The embodied nature of spatial perspective taking: embodied transformation versus sensorimotor interference

Kessler, K. and Thomson, L.A. (2010) The embodied nature of spatial perspective taking: embodied transformation versus sensorimotor interference. Cognition, 114(1), pp. 72-88. (doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2009.08.015)

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Humans are able to mentally adopt the spatial perspective of others and understand the world from their point of view. We propose that spatial perspective taking (SPT) could have developed from the physical alignment of perspectives. This would support the notion that others have put forward claiming that SPT is an embodied cognitive process. We investigated this issue by contrasting several accounts in terms of the assumed processes and the nature of the embodiment. In a series of four experiments we found substantial evidence that the transformations during SPT comprise large parts of the body schema, which we did not observe for object rotation. We further conclude that the embodiment of SPT is best conceptualised as the self-initiated emulation of a body movement, supporting the notion of endogenous motoric embodiment. Overall our results are much more in agreement with an embodied transformation account than with the notion of sensorimotor interference. Finally we discuss our findings in terms of SPT as a possible evolutionary stepping stone towards more complex alignments of socio-cognitive perspectives.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kessler, Dr Klaus
Authors: Kessler, K., and Thomson, L.A.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Cognition

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