Linguistic relativity in cross-cultural context: converging evidence from neuroanthropology

Greg Downey*, Alexander J. Gillett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Kemmerer's discussion of links between semantic typology and embodied cognition is welcome, especially his survey of available evidence. Focusing on mechanisms of embodied enculturation, however, we must understand that language is just one part of developmental assemblies that shape cognition, alongside other cultural elements such as sensory learning, behavior patterns, social interactions, and emotional experience. We believe that a source of this problem is an obsolete definition of “culture” as shared mental information that is inconsistent with models of embodied cognition and yet pervasive in human and cognitive sciences. We point to microethnographies of cognitive ecologies as a tractable remedy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-697
Number of pages5
JournalTopics in Cognitive Science
Issue number4
Early online date10 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Neuroanthropology
  • Microethnography
  • Dynamic assemblage
  • Embodied cognition
  • Human echolocation


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