本所研究生王奕然同學與林映彤副教授於2021年9月15日參與由University of Bristol主辦之國際會議：The science and philosophy of imagination，並給予一場論文發表。論文題目為Simulated Embodiment: how simulated movement/interaction constrain cognition。王奕然與林映彤主張，除了如具身認知理論（embodied cognition）所主張的物理具身性（physical embodiment），也就是身體與物理環境互動會形塑認知系統，在想像之中身體與環境的互動也同樣會形塑認知系統。此想像與認知之間的形塑關係被王奕然與林映彤稱作模擬具身性（simulated embodiment）。並且，他們也論述說明，根據相關行為實驗研究結果，模擬具身性是為何不能被化約為物理具身性。
Based on the general framework of embodied cognition, according to which the physical body plays an important role in cognition, researchers have studied how physical movement/interaction shapes cognition. What’s the ontology of the role is still under debate. For a strong version of embodied cognition, it is a constitutive one; for a weak version, it is solely causal. However, in recent behavioral studies, it is revealed that besides physical movement/interaction, simulated movement/interaction in an imagining without being explicitly performed onto the physical world can make an impact on cognitive performance as well.
With a focus on physical embodiment, the role of simulated movement/interaction has not been properly addressed by the existing literature in philosophy of mind. This paper argues that simulated movement/interaction can shape cognition with examination on empirical studies of motor imagery and imaginary practices. Furthermore, even though in neurological studies it is shown that physical movement/interaction shares (nearly) the same neurological system with simulated movement/interaction, we argue against the reducibility of such simulated embodiment to physical embodiment by indicating its exclusive feature in its impact on cognitive performance. Surprisingly, in a reverse way, it is nonetheless possible that physical embodiment can be reduced to simulated embodiment. The paper ends with a preliminary examination on the compatibility of weak and strong embodiment with simluated embodiment respectively.