Towards a Vygotskyan Cognitive Robotics: The Role of Language as a Cognitive Tool

New Ideas in Psychology 29:298-311 (2011)
Authors
Marco Mirolli
Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche
Abstract
Cognitive Robotics can be defined as the study of cognitive phenomena by their modeling in physical artifacts such as robots. This is a very lively and fascinating field which has already given fundamental contributions to our understanding of natural cognition. Nonetheless, robotics has to date addressed mainly very basic, low­level cognitive phenomena like sensory­motor coordination, perception, and navigation, and it is not clear how the current approach might scale up to explain high­level human cognition. In this paper we argue that a promising way to do that is to merge current ideas and methods of 'embodied cognition' with the Russian tradition of theoretical psychology which views language not only as a communication system but also as a cognitive tool, that is by developing a Vygotskyan Cognitive Robotics. We substantiate this idea by discussing several domains in which language can improve basic cognitive abilities and permit the development of high­level cognition: learning, categorization, abstraction, memory, voluntary control, and mental life.
Keywords Robotics  Cognition  Language  Vygotsky  Categorization  Learning
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Thinking in Words: Language as an Embodied Medium of Thought.Guy Dove - 2014 - Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (3):371-389.
Language as a Cognitive Tool.Marco Mirolli & Domenico Parisi - 2009 - Minds and Machines 19 (4):517-528.
Relationalism Through Social Robotics.Raya A. Jones - 2013 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 43 (4):405-424.

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