Meaning-making and Embodied Cognition in Sound Design Research

Stephen Roddy, B Bridges

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter examines the historically prevalent models of cognition that have shaped research methods and techniques in some of the fields associated with sound design. It discusses the efficacy of disembodied models of cognition, which, in favor of reductive explanations, overlook how embodied and perceptual experience can shape and constrain cognitive function. The chapter is particularly concerned with sonic meaning-making - the process by which a listener interprets or assigns meaning to a sonic symbol - as this process is crucial to sound design research. It chronicles developments in psychoacoustics, computing, cognitive science and music, and suggests that sound design research should adopt embodied models of cognition. Such models have more recently come to the fore in these fields, and offer more convincing accounts of meaning-making by addressing how our physical, perceptual and sensorimotor dimensions shape and constrain cognition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDoing Research in Sound Design
EditorsMichael Filimowicz
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780429356360
ISBN (Print) 9780367404895
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 24 Nov 2021


  • meaning
  • embodiment
  • sound design
  • cognitive science
  • psychoacoustics
  • embodied
  • cognition


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