EMBODIED COGNITION IN SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY Part 1: Understanding Embodied Cognition Introduction to Embodied Cognition Embodied cognition asserts that cognition arises from bodily interactions with theworld. It emphasizes the interconnection between cognition, perception, and movement. Interdependence of Cognition, Perception, and Movement According to embodied cognition, cognition, perception, and movement areinseparable and form a unified system. This holistic approach suggests that mental processes are influenced by bodilyexperiences. Application in Sport Psychology Embodied cognition has implications for understanding athletes' abilities andskills. It challenges the notion that the brain is the sole center of reasoning, memory,and decision-making. Amodal vs. Embodied Cognitive Approaches Amodal cognitive theories rely on internal models to predict actions, whileembodied cognition emphasizes using cognitive, perceptual, and movementcapacities together. Amodal approaches often assume idealized solutions, while embodiedapproaches consider efficient and context-specific solutions. Example: Outfielder Catching a Fly Ball Comparing amodal and embodied approaches in the context of an outfieldercatching a fly ball. Embodied cognition considers the outfielder's movement, perceptual skills, andcognitive capacity for an efficient solution. Part 2: Theoretical Framework of Embodied Cognition Philosophical Origins
Embodied cognition draws from phenomenology, particularly the work ofphilosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Merleau-Ponty emphasized the role of the body and perception in shaping ourunderstanding of the world. Central Assumption of Embodied Cognition The core premise of embodied cognition is that cognition, perception, andmovement are closely interconnected and mutually influential. Three Perspectives on Embodied Cognition 1. Conceptualization Perspective Suggests that individuals' unique bodies shape their conceptualizations ofthe world. Differences in bodies can lead to varying perceptions and understandingsof reality. 2. Replacement Perspective Argues that the body can replace certain cognitive functions. Examples include using gestures to aid memory or offloading cognitivetasks onto external tools. 3. Constitution Perspective Proposes that bodily experiences are essential in constructing cognitiveprocesses. How we perceive and interact with the world directly contributes to ourmental constructs. Examples of Embodied Cognition in Perception The perception of color varies among individuals due to neurophysiologicaldifferences. Embodied cognition suggests that differences in bodies lead to differentperceptual experiences.