Movement Matters – How Embodied Cognition Informs Teaching and Learning

A natural way to interpret the scene is to conceive of Trinity’s brain as something like a computer. We know that a computer’s behavior can be modified with a program, which is simply a list of instructions that a computer is built to use in carefully designed ways. If you want your computer to do word processing, you feed it a word processing program, which contains instructions for copying, pasting, and formatting words. If you want your computer to crunch numbers, you download a spreadsheet program, which contains instructions for adding, multiplying, and averaging columns of numbers. In principle, then, there is nothing too far-fetched in the idea that Trinity could learn to fly a helicopter simply by having downloaded into her computational brain a program—a set of instructions—that describe all the various procedures involved in piloting a helicopter. If brains are computers, and if the various activities of which human beings are capable can be defined in terms of finite sets of instructions, then learning a new activity might be simply a matter of internalizing the right program.