Anna M. Borghi (Bologna, Rome)

Motor and linguistic contaminations of perception: from object affordances to abstract concepts

The presentation will focus on impure perception discussing two kinds of contaminations that perception might have, i.e. motor and linguistic contaminations. I will briefly present some recent experimental work performed in our lab, starting from an embodied and grounded perspective. First, I will overview recent evidence showing that perceiving objects and comprehending words referring to objects activates their affordances, and that these affordances flexibly vary depending on the context. Second, I will report and discuss recent evidence favoring the view that, while concrete concepts (e.g., chair) are mostly grounded in perceptual and motor experience, both social-linguistic and sensorimotor experiences concur in representing abstract concepts (e.g. fantasy).