GARCIA adolfo Martin
congresos y reuniones científicas
The pressing agenda of embodied semantics: Addressing core theoretical, translational, and methodological challenges
Encuentro; 2º Encontro Cognição & Linguagem; 2019
The embodied cognition framework posits that processing of verbal and non-verbal semantics hinges on the reactivations of sensorimotor brain networks mediating our situated experiences in the environment. In its many guises, this perspective has afforded some of the most promising (re)conceptualizations of the human mind since the cognitive revolution. However, standard approaches are limited in their capacity to address core theoretical, translational, and methodological issues. In particular, mainstream research in the field has proven suboptimal to specify (i) the neurocognitive nature of embodied effects, (ii) their relevance to generate appliable innovations, and (iii) their robustness beyond the artificial constraints imposed by standard laboratory settings. In this presentation, I will introduce three convergent lines of interdisciplinary research that directly address those pressing issues. First, I will discuss recent evidence from magnetoencephalographic, electroencephalographic, and intracranial recordings showing that embodied reactivations during language processing constitute primary semantic effects rather than post-conceptual epiphenomena. Second, building on psycholinguistic developments, I will present novel results from handwriting and typewriting experiments indicating that language-induced sensorimotor resonance has a direct impact on bodily movements, even in highly automatized daily tasks. Third, I will summarize numerous studies that rely on neuropsychological, neuroscientific, and even genetic data to show that embodied language deficits constitute candidate biomarkers of neurodegenerative motor disorders, paving the way for fruitful clinical applications. Finally, I will describe novel methodological developments (anchored in linguistics and computer science) that allow testing the ecological validity of embodied phenomena through naturalistic language tasks. In sum, this presentation intends to show that interdisciplinary efforts at the crossing of (psycho)linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral science, neuropsychology, and data analytics can effectively meet some of the most pressing challenges facing the embodied cognition framework at large.