Current approaches on cognition hold that concrete concepts are grounded in concrete experiences. There is no consensus, however, as to whether this is equally true for abstract concepts. In this review we discuss how the body might be involved in understanding abstract concepts through metaphor activation. Substantial research has been conducted on the activation of common orientational metaphors with bodily manipulations, such as "power is up" and "more is up" representations. We will focus on the political metaphor that has a more complex association between the concept and the concrete domain. However, the outcomes of studies on this political metaphor have not always been consistent, possibly because the experimental manipulation was not implicit enough. The inclusion of new technological devices in this area of research, such as the Wii Balance Board, seems promising in order to assess the groundedness of abstract conceptual spatial metaphors in an implicit manner. This may aid further research to effectively demonstrate the interrelatedness between the body and more abstract representations.

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Frontiers in Psychology
Department of Psychology

Dijkstra, K., Eerland, A., Zijlmans, J., & Post, L. (2014). Embodied cognition, abstract concepts, and the benefits of new technology for implicit body manipulation. Frontiers in Psychology (Vol. 5). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00757