Cognitive science today increasingly is coming under the influence of embodied, embedded, extended, and enactive perspectives, superimposed on the more traditional cybernetic, computational assumptions of classical cognitive research. Neuroscience has contributed to a greatly enhanced understanding of brain function within the constraints of the traditional cognitive science approach, but interpretations of many of its findings can be enriched by the newer alternative perspectives. Here, we note in particular how these frameworks highlight the cognitive requirements of an animal situated within its particular environment, how the coevolution of an organism's biology and ecology shape its cognitive characteristics, and how the cognitive realm extends beyond the brain of the perceiving animal. We argue that these insights of the embodied cognition paradigm reveal the central role that “place” plays in the cognitive landscape and that cognitive scientists and philosophers alike can gain from paying heed to the importance of a concept of place. We conclude with a discussion of how this concept can be applied with respect to cognitive function, species comparisons, ecologically relevant experimental designs, and how the “hard problem” of consciousness might be approached, among its other implications.

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