Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reaction: Distributed Cognition as a Theoretical Framework for Information Visualization

The paper tires to focus  on mainly three points. One is cognition is more an emergent property of interaction than a property of human mind. Second reductionist approach to study the abstract properties of isolated human minds may not be useful InfoVis Design and Third make cognition a research agenda and perform evaluation and theory which involves representation and interaction. 

But I personally believe the authors have not been able to achieve whatever was stated in their proposal. Some of the point where in they sight examples of Hutchins that writing reading and interpreting a task with tools does not involve much of cognitive amplification is understandable and it proves that its is composed of individuals and the artifacts they use to accomplish a task (which is Cognitive system).

Even though the authors are trying to prove DCog(Distributed Cognition) they were not claiming that its more correct than traditional cognitive science. The author here has done a safe play by avoiding to completely rule out the traditional aspects and have tried to prove that its should be refined and may be DCog is the suitable theory.

The experiments on Osakas butterfly smuggler which says that factors like notepad, software and infrastructure affect the cognition was interesting read. Examples on distributed representation of oranges, donuts and coffee similar to the tower of hanoi was very intuitive. From these examples the authors were able to convince that cognition does depend on other factors. Since the theory itself is abstract and emerging a detailed study is required to understand the topic and may be as the author says DCog could be a theory which will formalize InfoVis.