Focused Review ARTICLE

Front. Psychol., 22 January 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00612

Computational Grounded Cognition: a new alliance between grounded cognition and computational modeling

  • 1Institute of Computational Linguistic “A. Zampolli,” National Research Council, Pisa, Italy
  • 2Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, National Research Council, Rome, Italy
  • 3Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 4Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK
  • 5Division of Cognitive Sciences, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
  • 6Department of Psychology, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
  • 7Cognitive and Information Sciences, University of California, Merced, CA, USA

Grounded theories assume that there is no central module for cognition. According to this view, all cognitive phenomena, including those considered the province of amodal cognition such as reasoning, numeric, and language processing, are ultimately grounded in (and emerge from) a variety of bodily, affective, perceptual, and motor processes. The development and expression of cognition is constrained by the embodiment of cognitive agents and various contextual factors (physical and social) in which they are immersed. The grounded framework has received numerous empirical confirmations. Still, there are very few explicit computational models that implement grounding in sensory, motor and affective processes as intrinsic to cognition, and demonstrate that grounded theories can mechanistically implement higher cognitive abilities. We propose a new alliance between grounded cognition and computational modeling toward a novel multidisciplinary enterprise: Computational Grounded Cognition. We clarify the defining features of this novel approach and emphasize the importance of using the methodology of Cognitive Robotics, which permits simultaneous consideration of multiple aspects of grounding, embodiment, and situatedness, showing how they constrain the development and expression of cognition.

Keywords: grounding, embodiment, situatedness, cognitive robotics, situated simulation

Citation: Pezzulo G, Barsalou LW, Cangelosi A, Fischer MH, McRae K and Spivey MJ (2013) Computational Grounded Cognition: a new alliance between grounded cognition and computational modeling. Front. Psychology 3:612. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00612

Received: 27 July 2012; Accepted: 21 December 2012;
Published online: 22 January 2013.

Edited by:

Anna M. Borghi, University of Bologna, Italy

Reviewed by:

Frank Guerin, University of Aberdeen, UK
Ivilin P. Stoianov, University of Padua, Italy

Copyright © 2013 Pezzulo, Barsalou, Cangelosi, Fischer, McRae and Spivey. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: giovanni.pezzulo@istc.cnr.it

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