Publication details [#1602]

Pulvermüller, Friedemann. 2013. Semantic embodiment, disembodiment or misembodiment? In search of meaning in modules and neuron circuits. Brain & Language 127 : 86–103. 18 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Elsevier Inc


The paper evaluates and compares ‘‘embodied’’ theories of semantic grounding in action and perception to ‘disembodiment’ approaches or minimal-compromise positions (minimally-embodied approaches) such as Caramazza and his colleagues (Mahon & Caramazza, 2008). However, it also reviews and proposes an alternative semantic approach of action perception circuits (APC) a mechanism grounded in concrete neuronal brain circuitry which makes additional contributions to semantic and conceptual processing. The embodied approach supports that action and perception mechanisms play a role in the semantics of at least some words, symbols and constructions, and do not exclude other (nonmotor and nonsensory) mechanisms to contribute to semantics. While, minimal compromise approaches view action and perception as systems informationally ‘encapsulated’ from each other with no direct contribution to meaning representation. On the other hand, APC implies a circuit: a single multimodal semantic representation with specific distribution over a set of cortical areas.