Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reaction: Distributed Cognition as a Theoretical Framework for Information Visualization

The paper is an attempt to provide substance to the foundation of InfoVis using Distributed Cognition. The traditional belief is that cognition is information processing inside the brain. The paper states that the above belief is misplaced. It states that the environment plays an important role in shaping human cognition. A scenario is depicted in the paper in which an analyst interacted with an interface through a technical person. The scenario showed that processing of internal data is tightly bound to the processing of external data. Would the binding be more lenient if the analyst had used the interface himself?

The paper states that the transformations of external representations are visible but the transformations of internal representations are depicted through individuals in a cognitive system. This statement sounded skeptical and not entirely credible. DCog focuses on the inter dependency and coordination between between people and environment.But what if we have a system where individual properties are also important?DCog is still a framework which cannot be applied to issues in InfoVis as of yet. So, there are no concrete assurances that the theories presented in the paper can be materialized.