Language and simulation in conceptual processing

Lawrence W. Barsalou, Ava Santos, W. Kyle Simmons, Christine D. Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

77 Scopus citations


This chapter explains that multiple systems represent knowledge. It focuses on two resources of knowledge, believed to have strong empirical support - linguistic forms in the brain's language systems, and situated simulations in the brain's modal systems. Although this chapter focuses on two sources of knowledge, it does not exclude the possibility that other types are important as well. It argues that statistical representations play central roles throughout the brain, and that they underlie linguistic forms and situated simulations. It examines linguistic and modal approaches to the representation of knowledge. It proposes the language and situated simulation (LASS) theory as a preliminary framework for integrating these approaches. It then explores the evidence for the LASS theory, including evidence for dual code theory, Glaser's (1922) revision of dual code theory or the lexical hypothesis, evidence from the laboratories.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSymbols and Embodiment
Subtitle of host publicationDebates on Meaning and Cognition
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191696060
ISBN (Print)9780199217274
StatePublished - 22 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Conceptual processing
  • Dual code theory
  • Knowledge
  • Language and situated simulation theory
  • Language systems
  • Lexical hypothesis
  • Modal systems
  • Simulation


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