Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Computer Science

Committee Chair

Stanley Franklin

Committee Member

Vasile Rus

Committee Member

Deepak Venugopal

Committee Member

Andrew Olney

Committee Member

Weizi Li


Embodied cognition is a paradigm in cognitive science that emphasizes the fundamental role of bodies, environmental interactions, situational contexts, and sensory and motor systems in cognitive processing. Much of the research in embodied cognition has focused on online cognitive activities (such as reactive, overt behaviors) that are directly coupled to environmental stimuli. Such research fails to explain offline cognitive activities (such as planning, deliberation, and mental imagery) that are spatially or temporally decoupled from one’s immediate sensory experiences. Embodied, simulation-based theories of cognition attempt to address this shortcoming by proposing a mechanism—modal simulations—by which sensory and motor systems can directly support offline cognitive activities. However, while purely modal, simulation-based theories, such as perceptual symbol systems, have more explanatory power than their purely online counterparts, they also suffer from their own shortcomings. These include largely untenable explanations of abstract concepts and a conspicuous lack of well-specified and well-developed computational models. To address these challenges, I develop a hybrid (modal/amodal) account of embodied, simulation-based cognition based on a neuro-symbolic implementation of the LIDA cognitive architecture. My implementation focuses on (1) grounded, multimodal perception and perceptual learning; (2) action selection and procedural learning; and (3) mental imagery and simulation-based reasoning. This account advances LIDA’s conceptual commitments to embodied principles and grounded cognition; contributes to the ongoing scientific discourse on embodied, simulation-based cognition; and advances a computational framework for realizing simulation-based, autonomous, agential software systems.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access