Foundations of Cognition and Language: Thinking by Kelly S. Mix, Linda B. Smith, Michael Gasser PDF

By Kelly S. Mix, Linda B. Smith, Michael Gasser

This publication offers contemporary examine at the position of house as a mechanism in language use and studying. It proceeds from the concept that cognition in genuine time, developmental time, and over evolutionary time happens in area, and that the actual houses of house may supply insights into uncomplicated cognitive tactics, together with reminiscence, recognition, motion, and belief. It appears at how actual house and landmarks are utilized in cognitive representations and function the foundation of human cognition in more than a few center mechanisms to index thoughts and floor meanings that aren't themselves explicitly approximately area. The editors have introduced jointly experimental psychologists, desktop scientists, robotocists, linguists, and researchers in baby language that allows you to give some thought to the character and purposes of this learn and particularly its implications for realizing the tactics curious about language acquisition.

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This behavioral evidence for mental images exhibiting the same metric properties as real two-dimensional spaces is bolstered by neuroimaging evidence for mental imagery activating some of the topographic neural maps of visual cortex (Kosslyn et al. 1995). Thus, it appears that the same topographical representational medium that is used for afferent visual perception is also used for internally generated visual images. In fact, as hinted by Altmann & Kamide’s (2004) experiments, such internally generated mental images can even trigger eye movements of the kind that would be triggered by corresponding real visual inputs.

One of my own favorite examples (from Clark 1997) concerns the abilities of the expert bartender. Faced with multiple drink orders in a noisy and crowded environment, the expert mixes and dispenses drinks with amazing skill and accuracy. But what is the basis of this expert performance? Does it all stem from finely tuned memory and motor skills? In controlled psychological experiments comparing novice and expert bartenders (Beach 1988, cited in Kirlik 1998: 707), it becomes clear that expert skill involves a delicate interplay between internal and environmental factors.

Above all, it is a case in which we trade active local spatial reorganization against short-term memory. This is by no means an isolated case. A vast amount of human cognitive niche construction involves the active exploitation of space. David Kirsh, in his classic treatment ‘The intelligent use of space’ (1995), divides these uses into three broad (and overlapping) categories. The first is ‘spatial arrangements that simplify choice’, such as laying out cooking ingredients in the order you will need them, or putting your shopping in one bag and mine in another.

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