Does movement influence representations of time and space?

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Embodied cognition posits that abstract conceptual knowledge such as mental representations of time and space are at least partially grounded in sensorimotor experiences. If true, then the execution of whole-body movements should result in modulations of temporal and spatial reference frames. To scrutinize this hypothesis, in two experiments participants either walked forward, backward or stood on a treadmill and responded either to an ambiguous temporal question (Experiment 1) or an ambiguous spatial question (Experiment 2) at the end of the walking manipulation. Results confirmed the ambiguousness of the questions in the control condition. Nevertheless, despite large power, walking forward or backward did not influence the answers or response times to the temporal (Experiment 1) or spatial (Experiment 2) question. A follow-up Experiment 3 indicated that this is also true for walking actively (or passively) in free space (as opposed to a treadmill). We explore possible reasons for the null-finding as concerns the modulation of temporal and spatial reference frames by movements and we critically discuss the methodological and theoretical implications.
OriginalspracheEnglisch
ZeitschriftPloS one
Jahrgang12
Heft4
Seitenumfang19
ISSN1932-6203
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2017

ID: 2952804

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