2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Internal Simulation of Reality


William T. Leach
Dr. Mary Shapiro, Faculty Mentor

The cognitive revolution opened up scientific inquiry into the internal machinations of the mind, as well as the embrasure of computational models of cognition. While this was a huge step forward, limiting the study of the mind strictly to the brain disregards how our own body and context affects our cognition. Embodied cognition is the theoretical orientation that the body plays an influential role in shaping the mind. This initial definition has now been expanded to better explain how humans are able to surpass computational limitations to create rich, internal simulations. This allows for us to ‘extend’ our bodies and consciousness into tools, and vehicles, cause powerful illusions like the rubber hand and mirror-box illusion, and extend ourselves into stories and daydreams. These complex simulations are responsible for many of our higher level cognitive abilities, such as intuitive physical causal inference, theory of mind.

Keywords: mind, cognitive

Topic(s):Interdisciplinary Studies Major

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 304-5
Location: MG 1098
Time: 2:00

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