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Beyond the Brain: How Body and Environment Shape Animal and Human Minds

4.36  ·  Rating Details ·  66 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
When a chimpanzee stockpiles rocks as weapons or when a frog sends out mating calls, we might easily assume these animals know their own motivations--that they use the same psychological mechanisms that we do. But as Beyond the Brain indicates, this is a dangerous assumption because animals have different evolutionary trajectories, ecological niches, and physical attribute ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 4th 2011 by Princeton University Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Dec 15, 2015 Fortnightlysara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-read and trendy look at situated cognition through an empirical psychology lens. I enjoyed the examples from robotics, and animal and developmental cognition, as well as the citations being a who's who of embodiment (Clark, Chalmers, Noe, Gallagher, Thelen & Smith, etc etc). The robotics examples were particularly great. However, I was left feeling that this lacked the oomph of a 'how' story and was more of an assertion of the situated cognition thesis coated with enough of a research ...more
Apr 13, 2014 Uyar rated it liked it
I read the turkish translation....turkcesi beynin otesi olarak yayinlandi. oldukca zor bir kitap turkcenin kifayetsizligi mi, cumlelerin uzunlugu mu bilemeyecegim ama bazen okumakta gercekten zorlaniliyor.. bu nedenle ingilizcesinden de takip ederek okumak zorunda kaldim.. temel birkac fikirden en onemlisi uzun zamandir merak ettigim "embodiment" ekolunun ve fikirinin aciklanisi, yorumlanisi ve savunulusu.... "hersey beyindir" veya "beynimiz neyse biz oyuz" yaklasiminin antitezi olarak ortaya ci ...more
Cecilie Hjort
Dec 19, 2013 Cecilie Hjort rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Beyond The Brain advocates a perspective on the mind starting in the 'mechanical' processes of the body and exploring how any particular organism's cognitive functions could be rooted in the way their body works - or indeed, if cognitive functions are needed at all for the behavior we observe. Barrett makes the case that many actions that we tend to see as signs of analytical intelligence in animals - including, if I'm reading her correctly, ourselves - can be explained more simply in terms of t ...more
I read this book a while ago and as I am now reviewing my notes I am asking myself why this one didn`t get the attention that I think it deserves. My humble opinion is that Beyond the brain is going to be one of the essential readings in "embodied cognition discussion".
As Andrew Wilson put it in his (blog) Barrett realy "knows her Gibson". That means that Barrett is taking the stance that cognition is a process that spans the brain, body and environment of an organism, so you need a good theory
Wing Cheung
Jun 19, 2015 Wing Cheung rated it really liked it
The author makes a strong case that most (if not all) animal behaviors can be explained by non-representational and non-computational cognitive processes that inherently and inextricably involve and include the physical body and its environment. In other words, the "mind" is a process or a state but not the brain itself or anything within it. We humans somehow manage to exist, at least at times, in the Heideggerian mode of "vorhanden", and are prone to anthropomorphize animals which are in the " ...more
Mar 22, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Barrett's book does a great job of addressing issues in the study of the brain and cognition that many probably have not ever thought about. The book is a great way to expand your horizons and views on how we interact with the world. The tone is casual and engaging, and is full of helpful anecdotes. She also does a good job of helping to break down more complicated theories and making them more accessible, while not oversimplifying things. An overall great read that really made me think differen ...more
Jordan Wagge
May 13, 2013 Jordan Wagge rated it it was amazing
I have FINALLY found a book on embodiment that is accessible to my students (master's in counseling with or without a background in cognition). This is a wonderful piece and doesn't lack in quality what it makes up in clarity.
Sep 11, 2014 Rhys rated it it was amazing
Louise Barrett is a very good writer and shares a convincing argument for the embedded cognition/mind - brain, body, and environment - with a sensitivity for evolutionary fitness.

And, amazingly, she makes Gibson almost intelligible.

A joy to read.

Buff Davis
Apr 14, 2013 Buff Davis rated it really liked it
Straightforward and readable introduction to some of the most difficult aspects of embodied cognition - with real examples and detailed explanation. Essential if you want to tackle some of the more cutting edge books that focus almost entirely on the theory alone.
jorge gomez
May 11, 2015 jorge gomez rated it liked it
Barrett highlights the implications that come with anthropomorphising other species, most notably how we identify intelligence with brain size, and presents a persuasive view of cognition as both embedded and extended.
May 04, 2014 Shelby rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing! I had the pleasure of taking multiple neuroscience and psychology classes from Louise! Absolute GEM she is!
May 11, 2012 José added it

Buen libro. Revisándolo.


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