• Andrew H.

Amodal vs Modality-Specific Representations

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

The experience of a stimulating event is one where our senses are utilized to properly encode information so that it can be retained for future use, but opposing views argue whether or not those sensory regions are utilized during memory recall. One study looks into the process of conceptualization to see whether the understanding of action concepts could be diminished by the impairment of regions that facilitate the sensation of motor experiences.

Researchers who support the embodied cognition hypothesis have made progress in showing that regions in the brain become active when words relevant to those modalities are used. To a further extent of this understanding, those supporters believe that thoughts relevant to action are structured in the same neural format as the initial experiences of action-related events. The current study predicted that participants with motor constraints would fare worse when compared to normal subjects on a multiple-choice test that measures an individual's ability to understand metaphors related to action.

Contrary to what has been shown in other similar studies, the results of the experiment showed that participants with Parkinson’s performed in a manner equivalent to those without existing motor-constraints. The Parkinsons group was shown to have no issues identifying the meaning of action metaphors or straightforward sentences. Thus, the findings of the study oppose the embodied cognition hypothesis by suggesting that motor-impaired individuals have no complications related to the understanding of action-related concepts.

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