Enactive representation refers to a phrase Bruner used to describe how young children tend to represent their world in terms of sensations and actions, therefore the phase is called "enactive". (see Iconic representation, Symbolic representation.)

In psychology, enactive representation refers to a type of mental representation in which an individual constructs a mental model of their environment through their actions and interactions with it. Enactive representations are based on the individual's personal experiences and are shaped by their interactions with the world.

Here are some examples of how enactive representation is used in the psychology context:

  • Learning through experience: When individuals learn through experience, they are creating enactive representations of the world around them. For example, a child who is learning to ride a bike is building an enactive representation of how to balance on the bike and move it forward.

  • Embodied cognition: Enactive representation is closely linked to the idea of embodied cognition, which suggests that cognition is grounded in bodily experience. When we interact with our environment, we are creating enactive representations of the world that are based on our bodily experiences.

  • Motor learning: Enactive representation is also important in motor learning, where individuals learn new movements and actions through practice and repetition. For example, a musician who is learning a new piece of music is creating an enactive representation of the movements required to play the piece.

  • Perception and action: Enactive representation is closely linked to the idea of perception and action, which suggests that perception and action are closely linked and that our perception of the world is shaped by our actions in it. When we interact with our environment, we are creating enactive representations that shape our perception of the world around us.

Overall, enactive representation is an important concept in psychology that highlights the importance of personal experience and interaction with the world in shaping mental representations. By understanding how individuals construct these representations, psychologists can gain insights into learning, perception, and cognition.


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