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Journal Article

Why your body can jog your mind


Macedonia,  Manuela
Max Planck Research Group Neural Mechanisms of Human Communication, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Department of Information Engineering, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Austria;

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Macedonia, M., & Repetto, C. (2017). Why your body can jog your mind. Frontiers in Psychology, 8: 362. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00362.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-1350-E
Philosophical tradition influences the way we think about body and mind (Rogers, 1936). We have a body to move around and a mind to think and to learn (Descartes, 1637). At school, we sit, listen, and read, but we are not allowed to move. However, cognitive science has shown that our body is tightly linked to the mind (Wilson, 2002; Pecher and Zwaan, 2005; Gärtner, 2013). In this paper, we provide evidence that better learning is achieved if the body supports the mind. We review studies showing how physical movement impacts brain functions and structures, and why physical movement is beneficial to learning. Thereafter, we explain how the body supports the mind in difficult cognitive tasks. Finally, we discuss how the body can be employed as a tool in second language learning and mathematics.