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Distributed for Athabasca University Press

From Bricks to Brains

The Embodied Cognitive Science of LEGO Robots

From Bricks to Brains introduces embodied cognitive science and illustrates its foundational ideas through the construction and observation of LEGO Mindstorms robots. It places a renewed emphasis on sensing and acting, the importance of embodiment, the exploration of distributed notions of control, and the development of theories by synthesizing simple systems and exploring their behaviour. Numerous examples are used to illustrate a key theme: the importance of an agent’s environment. Even simple agents, such as LEGO robots, are capable of exhibiting complex behaviour when they can sense and affect the world around them.


352 pages


Table of Contents

Front Matter; Table of Contents; Acknowledgements

Chapter 1. Mind Control—Internal or External?

Chapter 2. Classical Music and the Classical Mind

Chapter 3. Situated Cognition and Bricolage

Chapter 4. Braitenberg’s Vehicle 2

Chapter 5. Thoughtless Walkers

Chapter 6. Machina Speculatrix

Chapter 7. The Subsumption Architecture

Chapter 8. Embodiment, Stigmergy, and Swarm Intelligence

Chapter 9. Totems, Toys—Or Tools?

References; Index

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