Publication 8003

Davis C. P., Yee E. & Inge-Eigsti M. (2022) Beyond the social domain: Autism spectrum traits and the embodiment of manipulable object concepts. In: Macrine S. L. & Fugate J. M. B. (eds.) Movement matters: How embodied cognition informs teaching and learning. MIT Press, Cambridge MA: 275–290. Fulltext at
Excerpt: Sensorimotor experiences shape the structure of conceptual knowledge. Because experience plays such a vital role in developing concept representations, understanding how individual differences in sensorimotor experience contribute to differences in the structure of conceptual knowledge is critical. Autism spectrum disorder is associated with significant differences in sensorimotor experience during development, and in this chapter we have described recent research showing that those differences manifest in differences in how conceptual knowledge is organized. We have also speculated on some approaches to embodied learning that emerge from these recent findings, though a better understanding of the nature of conceptual knowledge differences along the autism spectrum (including how conceptual knowledge is organized) will be critical to tailoring educational interventions for individuals on the autism spectrum. Embodied learning may not be immediately intuitive to individuals on the autism spectrum, but combined with explicit connections to social cues and enriched physical education, children on the autism spectrum may benefit from embodied approaches to learning.


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