Embodied cognition: it's real
Physical enthusiasts are not going to be surprised by this one: A new study reports that "Body Movements Can Influence Problem Solving." Researchers set up a problem that required a creative solution. Subjects were guided through movement sessions: one group was led through movements that subtly resembled the ultimate solution, the other group was led through generalized, unrelated movements. Those who moved in the related way were far more likely to arrive at the solution. This sounds obvious enough, but the findings are powerful evidence that the mind and body are intimately connected and interdependent. They also suggest that our Cartesian approach to education is deeply flawed. Instead of isolating the brain and trying to stuff it full of information, we ought to be bringing the body into the process. Physical movement isn't just about health; it's also about intelligence. As the researchers put it:
"People tend to think that their mind lives in their brain, dealing in conceptual abstractions, very much disconnected from the body," he said. "This emerging research is fascinating because it is demonstrating how your body is a part of your mind in a powerful way. The way you think is affected by your body and, in fact, we can use our bodies to help us think."