Embodied Cognition

2 min read
31 December 2021

How we define the value of being physically together has fundamentally changed.

The last two years have brought about enormous change in how, when and where we work. The expectation around hybrid work has contoured a new norm that brings great benefits for both the Company and its people. The 2019 commute times no longer stress employees by the time they reach their offices. The expensive overheads of physical space no longer limit workflow and efficiency.

All of this comes with new challenges. How do employees care about the company and its culture without constant human connection?

Flexible working hours also means that employees are corresponding from their home offices when it’s convenient and there may be unreasonable expectations to get responses outside working hours.

The digital workforce comes with a hidden cost that does not appear in any employee contract. This cost is on the human body. 15 years ago, the internet was an escape from the real world. Today, the real world is an escape from the internet. If we continue to progress into more immersive digital experiences, it will come at a further cost of our cognitive capacity.

Burnout, mental fog, chronic fatigue, irregular sleep patterns and anxiety are trending with no end in sight. For Companies to remain relevant, there is a fundamental need to reevaluate their relationship to their employees needs and this begins with an understanding of embodied cognition.

Embodied cognition stems from the idea that the body has more control over the brain than previously thought. Focused attention to one's own bodily state engages higher order brain networks involved in the interoceptive perception – specifically the insular cortex, anterior cingulate, posterior parietal somatosensory cortex and orbitofrontal cortex.

The strength of this interoceptive connection between brain and body is known as vagal tone and has been used in treatment of depression, anxiety and chronic fatigue where the nervous system is restored to an optimum balance without medication or side effects.

It is impossible to understand the needs of your employees and see things the way other people do, if you are unable to see it in yourself. Interoception is the ability to be aware of one's own bodily state in any given moment and this can be established through improving vagal tone.

IMG_1281Learn more about how to heighten vagal tone in Kaushik’s online course!

About My Brain Institute readers can access the course with a limited time 20% discount using the code: instantaccess


When asked about the biggest source of innovation in the rapid reshuffle to a hybrid workforce, the CEO of Microsoft said:

Diversity, technical skills, and social equity amounts to nothing if it’s not balanced with empathy. This is at the heart of innovation and providing solutions to unmet needs.

Satya Nadella

Upcoming Brain-Friendly Channel Session!

When: Jan 6, 2022 @ 8AM AEDT
Topic: Embodied Cognition
Where: Streaming Live on YouTube, LinkedIn or Facebook!

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