TEST: a tropic, embodied, and situated theory of cognition

Andriy Myachykov*, Chirstoph Scheepers, Martin H. Fischer, Klaus Kessler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


TEST is a novel taxonomy of knowledge representations based on three distinct hierarchically organized representational features: Tropism, Embodiment, and Situatedness. Tropic representational features reflect constraints of the physical world on the agent's ability to form, reactivate, and enrich embodied (i.e., resulting from the agent's bodily constraints) conceptual representations embedded in situated contexts. The proposed hierarchy entails that representations can, in principle, have tropic features without necessarily having situated and/or embodied features. On the other hand, representations that are situated and/or embodied are likely to be simultaneously tropic. Hence, although we propose tropism as the most general term, the hierarchical relationship between embodiment and situatedness is more on a par, such that the dominance of one component over the other relies on the distinction between offline storage versus online generation as well as on representation-specific properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-460
Number of pages19
JournalTopics in Cognitive Science
Issue number3
Early online date24 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

The version posted must include a notice on the first page as follows: ‘This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Myachykov, A., Scheepers, C., Fischer, M. H., & Kessler, K. (2014). TEST: a tropic, embodied, and situated theory of cognition. Topics in cognitive science, 6(3), 442-460, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tops.12024.


  • cognitive tropism
  • embodiment
  • groundedness
  • language
  • number processing
  • perspective taking
  • situatedness


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