Embodied simulation as off-line representation
Sammanfattning: This licentiate thesis argues that a key to understanding the embodiment of cognition is the “sharing” of neural mechanisms between sensorimotor processes and higher-level cognitive processes as described by simulation theories. Simulation theories explain higher-level cognition as (partial) simulations or emulations of sensorimotor processes through the re-activation of neural circuitry also active in bodily perception, action, and emotion. This thesis develops the notion that simulation mechanisms have a particular representational function, as off-line representations, which contributes to the representation debate in embodied cognitive science. Based on empirical evidence from neuroscience, psychology and other disciplines as well as a review of existing simulation theories, the thesis describes three main mechanisms of simulation theories: re-activation, binding, and prediction. The possibility of using situated and embodied artificial agents to further understand and validate simulation as a mechanism of (higher-level) cognition is addressed through analysis and comparison of existing models. The thesis also presents some directions for further research on modeling simulation as well as the notion of embodied simulation as off-line representation.
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