Mind meets machine: towards a cognitive science of human-machine interactions

Emily S. Cross*, Richard Ramsey

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    45 Citations (Scopus)
    32 Downloads (Pure)


    As robots advance from the pages and screens of science fiction into our homes, hospitals, and schools, they are poised to take on increasingly social roles. Consequently, the need to understand the mechanisms supporting human-machine interactions is becoming increasingly pressing. We introduce a framework for studying the cognitive and brain mechanisms that support human-machine interactions, leveraging advances made in cognitive neuroscience to link different levels of description with relevant theory and methods. We highlight unique features that make this endeavour particularly challenging (and rewarding) for brain and behavioural scientists. Overall, the framework offers a way to study the cognitive science of human-machine interactions that respects the diversity of social machines, individuals' expectations and experiences, and the structure and function of multiple cognitive and brain systems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)200-212
    Number of pages13
    JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
    Issue number3
    Early online date28 Dec 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • artificial intelligence
    • cognitive neuroscience
    • HRI
    • social neuroscience
    • social robotics


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