Difference between revisions of "Distributed Cognition"

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===Definition===
 
===Definition===
Distributed Cognition is a concept from Cognitive Science used to better contextualize cognitive processes within material, historical, and socio-cultural constraints. Cognitive Science and Neuroscience, as the names imply, tend to take the brain as the fundamental unit of analysis. While this can be fruitful in analyzing some functions of the brain, cognitive science and neuroscience often finds very little common ground with modern anthropology, sociology, and history. Distributed cognition analyzes how individual cognitive processes function in relation to information technologies and larger social processes. It takes as its central hypothesis that the brain only represents part of the overall cognitive functioning of mankind. The brain can accomplish much more when it is connected to a network of other brains and computers.
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All media can be understood as augmenting humanity's basic cognitive structure, both in the concrete sense of literally re-wiring one's brain and in the more figurative sense of displacing certain tasks to other forms of media. The internet combined with search platforms could be considered the collective cognition of the human species, or the "noosphere"<ref>Krippendorff, Klaus. Noosphere. Web Dictionary of Cybernetics and Systems. Principia Cybernetica Web. Publish date unknown. Accessed April 2011. http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ASC/NOOSPHERE.html</ref>. The invention of writing allowed individuals to free their memory and direct the brain to other tasks. Computers allow humans to take this process to an entirely new level by allowing one to store information in a medium that can be accessed anywhere. Wikipedia is an example of distributed cognitive network, as nodes of content and edits can be added from anywhere around the world. Collectively, Wikipedia represents the cognitive makeup of many different kinds of people from different cultures, backgrounds and ideologies.  
 
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All media and technology can be re-envisioned through this perspective. Writing allowed us to free our memory and direct the brain to other tasks. Computers have allowed us to take this process to an entirely new level by allowing us to store information in a medium that can be accessed from anywhere. The internet combined with search platforms could be considered the collective cognition of our species.
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Google. Twitter.
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===Related Reading===
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[[noosphere]]
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==References==
 
==References==
 
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Latest revision as of 02:54, 18 December 2011

Distributed-cognition-maggie-nichols.jpg

Definition

All media can be understood as augmenting humanity's basic cognitive structure, both in the concrete sense of literally re-wiring one's brain and in the more figurative sense of displacing certain tasks to other forms of media. The internet combined with search platforms could be considered the collective cognition of the human species, or the "noosphere"[1]. The invention of writing allowed individuals to free their memory and direct the brain to other tasks. Computers allow humans to take this process to an entirely new level by allowing one to store information in a medium that can be accessed anywhere. Wikipedia is an example of distributed cognitive network, as nodes of content and edits can be added from anywhere around the world. Collectively, Wikipedia represents the cognitive makeup of many different kinds of people from different cultures, backgrounds and ideologies.

References

  1. Krippendorff, Klaus. Noosphere. Web Dictionary of Cybernetics and Systems. Principia Cybernetica Web. Publish date unknown. Accessed April 2011. http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ASC/NOOSPHERE.html