Situated and Embodied Cognition and Its Relevance to Extraterrestrial Intelligence
University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Lund University, Sweden
Our brains and thinking are not separate from the body where it matured and the environment where it lives. Our cognitive abilities are dependent on the physiological structure and state of our body, the environmental niche (including culture), and the evolutionary history of the species. How does this affect our ways of thinking and constructing a world view of the reality around us? There have been cross-cultural studies about ways of thinking in different cultures, and comparative ethology studies behavioral differences between species. Thus, we know that different cultures have different world views, and on the other hand, many different species share similar behavioral patterns. What aspects of cognition are the most dependent on physiological and environmental variables? And what are the shared or core aspects? What kind of cognitions could evolve on habitable but very different exoplanets? This paper will chart some of these partly very hypothetical questions.