Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Author's Response
Thelen et al.: The dynamics of embodiment

So what's a modeler to do?

Esther Thelen a1, Gregor Schöner a2, Christian Scheier a3 and Linda B. Smith a1
a1 Department of Psychology and Program in Cognitive Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405 [email protected] [email protected]
a2 Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences Cognitives, C.N.R.S., Marseille, Cedex 20, France [email protected]
a3 Department of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 [email protected]


We argue that mentalistic constructs like the “object concept” are not substitutes for process explanations of cognition, and that it is impossible to prove the existence of such constructs with behavioral tasks. We defend the field theory as an appropriate level for modeling embodiment. Finally, we discuss the model's biological plausibility and its extensions to other tasks and other species.