Conceptual Puzzle Pieces

An Image Schema Experiment on Object Conceptualisation
  • Maria M. Hedblom
  • Oliver KutzEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11939)


Image schemas were introduced as mental generalisations learned from the sensorimotor experiences in infancy that in adulthood shape language formation and conceptualisations. So far, little empirical research has been devoted to investigate to which degree image schemas are involved in object conceptualisation more concretely. To address this, this experimental study investigates the relationship between abstract image schemas and their involvement in conceptualisations of common, everyday objects. The experimental set-up asks participants to describe objects using abstract representations of image schemas. The results from the study support the claim that image-schematic thinking is prevalent in the conceptualisation of objects, thus providing empirical evidence for the idea that image schemas can serve as conceptual building blocks for the meaning of objects.


Image schemas Affordances Common sense Conceptual structure 



The authors thank the reviewers for their useful comments. We would also like to thank Mihailo Antović for his assistance regarding data analysis and the study of image schemas. Our thanks also extend to John Bateman, Tony Veale and Rafael Peñaloza for valuable input during discussions on experimental set-up and analysis methods.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Conceptual and Cognitive Modelling Research Group (CORE), KRDB Research Centre for Knowledge and Data, Faculty of Computer ScienceFree University of Bozen-BolzanoBolzanoItaly

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