Essay The Theory of Embodied Embedded Cognition

Essay The Theory of Embodied Embedded Cognition

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According to the theory of embodied embedded cognition, developed by Lakoff, the body as it interacts with its environment has an important effect on how metaphors are originally formed. Gallese & Lakoff (2005) argued that “conceptual knowledge is embodied, that is, it is mapped within our sensory-motor system” (p. 456). Their arguments were based on findings that imagining and doing use a shared neural substrate, which lead them to argue that understanding also has neural substrate roots. They elaborated an interactionist theory based on the embodiment of understandings, in the sense that understanding is “structured by our constant encounter and interaction with the world via our bodies and brains” (Gallese & Lakoff, 2005, p. 456). Insofar as brain circuitry links modalities, “infusing each with properties of others” (Gallese & Lakoff, 2005, p. 456), the sensory-motor system simply exploits the preexisting condition of the sensory-motor system for metaphor formation.
Lakoff (1987) defined all metaphors as being conceptual metaphors, “where part of the structure of a more con...

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