Enactive metaphors: Learning through full-body engagement

Shaun Gallagher, Robb Lindgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA010
Pages (from-to)391-404
Number of pages14
JournalEducational Psychology Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Enactive cognition
  • Learning
  • Metaphor
  • Pretense
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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