- 人体科学 (ISSN:09182489)
- vol.19, no.1, pp.69-82, 2010-05-30 (Released:2018-03-01)
Embodied knowledge is a type of knowledge in which the body knows how to act (e.g., how to touch type, how to ride a bicycle, etc.). One of the important features of embodied knowledge is that the body knows how to act in a given situation; that is, the body, not the mind, is the knowing subject and the procedures for the performance are embodied. To investigate the process of embodiment and to clarify the steps of how the body becomes the knowing subject, we conducted a learning experiment on ball juggling. In this experiment, volunteer participants (n=8; 5 men and 3 women) with no prior juggling experience were encouraged to learn the three-ball cascade juggling over four weeks. We examined how the participants acquired the juggling skill, from the first person, subjective perspective, as well as from the third person, objective one. Only three participants attained the learning goal of catching the ball more than an average of 100 times, but we observed notable changes common for all the participants, in the ball trajectories, upper limb movements, and the postures. Moreover, through qualitative analysis of interviews with them, we found three general techniques used for cascade juggling; (1) finding the spatial point for focusing the eyes, (2) refraining from thinking during the action, and (3) getting into the rhythm of movements. Based on these results, we reached a conclusion that discontinuous changes occur through the process of learning motor skills. There is a moment of emergence at which the body schema gets transformed and several body parts start to coordinate differently from before. This moment is experienced as an occasional correspondence between intention and action, or, as Merleau-Ponty pointed out, 'the motor grasping of a motor significance'. It is suggested that this is the process by which the body becomes the knowing subject.