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embodied experience

The idea that experience is embodied entails that we have a species-specific view of the world due to the unique nature of our physical bodies.

In other words, our construal of reality is mediated in large measure by the nature of our bodies.

One example of the way embodiment affects the nature of experience is in the realm of color. While the human visual system has three kinds of photoreceptors or color channels, other organisms often have a different number. The visual system of squirrels and rabbits, for instance, makes use of two color channels, while animals such as goldfish and pigeons have four color channels. Having a different range of color channels affects our experience of color in terms of the range of colors accessible to us along the color spectrum. Some organisms can see in the infrared range, like rattlesnakes which hunt prey at night and can visually detect the heat given off by other organisms. Humans are unable to see in this range.

Accordingly the visual system – one aspect of our physical embodiment – determines the nature and range of human visual experience.

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