Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #319

Embodied Cognition in Theory and Practice: How Behavior Becomes Thought

Sunday, May 26, 2019
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom AB
Area: EAB; Domain: Theory
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Peter R. Killeen, Ph.D.
Chair: Peter R. Killeen (Arizona State University)
ARTHUR GLENBERG (Arizona State University)

Arthur Glenberg is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University, an emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a member of INICO at the Univeridad de Salamanca. He does basic research in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience with a focus on developing theories of embodied cognition in the areas of language, education, and social processes. In addition, he and his colleagues at ASU have developed an embodied reading comprehension intervention (EMBRACE) for English language learning children in the early elementary grades (see: His work has been funded by NIH, IES, and NSF. Dr. Glenberg has authored a textbook (in its third edition), an edited volume, and over 100 peer-reviewed articles. As of October 2018, these publications have been cited almost 20,000 times with an h-index of 61.


A basic principle of embodied cognition is that all cognitive processes depend on behavioral and neural systems of action (goal-directed behavior such as operant responding), perception, and emotion. I will illustrate this principle with demonstrations and data from fields of perception, developmental psychology, social psychology, and cognitive psychology. After developing the case for cognition being embodied, I will discuss applications in teaching reading comprehension, second language learning, physics, and mathematics. In each domain, substantial improvements in learning occur when the body is appropriately engaged.

Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the basic principle of embodied cognition; (2) describe two or more illustrations of this principle; (3) describe applications of this principle to enhance learning; (4) generate novel applications of this principle.



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