The sensorimotor system plays a critical role in several cognitive processes. Here, we review recent studies documenting this interplay at different levels. First, we concentrate on studies that have shown how the sensorimotor system is flexibly involved in interactions with objects. We report evidence demonstrating how social context and situations influence affordance activation, and then focus on tactile and kinesthetic components in body–object interactions. Then, we turn to word use, and review studies that have shown that not only concrete words, but also abstract words are grounded in the sensorimotor system. We report evidence that abstract concepts activate the mouth effector more than concrete concepts, and discuss this effect in light of studies on adults, children, and infants. Finally, we pinpoint possible sensorimotor mechanisms at play in the acquisition and use of abstract concepts. Overall, we show that the involvement of the sensorimotor system is flexibly modulated by context, and that its role can be integrated and flanked by that of other systems such as the linguistic system. We suggest that to unravel the role of the sensorimotor system in cognition, future research should fully explore the complexity of this intricate, and sometimes slippery, relation.

From affordances to abstract words: the flexibility of sensorimotor grounding / Mazzuca, C.; Fini, C.; Michalland, A. H.; Falcinelli, I.; Da Rold, F.; Tummolini, L.; Borghi, A. M.. - In: BRAIN SCIENCES. - ISSN 2076-3425. - 11:10(2021). [10.3390/brainsci11101304]

From affordances to abstract words: the flexibility of sensorimotor grounding

Fini C.
Co-primo
;
Falcinelli I.;Borghi A. M.
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

The sensorimotor system plays a critical role in several cognitive processes. Here, we review recent studies documenting this interplay at different levels. First, we concentrate on studies that have shown how the sensorimotor system is flexibly involved in interactions with objects. We report evidence demonstrating how social context and situations influence affordance activation, and then focus on tactile and kinesthetic components in body–object interactions. Then, we turn to word use, and review studies that have shown that not only concrete words, but also abstract words are grounded in the sensorimotor system. We report evidence that abstract concepts activate the mouth effector more than concrete concepts, and discuss this effect in light of studies on adults, children, and infants. Finally, we pinpoint possible sensorimotor mechanisms at play in the acquisition and use of abstract concepts. Overall, we show that the involvement of the sensorimotor system is flexibly modulated by context, and that its role can be integrated and flanked by that of other systems such as the linguistic system. We suggest that to unravel the role of the sensorimotor system in cognition, future research should fully explore the complexity of this intricate, and sometimes slippery, relation.
File allegati a questo prodotto
File Dimensione Formato  
Mazzuca_Abstract-words_2021.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione editoriale (versione pubblicata con il layout dell'editore)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 457.23 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
457.23 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri PDF

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1577148
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 4
  • Scopus 13
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 11
social impact