Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 23–48 | Cite as

Embodied simulation: From neurons to phenomenal experience

  • Vittorio GalleseEmail author


The same neural structures involved in the unconscious modeling of our acting body in space also contribute to our awareness of the lived body and of the objects that the world contains. Neuroscientific research also shows that there are neural mechanisms mediating between the multi-level personal experience we entertain of our lived body, and the implicit certainties we simultaneously hold about others. Such personal and body-related experiential knowledge enables us to understand the actions performed by others, and to directly decode the emotions and sensations they experience. A common functional mechanism is at the basis of both body awareness and basic forms of social understanding: embodied simulation. It will be shown that the present proposal is consistent with some of the perspectives offered by phenomenology.

body-image body-schema embodied simulation experiential knowledge intentional attunement mirror neurons shared manifold 


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© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Sezione di FisiologiaUniversità di ParmaItaly

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