# Mathematical Cognition as Embodied Simulation

- Firat Soylu,
*Department of Instructional Systems Technology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Cognitive Science Program, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN*

## Abstract

Based on behavioral, neuroimaging and neuropsychological data, I
argue that a key to understanding mathematical cognition is the sharing of neural
resources between sensorimotor and mathematical processes. Mathematical cognition
is embodied in the sense that it is grounded in simulations of sensorimotor
processes through the use of neural resources that are also active in bodily
perception and action. There are two approaches to the study of embodied
mathematical cognition: Behavioral, neuroimaging and neuropsychological
investigations providing empirical evidence, and the study of conceptual
metaphors, focusing on how inferences from physical domains are used to
understand abstract mathematical ideas. The first approach suffers from not
providing a unified explanation, while the second approach is criticized for not
having empirical validation. I discuss the possible implications of approaching
to mathematical cognition as embodied simulation in relating disparate findings
to provide a more connected picture of how mathematics emerges from the embodied
mind.

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