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Re: [xmca] Educational neuroscience - from Mike Cole

So we have 4 distinct but interrelated concepts: system, model, unit of analysis and method.
I will try to formulate a view on unit of analysis and method.
The idea of "artefact-mediated (collaborative) action" as a unit of analysis (a generalisation of "word meaning") is the basis for the "method of dual stimulation," as I see it. Once you have a concept of that S - X - R triangle, as the unit of action, then it suggests a method of investigation based on offering the auxilliary stimulus, the artifact X, to the subject, S, to assist them to complete the task, R. By varying teh artefact X and the task R, investigation of S is possible.

Likewise, let us suppose that you see the mind as a psychological system made up of functional subsystems each of which are interconnected, irrespective of whether the subsystem in question itself produces observable phenomena. This could be represented in a diagram, too, something like S -> Ssys1 ---> Ssys2 -> R, meaning that every subsystem (Ssys1) is connected with every other (Ssys2), and disturbance of Ssys1 will cause a disturbance to Ssys2, which may be manifeted in an observable response, R. So the implication of this is that the "unit of analysis" of an entire psychological system is two functional subsystems with an interconnection. Ssys1 --- Ssys2. This is not trivial, because much of Ssys1 will not be observable, and this unit of analysis allows the investigator to study Ssys1 by means of the observable responses via Ssys2.

The unit of analysis suggests the method.


Andy Blunden wrote:
I think the issue is HOW one makes observable the "unintended motor responses", Andy. The issue of whether the combined motor *method* is a unit of analysis. I think it is a method. what whole is it the simplest instance of? It is a method for being able to identify with some degree of certainty what another person is thinking about. Help me get from there to what it is a unit of analysis of.


ps- why is this not on xmca....
(Andy mistakenly sent his previous message to Mike alone. This is just to put it all back on xmca)

*Andy Blunden*
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts