The ability to use tools is a distinguishing feature of human beings. It represents a complex psychomotor activity that we are only now beginning to comprehend. Robust new theoretical accounts allow us to better understand how people use tools and explain differences in human and animal tool use from the perspective of cognitive science.

Our understanding needs to be grounded upon research into how people use tools, which draws upon many disciplines, from ergonomics to anthropology to cognitive science to neuropsychology. Cognition and Tool Use: Forms of Engagement in Human and Animal Use of Tools presents a single coherent account of human tool use as a complex psychomotor activity. It explains how people use tools and how this activity can succeed or fail, then describes the design and development of usable tools. This book considers contemporary tool use in domains such as surgery, and considers future developments in human-computer interfaces, such as haptic virtual reality and tangible user interfaces.

No other single text brings together the research from the different disciplines, ranging from archaeology and anthropology to psychology and ergonomics, which contribute to this topic. Graduate students, professionals, and researchers will find this guide to be invaluable.

Introduction. How Animals Use Tools. Tool Use by Primates and Young Children. The Making of Tools. Working with Tools. The Design of Tools. The Semantics of Tools. How Tool Use Breaks Down. Cognitive Artifacts. Tools in the Twenty-First Century. Towards a Theory of Tool Use. Conclusions.