Butz, Martin V ; Kutter, Esther F
Oxford University Press, USA
More than 2000 years ago Greek philosophers were pondering the puzzling dichotomy between our physical bodies and our seemingly non-physical minds. Yet even today, it remains puzzling how our mind controls our body, and vice versa, how our body shapes our mind. How is it that we can think highly abstract thoughts, seemingly fully detached from the actual, physical reality?
This book offers an interdisciplinary introduction to embodied cognitive science, addressing the question of how the mind comes into being while actively interacting with and learning from the environment by means of the own body. By pursuing a functional and computational perspective, concrete answers are provided about the fundamental mechanisms and developing structures that must bring the mind about, taking into account insights from biology, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy as well as from computer science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
The book provides introductions to the most important challenges and available computational approaches on how the mind comes into being. The book includes exercises, helping the reader to grasp the material and understand it in a broader context. References to further studies, methodological details, and current developments support more advanced studies beyond the covered material.
While the book is written in advanced textbook style with the primary target group being undergraduates in cognitive science and related disciplines, readers with a basic scientific background and a strong interest in how the mind works will find this book intriguing and revealing.