Embodied cognition significance for the ecologically valid psychological research in virtual reality



Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference PHD EXISTENCE 2019 „Body and mind“
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web http://psych.upol.cz/verejnosti/konference/phd-existence/
Keywords embodied cognition; virtual reality; immersive virtual environments; intercultural research; ecological validity
Description The close relationship between mind and body is neglected, but important aspect of human cognition. As anticipated by great thinkers like Vygotsky, after decades of indifference, the concept of embodied cognition finds its place in the modern research practice, partially based on the technological progress, partially based on reflection of crisis in psychological research. Embodied context like body postures or movements hugely influences various cognitive processes, special attention should be paid to sensory-motor processes. Since the majority of psychological researches stresses experimental control on the expense of ecological validity (including embodiment), practical usability of psychological findings is questionable. Recent technological development brought virtual reality (VR) systems and immersive virtual environments (IVEs) as a tools, which can provide both experimental control and ecological validity. Using VR technologies in research may not only promote knowledge about the role of body in cognitive processes, but regarding its computational capacity it may also offer a great deal of information about human behavior in environmentally valid context. These advantages are valid especially in intercultural studies, helping to understand processes standing behind human performance.
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