University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors


  • Frank Broz
  • Tony Belpaeme
  • Ambra Bisio
  • Luciano Fadiga
  • Tomassino Ferrauto
  • Kerstin Fischer
  • Onofrio Gigliotta
  • Sascha Griffiths
  • Hagen Lehmann
  • Katrin S. Lohan
  • Caroline Lyon
  • Davide Marocco
  • Gianluca Massera
  • Giorgio Metta
  • Vishwanathan Mohan
  • Anthony Morse
  • Stefano Nolfi
  • Francesco Nori
  • Martin Peniak
  • Karola Pitsch
  • Katharina J. Rohlfing
  • Gerhard Sagerer
  • Yo Sato
  • Joe Saunders
  • Lars Schillingmann
  • Alessandra Sciutti
  • Vadim Tikhanoff
  • Britta Wrede
  • Arne Zeschel
  • Angelo Cangelosi
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-544
Number of pages11
JournalTopics in Cognitive Science
Early online date17 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2014


This article presents results from a multidisciplinary research project on the integration and transfer of language knowledge into robots as an empirical paradigm for the study of language development in both humans and humanoid robots. Within the framework of human linguistic and cognitive development, we focus on how three central types of learning interact and co-develop: individual learning about one's own embodiment and the environment, social learning (learning from others), and learning of linguistic capability. Our primary concern is how these capabilities can scaffold each other's development in a continuous feedback cycle as their interactions yield increasingly sophisticated competencies in the agent's capacity to interact with others and manipulate its world. Experimental results are summarized in relation to milestones in human linguistic and cognitive development and show that the mutual scaffolding of social learning, individual learning, and linguistic capabilities creates the context, conditions, and requisites for learning in each domain. Challenges and insights identified as a result of this research program are discussed with regard to possible and actual contributions to cognitive science and language ontogeny. In conclusion, directions for future work are suggested that continue to develop this approach toward an integrated framework for understanding these mutually scaffolding processes as a basis for language development in humans and robots.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Frank Broz et al, “The ITALK Project: A Developmental Robotics Approach to the Study of Individual, Social, and Linguistic Learning”, Topics in Cognitive Science, Vol 6(3): 534-544, June 2014, which has been published in final form at doi: This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving." Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

Research outputs

ID: 7560448