Principal investigator and team

Embodied Semantics

We know many things about a muffin (Marcel Proust too). We know that it can be eaten, its usual color, its typical smell, the movement of putting a piece of muffin in our mouth and the happiness we feel when doing so. The knowledge that we have about the world comes from our experience and interaction with other people, objects (and muffins). In this line of research, we examine the relationships between conventional semantics (literal meaning, categorical meaning of words) and embodied semantics (especially, the motor and affective component). Specifically, we evaluate whether the relationship between the standard meaning of words, phrases, and their motor, affective meaning is (a) bidirectional, (b) beneficial or detrimental to communication, (c) specific (type of effector involved in the movement, positive or negative valence of emotions).

Some Readings

• Togato, G., Andras, F., Miralles, E., & Macizo, P. (2021). Motor processing modulates word comprehension. British Journal of Psychology, 113, 1028-1052.  

• García-Gámez, A., Cervilla, O., Casado, A., & Macizo, P. (2021). Seeing or acting? The effect of performing gestures on foreign language vocabulary learning. Language Teaching Research, 1-32.  

Principal Investigators

Mª Teresa Bajo

Head of the group

Pedro Macizo

Faculty and researchers

Ana Belén García Gámez

Post-doc fellows

Filip Andras

PhD students


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Conference Presentations



Lines of research