Publication details [#798]

Bergen, Benjamin K. 2012. Louder than words: The new science of how the mind makes meaning. New York: Basic Books.
Publication type
Book – monograph
Publication language


In this book, Bergen presents a multifaceted version of meaning as this is treated in cognitive linguistics, psychology and neuroscience. The book comprises both theoretical and experimental evidence from psychological experiments and brain research on how the mind makes meaning. In the first chapters, a new theory of meaning is presented, namely, embodied simulation. According to it, people before producing language they imagine hypothetical situations or recall past experiences, as if they are already visualize the action to be described with words. The book further elaborates on visual simulation, behavior evidence, mirror imaging and brain anatomy in an attempt to exemplify how embodied simulation is achieved. Through a plethora of examples and experiments conducted in different cultural environment and conditions, Bergen, in a very approachable and enjoyable way, explores meaning via embodied simulation. Embodied simulation is necessary for understanding but according to the author it still remains a field for further exploration.