Lawrence Barsalou

Lawrence Barsalou
University of Glasgow | UofG · Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology

PhD

About

156
Publications
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30,461
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Publications

Publications (156)
Article
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Understanding language semantically related to actions activates the motor cortex. This activation is sensitive to semantic information such as the body part used to perform the action (e.g. arm-/leg-related action words). Additionally, motor movements of the hands/feet can have a causal effect on memory maintenance of action words, suggesting that...
Chapter
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Many of the key problems humans are facing today result from desires, habits, and social norms impeding behavior change. Here, we apply a grounded cognition perspective to these phenomena, suggesting that simulating the consequences of one's behaviors plays a key role in them. We first describe the grounded cognition theory of desire and motivated...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many of the key problems humans are facing today result from desires, habits, and social norms impeding behaviour change. Here, we apply a grounded cognition perspective to these phenomena, suggesting that simulating the consequences of one’s actions plays a key role in them. We first describe the grounded cognition theory of desire and motivated b...
Preprint
Full-text available
From the perspectives of grounded, situated, and embodied cognition, we have developed a new approach for assessing individual differences. Because this approach is grounded in two dimensions of situatedness—situational experience and the Situated Action Cycle—we refer to it as the Situated Assessment Method (SAM2). Rather than abstracting over sit...
Article
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Memories acquired incidentally from exposure to food information in the environment may often become active to later affect food preferences. Because conscious use of these memories is not requested or required, these incidental learning effects constitute a form of indirect memory. In an experiment using a novel food preference paradigm (n = 617),...
Article
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The ability to differently perceive and represent entities depending on their perspective is crucial for humans. We report five experiments that investigate how the different perspectives adopted while experiencing entities are reflected in conceptualizations (towards vs. away, near vs. far, beside vs. above, inside vs. outside and vision vs. audit...
Article
Higher cognitive functions such as linguistic comprehension must ultimately relate to perceptual systems in the brain, though how and why this forms remains unclear. Different brain networks that mediate perception when hearing have recently been proposed to respect a taxonomic neurobiological model for the processing of different acoustic-semantic...
Article
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According to the grounded perspective, cognition emerges from the interaction of classic cognitive processes with the modalities, the body, and the environment. Rather than being an autonomous impenetrable module, cognition incorporates these other domains intrinsically into its operation. The Situated Action Cycle offers one way of understanding h...
Article
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How does desire for food and drink arise in the human mind? We suggest that rewarding simulations, which are based on previous experiences, play a key role. In other words, people think about food and drink in terms of what it feels like to consume them, and this leads to desire. We illustrate this with research using behavioral, physiological, and...
Preprint
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Feature listing is a novel method to study people’s rich, multifaceted cognitive representations of food and drink objects. In other words, it helps researchers understand the content activated in memory when people think about foods or drinks. Feature listing is an easy-to-administer method that has traditionally been used to study the semantic fe...
Preprint
Full-text available
How does desire for food and drink arise in the human mind? We suggest that rewarding simulations, based on previous experiences, play a key role. In other words, people think about food and drink in terms of what it feels like to consume them, and this leads to desire. We illustrate this with research using behavioural, physiological, and neuro-im...
Article
Studies of the classic exteroceptive sensory systems (e.g., vision, touch) consistently demonstrate that vividly imagining a sensory experience of the world-simulating it-is associated with increased activity in the corresponding primary sensory cortex. We hypothesized, analogously, that simulating internal bodily sensations would be associated wit...
Article
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Preprint
When understanding language semantically related to actions, the motor cortex is active and may be sensitive to semantic information, for example about the body-part-relationship of displayed action-related words. Conversely, movements of the hands or feet can impair memory performance for arm- and leg-related action words respectively, suggesting...
Article
Robinson and colleagues (2018) make important first steps in highlighting the shortcomings of laboratory studies of human eating behaviour, and providing some general suggestions to increase methodological and reporting quality. In this commentary, we present additional important theoretical considerations and practical suggestions. First, we discu...
Article
From the perspective of the situated conceptualization framework, the primary purpose of concepts is for categorizing and integrating elements of situations to support goal-directed action (including communication and social interaction). To the extent that important situational elements are categorized and integrated properly, effective goal-direc...
Article
From the perspective of constructivist theories, emotion results from learning assemblies of relevant perceptual, cognitive, interoceptive, and motor processes in specific situations. Across emotional experiences over time, learned assemblies of processes accumulate in memory that later underlie emotional experiences in similar situations. A neuroi...
Chapter
Research in embodied and grounded cognition is defined by the types of hypotheses researchers pursue, with specific emphasis on the ways in which the body, brain, and environment interact to give rise to intelligent behavior. In cognitive neuroscience, it is hypothesized that simulations in modality‐specific representations, situated and embedded i...
Article
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What are the mechanisms by which extrinsic and environmental cues affect consumer experiences, desires, and choices? Based on the recent grounded cognition theory of desire, we argue that consumption and reward simulations constitute a central mechanism in these phenomena. Specifically, we argue that appetitive stimuli, such as specific product cue...
Chapter
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If a theory of concept composition aspires to psychological plausibility, it may first need to address several preliminary issues associated with naturally occurring human concepts: content variability, multiple representational forms, and pragmatic constraints. Not only do these issues constitute a significant challenge for explaining individual c...
Preprint
Studies have suggested that the default mode network is active during mind wandering, which is often experienced intermittently during sustained attention tasks. Conversely, an anticorrelated task-positive network is thought to subserve various forms of attentional processing. Understanding how these two systems work together is central for underst...
Preprint
Full-text available
According to constructivist theories of emotion, members of different populations experience emotion differently as a result of assembling different neural resources to produce it. To test this prediction, we sampled individuals from three populations (experienced meditators, cancer survivors, matched controls) and used functional magnetic resonanc...
Preprint
This study sought to examine the effect of meditation experience on brain networks underlying cognitive actions employed during contemplative practice. In a previous study, we proposed a basic model of naturalistic cognitive fluctuations that occur during the practice of focused attention meditation. This model specifies four intervals in a cogniti...
Article
Full-text available
According to constructivist theories of emotion, members of different populations experience emotion differently as a result of assembling different neural resources to produce it. To test this prediction, we sampled individuals from three populations (experienced meditators, cancer survivors, matched controls) and used functional magnetic resonanc...
Article
Recent use of voxel-wise modeling in cognitive neuroscience suggests that semantic maps tile the cortex. Although this impressive research establishes distributed cortical areas active during the conceptual processing that underlies semantics, it tells us little about the nature of this processing. While mapping concepts between Marr's computationa...
Article
The theory of situated conceptualization is introduced, including its core assumptions about the construction and storage of situated conceptualizations, the production of pattern completion inferences in relevant situations, and the implementation of these inferences via multimodal simulation. The broad applicability of the theory to many phenomen...
Article
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We propose that the domain general process of categorization contributes to the perception of stress. When a situation contains features associated with stressful experiences, it is categorized as stressful. From the perspective of situated cognition, the features used to categorize experiences as stressful are the features typically true of stress...
Article
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The 15 articles in this special issue on The Representation of Concepts illustrate the rich variety of theoretical positions and supporting research that characterize the area. Although much agreement exists among contributors, much disagreement exists as well, especially about the roles of grounding and abstraction in conceptual processing. I firs...
Article
We propose that a core eating network and its modulations account for much of what is currently known about the neural activity underlying a wide range of eating phenomena in humans (excluding homeostasis and related phenomena). The core eating network is closely adapted from a network that Kaye, Fudge, and Paulus (2009) proposed to explain the neu...
Article
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A brief mindfulness intervention diminished bias in favor of one’s in-group and against one’s out-group. In the linguistic intergroup bias (LIB), individuals expect in-group members to behave positively and out-group members to behave negatively. Consequently, individuals choose abstract language beset with character inferences to describe these ex...
Article
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In response to Casasanto, Brookshire, and Ivry (), we address four points: First, we engaged in conceptual replications of Brookshire, Casasanto, and Ivry (), not direct replications. Second, we did not question the validity of Brookshire et al.'s () results, nor the similar findings of other researchers, but instead explained divergent findings wi...
Article
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Ruminative thoughts about a stressful event can seem subjectively real, as if the imagined event were happening in the moment. One possibility is that this subjective realism results from simulating the self as engaged in the stressful event (immersion). If so, then the process of decentering-disengaging the self from the event-should reduce the su...
Article
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Mindful attention, a central component of mindfulness meditation, can be conceived as becoming aware of one’s thoughts and experiences and being able to observe them as transient mental events. Here, we present a series of studies demonstrating the effects of applying this metacognitive perspective to one’s spontaneous reward responses when encount...
Chapter
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We know less, however, about how desire arises in the first place. What are the actual psychological mechanisms that produce desires and consequently affect our behavior to fulfill them? What neural mechanisms underlie the psychological processes that lead to desire, and that are associated with behaviors such as indulging in tasty food, drinking e...
Article
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According to grounded cognition, words whose semantics contain sensory-motor features activate sensory-motor simulations, which, in turn, interact with spatial responses to produce grounded congruency effects (e.g., processing the spatial feature of up for sky should be faster for up vs. down responses). Growing evidence shows these congruency effe...
Article
The property generation task (i.e. “feature listing”) is often assumed to measure concepts. Typically, researchers assume implicitly that the underlying representation of a concept consists of amodal propositions, and that verbal responses during property generation reveal their conceptual content. The experiments reported here suggest instead that...
Article
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The tremendous variability within categories of human emotional experience receives little empirical attention. We hypothesized that atypical instances of emotion categories (e.g. pleasant fear of thrill-seeking) would be processed less efficiently than typical instances of emotion categories (e.g. unpleasant fear of violent threat) in large-scale...
Article
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Psychological construction approaches to emotion suggest that emotional experience is situated and dynamic. Fear, for example, is typically studied in a physical danger context (e.g., threatening snake), but in the real world, it often occurs in social contexts, especially those involving social evaluation (e.g., public speaking). Understanding sit...
Article
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Research on the "emotional brain" remains centered around the idea that emotions like fear, happiness, and sadness result from specialized and distinct neural circuitry. Accumulating behavioral and physiological evidence suggests, instead, that emotions are grounded in core affect-a person's fluctuating level of pleasant or unpleasant arousal. A ne...
Article
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This chapter focuses on the conceptual system to describe the grounded approach. The grounded approach states that cognition relies on different components of the overall environment, which determine and influence human actions. The conceptual system is composed of organized knowledge regarding different aspects of the world. The chapter addresses...
Article
Concepts develop for many aspects of experience, including abstract internal states and abstract social activities that do not refer to concrete entities in the world. The current study assessed the hypothesis that, like concrete concepts, distributed neural patterns of relevant nonlinguistic semantic content represent the meanings of abstract conc...
Article
Full-text available
Aims. While studies on healthy subjects have shown a partial overlap between the motor execution and motor imagery neural circuits, few have investigated brain activity during motor imagery in stroke patients with hemiparesis. This work is aimed at examining similarities between motor imagery and execution in a group of stroke patients. Materials a...
Article
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Three studies illustrate that mindful attention prevents impulses toward attractive food. Participants received a brief mindfulness procedure in which they observed their reactions to external stimuli as transient mental events rather than subjectively real experiences. Participants then applied this procedure to viewing pictures of highly attracti...
Article
Full-text available
This study sought to examine the effect of meditation experience on brain networks underlying cognitive actions employed during contemplative practice. In a previous study, we proposed a basic model of naturalistic cognitive fluctuations that occur during the practice of focused attention meditation. This model specifies four intervals in a cogniti...
Article
Full-text available
People believe they see emotion written on the faces of other people. In an instant, simple facial actions are transformed into information about another's emotional state. The present research examined whether a perceiver unknowingly contributes to emotion perception with emotion word knowledge. We present 2 studies that together support a role fo...
Article
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Grounded theories assume that there is no central module for cognition. According to this view, all cognitive phenomena, including those considered the province of amodal cognition such as reasoning, numeric, and language processing, are ultimately grounded in (and emerge from) a variety of bodily, affective, perceptual, and motor processes. The de...
Article
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Thechapters in this volume document the importance of COntext aCross diverse literatures, including genetics, neuroscience, perception; action, cognition) emotion, social interaction, and culture.1 SpecificaHy, three dominant themes emerge from this interdisciplinary collection. • Theme 1. Extensive evidence exists fo r context effects. Regard­ les...
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Grounded cognition offers a natural approach for integrating Bayesian accounts of optimality with mechanistic accounts of cognition, the brain, the body, the physical environment, and the social environment. The constructs of simulator and situated conceptualization illustrate how Bayesian priors and likelihoods arise naturally in grounded mechanis...
Article
Full-text available
Studies have suggested that the default mode network is active during mind wandering, which is often experienced intermittently during sustained attention tasks. Conversely, an anticorrelated task-positive network is thought to subserve various forms of attentional processing. Understanding how these two systems work together is central for underst...
Article
Full-text available
Embodied theories are increasingly challenging traditional views of cognition by arguing that conceptual representations that constitute our knowledge are grounded in sensory and motor experiences, and processed at this sensorimotor level, rather than being represented and processed abstractly in an amodal conceptual system. Given the established e...
Article
Most studies involving spontaneous fluctuations in the BOLD signal extract connectivity patterns that show relationships between brain areas that are maintained over the length of the scanning session. In this study, however, we examine the spatiotemporal dynamics of the BOLD fluctuations to identify common patterns of propagation within a scan. A...
Article
According to the Conceptual Act Theory of Emotion, the situated conceptualization used to construe a situation determines the emotion experienced. A neuroimaging experiment tested two core hypotheses of this theory: (1) different situated conceptualizations produce different forms of the same emotion in different situations, (2) the composition of...
Article
Thirty years ago, grounded cognition had roots in philosophy, perception, cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuropsychology. During the next twenty years, grounded cognition continued developing in these areas, and also took new forms in robotics, cognitive ecology, cognitive neuroscience, and development...
Article
The ability to draw new conclusions from known facts and hypotheses is central to human thought, enabling syllogistic reasoning, problem solving, causal reasoning, and analogical inference. We review contemporary psychological theories and emerging neuroscience evidence from each domain. Current neuroscience research demonstrates that reasoning is...
Article
In three experiments, participants received nouns or noun phrases for objects and verbally generated their properties (“feature listing”). Several sources of evidence indicated that participants constructed perceptual simulations to generate properties for the noun phrases during conceptual combination. First, the production of object properties fo...
Article
This special issue of Acta Psychologica on "Spatial working memory: From eye movements to grounded cognition" addresses what might, at first blush, appear to be a relatively unusual collection of papers. Some address visuospatial working memory, whereas others address imagery. Some address relatively low-level processes, such as eye movements, wher...
Article
Based on accumulating evidence, simulation appears to be a basic computational mechanism in the brain that supports a broad spectrum of processes from perception to social cognition. Further evidence suggests that simulation is typically situated, with the situated character of experience in the environment being reflected in the situated character...
Article
Three experiments demonstrated that situational information contributes to the categorization of functional object categories, as well as to inferences about these categories. When an object was presented in the context of setting and event information, categorization was more accurate than when the object was presented in isolation. Inferences abo...
Chapter
This chapter explains that multiple systems represent knowledge. It focuses on two resources of knowledge, believed to have strong empirical support - linguistic forms in the brain's language systems, and situated simulations in the brain's modal systems. Although this chapter focuses on two sources of knowledge, it does not exclude the possibility...
Article
The LASS theory proposes that Language and Situated Simulation both play central roles in conceptual processing. Depending on stimuli and task conditions, different mixtures of language and simulation occur. When a word is processed in a conceptual task, it first activates other linguistic forms, such as word associates. More slowly, the word activ...
Article
In studying categorization, cognitive science has focused primarily on cultural categorization, ignoring individual and institutional categorization. Because recent technological developments have made individual and institutional classification systems much more available and powerful, our understanding of the cognitive and social mechanisms that...
Article
According to the Perceptual Symbols Theory of cognition (Barsalou, 1999), modality-specific simulations underlie the representation of concepts. A strong prediction of this view is that perceptual processing affects conceptual processing. In this study, participants performed a perceptual detection task and a conceptual property-verification task i...
Article
Full-text available
Many objects typically occur in particular locations, and object words encode these spatial associations. We tested whether such object words (e.g., head, foot) orient attention toward the location where the denoted object typically occurs (i.e., up, down). Because object words elicit perceptual simulations of the denoted objects (i.e., the represe...
Article
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Grounded cognition rejects traditional views that cognition is computation on amodal symbols in a modular system, independent of the brain's modal systems for perception, action, and introspection. Instead, grounded cognition proposes that modal simulations, bodily states, and situated action underlie cognition. Accumulating behavioral and neural e...