Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reaction: Distributed Cognition as a Theoretical Framework for Information Visualization

Although the research in the field of Information Visualization is vast, there is no fundamental thoery to support it completely. This article argues that distributed congnition framework can be used as a substantial theory undelying the principles of information visualization.The three step process of human information processing, namely, perception - cognition and action has been explained. It also explains how this is related to the disrtibuted cognition framework.

My understanding is that the Distributed Cognition is a framework that involves the continous coordination and interaction between individuals,artifacts and environment.Cognition is the information processing inside the brain and the environmental factors percieved are stored by the brain in the form of symbols. in other words, there is a tight coupling between the internal representation and the extrnal representaion. Further, the theory that the unit of analysis for such an InfoViz experiment is set of indivduals from different environment rather than a single individual seems convincing. This is because, one of the goals of the research in this field requires measuring insight. This attribute may vary on an individual basis and is disrtibuted among various individuals. The article is quite informative especially with the examples like the interaction with the intelligent analyst, the isomorphs of the tower of hanoi, the epistemic action during the tetrazoid game. These help in visualization of a practical application based on distributed cognition.
Question: Is there a way to measure to measure the depth of insight? If not, Is there any substantial research being conducted on it?