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The human body has long inspired artists, philosophers, musicians, and writers. Researchers in the psychological sciences, however, have only relatively recently begun to acknowledge the role the body plays in perception and cognition. With the general notion of cognition recently broadening to include its embodied nature, researchers' accounts of perception have increasingly come to include the body's special status as a window on the world and to accommodate the specific perceptual requirements for identifying, interpreting, and interacting with other bodies.
This volume presents a comprehensive overview of the rapid progress that has been made in understanding the human body and its relationship to perception. It will help to unify the relevant research from several independent areas of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience and facilitate the development of an integrated framework for the study of human-body perception. Its sections cover the four major lines of research that have contributed and will continue to contribute to this new framework: body and multimodal perception, body representation, perception of biological motion, and intention and action in body perception. Each chapter provides a state-of-the-art account of exciting theoretical developments and empirical advances, and section introductions integrate the chapters and establish each section's place in the broader context of human-body-perception research. This volume will be an invaluable guide for student and professional researchers in visual perception, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuroscience.
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Gunther Knoblich is at Rutgers University. Ian Thornton is at University of Wales Swansea.Review:
"This volume is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in body perception. No other work brings together so comprehensively and so adroitly the rapidly growing evidence on the many, often surprising, ways that perception of the body interacts with and affects a wide range of
perceptual, cognitive, and motor activities. Many of the major advances in this field have been made by the contributors to this book. Their skill, coupled with the editors' deft organization of the volume as a whole, leaves one confident that this work will remain close at hand for many generations
to come." --David A. Rosenbaum, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University
"At one time, psychology considered information processing as an abstract process, defined without regard to the physical characteristics of people. A new, more powerful way of considering interactions with the world starts with the human body, and interprets cognitive and perceptual processes
as interactions of the body with its environment. Here the world's leading experts in this new way of doing perceptual psychology assemble an international and interdisciplinary team to explain body-based perception at every level, from the body sense itself to intention and action in a body-based
perspective. The volume is destined to become the 'bible' of body-based perception for the next generation of perceptual psychologists and neuroscientists." --Bruce Bridgeman, Professor of Psychology and Psychobiology, University of California, Santa Cruz
Knoblich and colleagues have artfully organized a collection of wonderfully written chapters that manages to contiguously span multi-sensory integration, self-perception, biological motion, imitation, action, and intention--all in the service of elucidating how the human mind perceives its own
and others' bodies. With a delicate balance of cognitive and ecological psychology, neuropsychology, neurophysiology, and cognitive neuroscience, the book documents the privileged role of the human body in human perception and the special relationship between perception of one's own body and
perception of other human bodies. In the burgeoning theoretical frameworks of body perception, of embodied cognition, and of social cognitive neuroscience, this generous volume will serve as a cornucopian resource for many years to come." --Michael Spivey, Associate Professor of Psychology, Cornell
"Of all our everyday activities, surely none can be more important than knowing about people, ourselves included. Indeed, this is why the nascent field of social neuroscience is burgeoning, and it's why this book is important and timely. By integrating multiple research perspectives on body
perception, these chapters--contributed by leaders in the field--provide a comprehensive overview of work on the cognitive and neuronal bases of human body perception, including self-awareness. Anyone already in the field will greatly appreciate the synthesis, and those just discovering the field
will become hooked when they read this book." --Randolph Blake, Centennial Professor of Psychology, Vanderbilt University
"This volume offers some of the keys that will eventually release us fromt eh Cartesian prison of spirits, which Descartes bestowed on us some 360 years ago."--PsycCRITIQUES
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