ISBN: 9780262348171 | 808 pp. | September 2018

Handbook of Embodied Cognition and Sport Psychology


This landmark work is the first systematic collaboration between cognitive scientists and sports psychologists that considers the mind–body relationship from the perspective of athletic skill and sports practice. With twenty-six chapters by leading researchers, the book connects and integrates findings from fields that range from philosophy of mind to sociology of sports. The chapters show not only that sports can tell scientists how the human mind works but also that the scientific study of the human mind can help athletes succeed. Sports psychology research has always focused on the themes, notions, and models of embodied cognition; embodied cognition, in turn, has found striking confirmation of its theoretical claims in the psychological accounts of sports performance and athletic skill. Athletic skill is a legitimate form of intelligence, involving cognitive faculties no less sophisticated and complex than those required by mathematical problem solving.

After presenting the key concepts necessary for applying embodied cognition to sports psychology, the book discusses skill disruption (the tendency to “choke” under pressure); sensorimotor skill acquisition and how training correlates to the development of cognitive faculties; the intersubjective and social dimension of sports skills, seen in team sports; sports practice in cultural and societal contexts; the notion of “affordance” and its significance for ecological psychology and embodied cognition theory; and the mind’s predictive capabilities, which enable anticipation, creativity, improvisation, and imagination in sports performance.

Ana Maria Abreu, Kenneth Aggerholm, Salvatore Maria Aglioti, Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza, Duarte Araújo, Jürgen Beckmann, Kath Bicknell, Geoffrey P. Bingham, Jens E. Birch, Gunnar Breivik, Noel E. Brick, Massimiliano L. Cappuccio, Thomas H. Carr, Alberto Cei, Anthony Chemero, Wayne Christensen, Lincoln J. Colling, Cassie Comley, Keith Davids, Matt Dicks, Caren Diehl, Karl Erickson, Anna Esposito, Pedro Tiago Esteves, Mirko Farina, Giolo Fele, Denis Francesconi, Shaun Gallagher, Gowrishankar Ganesh, Raúl Sánchez-García, Rob Gray, Denise M. Hill, Daniel D. Hutto, Tsuyoshi Ikegami, Geir Jordet, Adam Kiefer, Michael Kirchhoff, Kevin Krein, Kenneth Liberman, Tadhg E. MacIntyre, Nelson Mauro Maldonato, David L. Mann, Richard S. W. Masters, Patrick McGivern, Doris McIlwain, Michele Merritt, Christopher Mesagno, Vegard Fusche Moe, Barbara Gail Montero, Aidan P. Moran, David Moreau, Hiroki Nakamoto, Alberto Oliverio, David Papineau, Gert-Jan Pepping, Miriam Reiner, Ian Renshaw, Michael A. Riley, Zuzanna Rucinska, Lawrence Shapiro, Paula Silva, Shannon Spaulding, John Sutton, Phillip D. Tomporowski, John Toner, Andrew D. Wilson, Audrey Yap, Qin Zhu

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword 1
  2. Foreword 2
  3. Introduction
  4. 1. Embodied Cognition and Sport
  5. 2. Emotions on the Playing Field
  6. 3. Trading Perception and Action for Complex Cognition: Application of Theoretical Principles from Ecological Psychology to the Design of Interventions for Skill Learning
  7. 4. Flipping Sport Psychology Theory into Practice: A Context- and Behavior-Centered Approach
  8. 5. The Many Threats of Self-Consciousness: Embodied Approaches to Choking under Pressure in Sensorimotor Skills
  9. 6. Cognition in Skilled Action: Meshed Control and the Varieties of Skill Experience
  10. 7. Questioning the Breadth of the Attentional Focus Effect
  11. 8. Knowledge, Consciousness, and Sporting Skills
  12. 9. Embodied Cognition and Sport Pedagogy
  13. 10. Complex Motor Activities to Enhance Cognition
  14. 11. Neither Genes nor Deliberate Practice: An Embodied and Multidimensional Approach to Talent
  15. 12. Emerging Technologies for Sport Performance Enhancement: Embodied Cognition and Manipulation of Brain Rhythms
  16. 13. Action Understanding, Motor Resonance, and Embodied Simulation in Sports: Bridging Ecological and Neuroscientific Approaches
  17. 14. Action Imitative and Prediction Error-Induced Contagions in Human Actions
  18. 15. Planning Together and Playing Together
  19. 16. Excellence without Mental Representation: High Performance in Risk Sports and Japanese Swordsmanship
  20. 17. Stereotype Threat and the Female Athlete: Swimming, Surfing, and Sport Martial Arts
  21. 18. Ethnomethodological Respecifications of Cognition in Sport
  22. 19. The Irreducible Embeddedness of Action Choice in Sport
  23. 20. Selecting among Affordances: A Basis for Channeling Expertise in Sport
  24. 21. Affordances and the Ecological Approach to Throwing for Long Distances and Accuracy
  25. 22. Affordances and the Anticipatory Control of Action
  26. 23. Imagery, Expertise, and Action: A Window into Embodiment
  27. 24. Predictive Processing in the Control of Interceptive Motor Actions
  28. 25. Embodied and Enactive Creativity in Sports
  29. 26. Prefiguration, Anticipation, and Improvisation: A Neurocognitive and Phenomenological Perspective
  30. Biographical Notes on Contributors
  31. Index