Arthur Glenberg is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University and an emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He does basic research in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience with a focus on embodied cognition in the areas of language, education, and social processes. In addition, he has developed a reading comprehension intervention for children in the early elementary grades based on principles of embodied cognition. His most recent applied work is aimed at extending this intervention for English Language Learning children. Currently, he is PI on two NSF-funded projects directed at applying principles of embodied cognition to education. Dr. Glenberg is on the editorial boards of five journals, was the associated editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, has published a textbook (in its third edition), an edited volume, and over 100 peer-reviewed articles.
Embodied Cognition for Kids
According to many embodied theories of language, comprehension is a simulation process: We use language to drive neural and bodily systems of action, perception, and emotion into states homologous to those we experience when in the situation described by the language. While reading, we sometimes sense these states as images and emotions. But when children learn to read, particularly in an orthographically opaque language such as English, they must concentrate on simply pronouncing the words, and any embodied simulation may be absent. In this case, reading is a boring exercise in word calling. Moved by Reading is a two-part intervention for teaching children how to simulate while reading. First, children manipulate objects or pictures to externally simulate the content of the sentences they are reading. Second, children are taught to imagine moving the objects as a scaffold to independent reading. Our latest instantiation of the implementation is called EMBRACE (Enhanced Moved By Reading to Accelerate Comprehension in English). This iPad application is designed to help English Language Learners develop comprehension skill when reading in English. I will present data demonstrating the effectiveness of Moved by Reading with monolingual children and the effectiveness of EMBRACE for Latino English Language Learners.
Radboud University Nijmegen and Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen
Asli Özyürek is professor at the Center for Language Studies of Radboud
University Nijmegen and is a PI at the Donders Center for Brain Cognition
and Behaviour and Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. She
received her PhD in Psychology and Linguistics from University of Chicago.
Since her PhD she has continuously received grants from NSF, NIH, NWO (
Vidi, Vici) and ERC ( Starting Grant ) to investigate the multimodal
nature of language use and learning from a cross cultural and
developmental perspective using various methodologies such as experimental
and imaging techniques. Her publications have appeared in journals such
as Science, PNAS, Cognition, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience and SCAN
Neural and Cognitive Infrastructure of Mulimodal Language Processing and
Learning: Implications for Multimedia Technology
Language use in face-to-face context is multimodal. It requires
interlocuters to produce and perceive communicative messages not only
using speech but also from other visual channels such as from lips, face,
eye gaze and hand gestures. Furthermore deaf communicaties rely solely on
visible actions to use language and communicate. The visible and in some
cases iconic (e.g., drinking gesture to mean drink) nature of such
visible communicative actions (as opposed to arbitrary ones as in speech)
suggest that they might involve embodied procesing. In this talk I will
review research showing that production and perception of such visible
and multimodal signals and their learning indeed interact with
sensorimotor processes (e.g., motor, action) and yet at the same time
recruit brain areas involved in abstract semantic processes. Furthermore
they are designed and perceived and in orchestration with content and
timing of speech and in relation to the communicative intent of the
speaker and the perceived knowledge of the addressee. Technological
advances targeting multimedia tools need to take these design features of
multimodal processing into account to be effective in learning.
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, The University of Iowa, USA
Susan Wagner Cook is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Iowa. Prior to joining the faculty at Iowa, she received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Chicago, and did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester. Her research focuses on understanding the role of hand gesture in learning, memory and communication, and applying this understanding to the development of educational technologies.
Moving in Space and Time: How Hand Gesture Influences Learning and Memory
When we communicate our knowledge to others, our hands move through space, and they do so with exquisite temporal synchrony with the accompanying speech. Importantly, these hand movements do not just reflect previously encoded information. Instead, the embodied representation of information across speech and gesture influences subsequent learning and memory, suggesting that gesture is fundamentally important to encoding of new information. In this talk, I will present studies conducted with school children, college students and patient populations to reveal characteristics of speech and gesture, and their relation to learning and memory.