Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 391–404 | Cite as

Enactive Metaphors: Learning Through Full-Body Engagement

  • Shaun Gallagher
  • Robb Lindgren
Review Article


Building on both cognitive semantics and enactivist approaches to cognition, we explore the concept of enactive metaphor and its implications for learning. Enactive approaches to cognition involve the idea that online sensory-motor and affective processes shape the way the perceiver-thinker experiences the world and interacts with others. Specifically, we argue for an approach to learning through whole-body engagement in a way that employs enactive metaphors. We summarize recent empirical studies that show enactive metaphors and whole-body involvement in virtual and mixed reality environments support and improve learning.


Metaphor Enactive cognition Simulation Pretense Learning 



Research for this project was supported by the National Science Foundation Informal Science Education grant (DRL-1114621), entitled “Metaphor-Based Learning of Physics Concepts Through Whole-Body Interaction in a Mixed Reality Science Center Program.”


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of MemphisMemphisUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Law, Humanities and ArtsUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Curriculum, College of EducationUniversity of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA

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