Physical Intelligence

People walking through snow-covered woods.

Walking, which represents an extraordinarily complex coordination of actions, is one of the topics explored in the course. (Image courtesy of Photo by Juliebee.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

January IAP 2002



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Course Description

Course Description

For all of the bodies attached to the many great minds that walk the Institute's halls, in the work that goes on at MIT the body is present as an object of study, but is all but unrecognized as an important dimension of our intelligence and experience. Yet the body is the basis of our experience in the world; it is the very foundation on which cognitive intelligence is built. Using the MIT gymnastics gym as our laboratory, the Physical Intelligence activity will take an innovative, hands-on approach to explore the kinesthetic intelligence of the body as applicable to a wide range of disciplines. Via exercises, activities, readings and discussions designed to excavate our physical experience, we will not only develop balance, agility, flexibility and strength, but a deep appreciation for the inherent unity of mind and body that suggests physical intelligence as a powerful complement to cognitive intelligence.

Related Content

Noah Riskin. PE.910 Physical Intelligence. January IAP 2002. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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