Concepts and Action: Where does the embodiment debate leave us?

Nicholas Shipp, Frederic Vallee-Tourangeau, Susan Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The behavioural evidence of sensorimotor activity during conceptual processing, along with that from neurological research, ignited the debate around the extent to which concept representations are embodied or amodal. Such evidence continues to fuel the debate but it is open to interpretation as being consistent with a variety of the theoretical positions and so it is possible that further, similar evidence may not lead to its resolution. In this paper we propose that independent value accrues from following this line of research through the enhanced understanding of the factors that influence agents' conceptual processing of action and how this interacts with the agent's goals in real environments. This approach is in line with broad principles of embodied cognition and is worthy of pursuit regardless of what the results may (or may not) tell us about conceptual representation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260–280
Number of pages21
JournalPsychology of Language and Communication
Issue number1
Early online date15 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2018


  • action
  • categorisation
  • embodied concepts
  • goals
  • language comprehension


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