Embodied Perspectives on Behavioral Cognitive Enhancement

  • C. I. Zona
  • M. Raab
  • Martin H. FischerEmail author
Original Article


Recent debates about strategies to enhance human cognition concerned mostly pharmacological, environmental, and genetic factors, as well as computerized cognitive training paradigms targeting healthy populations. We offer a new perspective on behavioral cognitive enhancement, arguing that embodied cognition represents a productive framework to explain results and to inform new studies aimed at enhancing cognition. Understanding cognitive mechanisms and their time course through an embodied perspective contributes to our knowledge of brain functioning and its potential. We review two domains: (a) physical exercise and (b) embodied learning. For each domain, we summarize experimental evidence according to the level of embodiment of the knowledge representations targeted by interventions (i.e., situatedness, embodiment proper, grounding). Future research should integrate embodiment and cognitive enhancement in training paradigms focused on joint cognitive and physical tasks.


Cognitive enhancement Cognitive training Embodied cognition Embodied learning Physical exercise 



We thank Bernhard Hommel for the helpful comments on an earlier version of this text.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This review reports no new data and is in compliance with ethical standards.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PotsdamPotsdam OT GolmGermany
  2. 2.German Sport University CologneKölnGermany
  3. 3.London South Bank UniversityLondonUK

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