Mind in motion How action shapes thought

Barbara Gans Tversky

Book - 2019

"An eminent psychologist offers a major new theory of human cognition: movement, not language, is the foundation of thought."--Publisher.

Saved in:

2nd Floor Show me where

1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 153.4/Tversky Checked In
New York, NY : Basic Books 2019.
First edition
Physical Description
viii, 375 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 295-358) and index.
Main Author
Barbara Gans Tversky (author)
  • Prologue : Moving in space : the foundation of thought
  • The world in the mind
  • The space of the body : space is for action
  • The bubble around the body : people, places, and things
  • Here and now and there and then : the spaces around us
  • Transforming thought
  • The mind in the world
  • The body speaks a different language
  • Points, lines, and perspective : space in talk and thought
  • Boxes, lines, and trees : talk and thought about almost everything else
  • Spaces we create : maps, diagrams, sketches, explanations, comics
  • Conversations with a page : design, science, and art
  • The world is a diagram
  • The nine laws of cognition
  • Figure credits
  • Bibliographic notes
  • Index.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

An earnest effort to describe how our physical movements and the movements of those around us shape our consciousness.Scientists seeking to explain how we thinkno one has fully succeeded yetprefer to focus on language and perception. According to Tversky (Emerita, Psychology/Stanford Univ.; Induced Pictorial Representations, 1993), however, this is simply rephrasing the question. The author has enjoyed a distinguished career as a cognitive psychologist specializing in visual-spatial reasoning, and this is her first book for a general audience. She summarizes her life's work with an admirable absence of turgid academic prose and technical jargon, although it remains a somewhat arcane field. "From the beginning of life," she writes, "we move and act in space, interacting with our surroundings, with space itself, and with the things we encounter in space. These actions yield sensations both from within our body and outside our body. The actions and sensations of our bodies form our conceptions of our bodies. The world is never static. We are constantly acting in that world and adapting to it." Put bluntly, this means that our thoughts are intimately connected with movementsour own and those in our environment. This is reflected in the architecture of the brain, where a single nerve cell, called a mirror neuron, fires both when we observe another person do something such as pick up an object and when we perform the same action. Moving our handsgesturingis a form of communication older than language. When experimental subjects sit on their hands, their ability to communicate efficiently drops, and people blind from birth gesture as they talk. While mass audiences exist for popular science writing on cosmology, evolution, medicine, and technology, this often ingenious exploration of spatial thinking will command a more limited readership.A well-informed book that will appeal to psychology buffs willing to pay close attention. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.