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Distributed cognition, representation, and affordance

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This article describes a representation-based framework of distributed cognition. This framework considers distributed cognition as a cognitive system whose structures and processes are distributed between internal and external representations, across a group of individuals, and across space and time. The major issue for distributed research, under this framework, are the distribution, transformation, and propagation of information across the components of the distributed cognitive system and how they affect the performance of the system as a whole. To demonstrate the value of this representation-based approach, the framework was used to describe and explain an important, challenging, and controversial issue — the concept of affordance.

Keywords: affordance; distributed cognition; internal and external representations

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Texas at Houston 2: Columbia University

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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