Grounded Cognition – 2-IKV-236a/19

The course objective is to provide students with deeper insight into up-to-date research trends in cognitive science, from the perspective of various disciplines (psychological, neural and computational). The course focus is on grounded (embodied) cognition, and its relation to language. The course should also help students in their ability to interpret scientific papers, to formulate, present and defend ideas.

The course is a part of Master Programme in Cognitive Science.

Course schedule

Type Day Time Room Lecturer
Lecture Tuesday 09:50 - 11:20 I-23 Igor Farkaš,Kristína Malinovská
Presentations Tuesday 11:40 - 13:10 I-23 students


Date Topic References
Introduction to language and concepts

slides1 slides2

♦ Wiki: Language
♦ Margolis E., Laurence S. (2014) [Igor] Concepts, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Towards embodied cognition

♦ Wilson M. (2002) Six views of embodied cognition. Psychonomics Bulletin Review, 9(4), 625-636. [Kika]
♦ Ziemke T. (2003) What's that thing called embodiment? Proc. of the 25th Annual Conf. of the Cog. Sci. Society, 1134-1139. (Nina)

Mirror neuron system and its role(s) in cognition

♦ Rizzolatti G. & Sinigaglia C. (2010) The functional role of the parieto-frontal mirror circuit: Interpretations and misinterpretations. Nature Rev. Neurosci., 11, 264-274. [Igor]
♦ Rizzolatti G. et al. (2019) The Mirror Neuron Mechanism, Reference Module in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology.(Sinem)

Common coding theory, motor simulation, mental simulation

♦ Smith A.H. (2006) Motor cognition and mental simulation. Chapter in Smith E. & Kosslyn S. (eds.): Cognitive Psychology: Mind and Brain, Prentice Hall, pp. 451-481. [Kika]
♦ van der Wel R., Sebanz N., Knoblich G. (2013) Action perception from a common coding perspective. Chapter in K. Johnson and M. Schiffrar (Eds.), People Watching: Social, Perceptual, and Neurophysiological Studies of Body Perception, Oxford University Press (Andre)

Language as action

♦ Fischer M.H., Zwaan R.A. (2008) Embodied language: A review of the role of the motor system in language comprehension. The Quaterly Journal of Exp. Psych., 61 (6), 825-850 [Kika]
♦ Arbib M., Gasser B., Barrès V. (2014) Language is handy but is it embodied?. Neuropsychologia, 55, 57–70. (David)

Conceptual and linguistic systems - two theories

♦ Barsalou L. et al. (2008) Language and simulation in conceptual processing. In: de Vega, Glenberg & Graesser (eds), Symbols and Embodiment: Debates on Meaning and Cognition, OUP, 245-283. [Igor]
♦ Evans V. (2016) Design features for linguistically-mediated meaning construction: The relative roles of the linguistic and conceptual systems in subserving the ideational function of language. Frontiers in Psychology. (Vanesa)

no class autumn break
Meaning as statistical covariation

♦ Landauer T., Dumais D. (2008) Latent semantic analysis, Scholarpedia, 3(11):4356. wiki [Igor]
♦ Glenberg, A. M., & Mehta, S. (2008) Constraint on covariation: It’s not meaning. Italian Journal of Linguistics, 20, 33-53. (Niko)
♦ Bruni E., Tran N.K., Baroni M. (2014) Multimodal distributional semantics. Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 49, 1-47 (Veronika)

Symbol grounding problem

♦ Steels L. (2008) The symbol grounding problem has been solved, so what’s next?. In: de Vega, Glenberg & Graesser (eds), Symbols and Embodiment: Debates on Meaning and Cognition, OUP, 223-244. [Kika]
♦ Coradeschi S., Loutfi A., Wrede B. (2013) A short review of symbol grounding in robotic and intelligent systems. Künstliche Intelligenz, 27:129–136 (Jan-Ove)

Unification attempts

♦ Louwerse M. (2010) Symbol interdependency in symbolic and embodied cognition. Topics in Cognitive Science, 1-30 [Igor]
♦ Dove G. (2011) On the need for embodied and dis-embodied cognition. Frontiers in Psychology, 1:242 (Lena)

Role(s) of language in cognition and thought

♦ Mirolli M., Parisi D. (2009) Towards a Vygotskyan cognitive robotics: The role of language as a cognitive tool. New Ideas in Psychology, doi:10.1016/j.newideapsych.2009.07.001 [Kika]
♦ Hendricks R. K., Boroditsky L. (2017). New Space–Time Metaphors Foster New Nonlinguistic Representations. Topics in Cognitive Science.(Marko)

Grounding abstract concepts. Summary.

♦Borghi A.M., Barca L., Binkofski F., Tummolini L. (2018) Varieties of abstract concepts: development, use and representation in the brain. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 373: 20170121 (Surya)
♦ Pulvermüller F. (2018) The case of CAUSE: neurobiological mechanisms for grounding an abstract concept. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 373: 20170129 (Primož)

Paper presentations


  • Activity during the semester (30%). This includes weekly submitting inputs to the moderator and an active participation during discussions.
  • Paper presentation and moderation (30%). You will select a topic for presentation (one of the papers in the syllabus), collect by email the inputs (one question or a discussion point) from other students in advance (until Saturday, 20:00), and organize them by topic. The inputs should be sent to the moderator, with the subject "author" (use the first author's surname). The moderator sends sorted questions to all students by Monday 17:00 to all students (and teachers), so that they have some time to think of them. The moderation will give a short intro in the class and then moderate the discussion.
  • Final paper (30%). You will write a 4-page (conference) paper in PDF (30 lines per page), on the topic of your choice (from the 12 topics during the course), appropriately extended (including additional references). Deadline: 15.1.2021.
  • Final paper presentation (10%). You will prepare a short presentation (8 min.) of your paper.
  • Overall grading (in %): A > 90, B > 80, C > 70, D > 60, E > 50, else Fx.
Revision as of 09:48, 8 December 2020 by Farkas (Talk | contribs) (Grading)