Anna Maria Borghi

Pubblicazioni

Titolo Pubblicato in Anno
Older LGBT+ Adults and Physical Activity: A Systematic Review of Qualitative and Quantitative Data SEXUALITY RESEARCH AND SOCIAL POLICY 2024
Aging well in an aging society: physical health in older lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY 2024
Breaking the ice in a conversation: abstract words prompt dialogues more easily than concrete words LANGUAGE AND COGNITION 2023
Concepts, abstractness and inner speech PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS - ROYAL SOCIETY. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 2023
Editorial concepts in interaction: Social engagement and inner experiences PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS - ROYAL SOCIETY. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 2023
Abstract concepts and simulated competition PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH 2023
Grounded cognition can be multimodal all the way down LANGUAGE, COGNITION AND NEUROSCIENCE 2023
How Do We Learn and Why Do We Use Abstract Concepts and Words FRONTIERS FOR YOUNG MINDS 2023
Inner speech as language process and cognitive tool TRENDS IN COGNITIVE SCIENCES 2023
Consensus Paper: Current Perspectives on Abstract Concepts and Future Research Directions JOURNAL OF COGNITION 2023
Embodied Cognition and Legal Concepts Legal Reasoning and Cognitive Science: Topics and Perspectives, 2023
EXPLORING THE PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES OF LARGE LANGUAGE MODELS FOR LANGUAGE LEARNING AND PRODUCTION SISTEMI INTELLIGENTI 2023
Language as a means to reduce uncertainty: Comment on “An active inference model of hierarchical action understanding, learning and imitation” by R. Proietti, G. Pezzulo, A. Tessari PHYSICS OF LIFE REVIEWS 2023
The Freedom of Words: Abstractness and the Power of Language 2023
Concepts, abstractness and inner speech PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS - ROYAL SOCIETY. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 2023
LE PIANTE E GLI ESSERI UMANI, TRA RAPPRESENTAZIONE E COGNIZIONE GIORNALE ITALIANO DI PSICOLOGIA 2023
Gender is conceptualized in different ways across cultures LANGUAGE AND COGNITION 2023
Editorial: Insights in: theoretical and philosophical psychology FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY 2023
Editorial: Rising ideas in: theoretical and philosophical psychology FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY 2023
Beyond simple laboratory studies, toward interactive methods: Commentary on the review article: Beyond simple laboratory studies: Developing sophisticated models to study rich behavior PHYSICS OF LIFE REVIEWS 2023

ERC

  • SH4

Interessi di ricerca

I am interested in the relationship between objects, concepts, and language, and in how we react to the actions of others. The general view underlying my research is that cognition is embodied and grounded, in the environment and in bodily states. Cognition emerges from goal-derived interactions between the organisms and the environment. This view stresses the role of action for cognition, and it considers perception, action, and cognition as strictly interrelated. I am also interested in interoception, the sensitivity to our bodily signals. 

1) Objects and affordances: I am interested in affordances, i.e. the idea that objects evoke actions and that we think of objects in terms of the actions we typically perform with them. I work on how affordances are flexibly modulated by the context: by the task, by the presence of other objects, of other people potentially interacting with objects. I am also interested in the affordances of novel objects for children and adults, in affordances of dangerous objects, and in the distinction between more stable and more variable affordances. 

2) Concepts: I am interested in how concepts, the minimal units of our knowledge, tap on sensorimotor and interoceptive experience. I work on how concepts are dynamically updated depending on our goals and interaction with the environment, and how concepts link to each other through conceptual relations (thematic, taxonomic, etc.). I am interested in differences within concept kinds -e.g. artifacts vs. natural objects. I am particularly interested in abstract concepts (see below). 

3) Abstract concepts. I work on how we acquire, use and represent in the brain abstract concepts, like "fantasy" and "think". I am convinced that explaining them represents a big challenge for embodied and grounded views and that this challenge has to be addressed by recognizing the important role language plays for cognition. I believe that because the members of abstract concepts are more heterogeneous and variable than that of concrete concepts, like "table", for their acquisition and use the role of the linguistic and social input is more crucial. Consistently, linguistic networks should be more activated in the brain for abstract than for concrete concepts, and abstract concepts should be more variable across languages than concrete ones. I am also interested in the differences within concept kinds since abstract concepts come in a great variety - from emotional and social concepts to spatio-temporal and numerical concepts, to spiritual and philosophical concepts. I believe that the challenge to account for abstract concepts should be addressed by studying concepts with novel methods, i.e. investigating them during their use in interaction. With various collaborators, we have proposed are currently refining a theory of abstract concepts, the Words As social Tools (WAT). 

4) Language. I am interested in three main aspects:

1) how language is grounded in the sensorimotor and interoceptive system, eliciting a simulation during language comprehension. I study how this simulation is sensitive to properties of the objects (e.g. object size, weight, orientation), of the actions (e.g. whether the action involves the hand, the mouth, the leg, or other body parts), situations, and emotions described through language 

2) how language impacts cognition, changing the way in which we conceive our body (I am convinced that words can expand our perceived bodily borders) and the way we perceive objects and entities in the environment;

3) how different languages impact cognition. I am interested in cross-cultural comparisons. 

5) Actions of others: Automatic imitation and motor resonance.

I am interested in how we respond when we observe actions performed by others, on when we put ourselves in their shows, and on the mechanisms underlying imitative and joint / complementary actions. 

 

Keywords

affordances
Action recognition
Language
concepts
conceptual categories
abstraction
action
Abstract reasoning
Healthy ageing
connectedness with nature

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