Thinking with your Body and Other Things
To defend this view I describe how thought often relies on active perception enhanced by mental projection. Because interacting with things, including moving our bodies, can improve projection it forms part of an interactive strategy for thinking. This explains how we can harness the analog computation performed by moving objects to share the computational effort of thought, and so keep thought moving forward.
David Kirsh is Professor and past chair of the Department of Cognitive Science at UCSD. He was educated at Oxford University (D.Phil), did post doctoral research at MIT in the Artificial Intelligence Lab, and has held research or visiting professor positions at MIT and Stanford University. He has written extensively on situated, distributed and embodied cognition and especially on how the environment can be shaped to simplify and extend cognition, including how we intelligently use space, and how we use external representations as an interactive tool for thought. He runs the Interactive Cognition Lab at UCSD where the focus is on the way humans are closely coupled to the outside world, and how cognitive principles can be used to improve the shape, design and our felt experience of environments. Some recent projects focus on ways humans use their bodies as things to think with, specifically in dance making and choreographic cognition. He teaches courses on Design, Special Projects, Creativity and Studio based work. He is Associate Director of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, he is Research Advisor for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance company, he is Adjunct Professor at the Laban Conservatoire of Dance and Music, London, and he is on the board of directors for the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture. Representative publications are: The Intelligent Use of Space, Adapting the World Instead of Oneself, Why We Use Our Hands When We think, Situated Cognition and Problem Solving, Explaining Artifact Evolution, Thinking with External Representations, Embodied Cognition and the Magical Future of Interaction Design.