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[Xmca-l] Re: Imagination

Just to add to the material for thinking with, I am pasting in here a couple of abstracts from joint work involving Yutaka Sayeki and Naoki Ueno
Date: Thu 16 Feb 89 11:23:36-EST
From: Marc Vilain <MVI...@G.BBN.COM>
Subject: BBN AI/Education seminar:  Sayeki & Ueno
To: ai-f...@G.BBN.COM
                    BBN Science Development Program
                       AI Seminar Series Lecture
                        MENTAL MODELS AS THEATER
               YUTAKA SAYEKI,              NAOKI UENO, 
            University of Tokyo        National Institute
                                    of Educational Research
                                BBN Labs
                           10 Moulton Street
                    2nd floor large conference room
                     10:30 am, Tuesday February 21

This talk will focus on the understanding physics problems, taking a model of the theater and combining it with kobito theory in which point of view has a critical role in understanding objects and environments. In Theater, as Peckham (1965) describes, we have an enormously rich variety of metaphors for new features for computer interfaces that can aid in understanding: Actors, Directors, Stage Conductors, Audience, Critics, Stage, Stage-Setting, Background, Foreground, Scenes, Play, , Casts, Casting, Script, Scripting, Rehearsal, Dramatist , Improvising, Ad-lib, Show, and so on.  In kobito theory as elaborated by Sayeki, "point of view" and active participation in different modes of activities (such as "throwing in, " "acting out," and "feeling about") is considered to be crucial for exercising roles of actors, viewers (audience and directors) in order to get deep understanding.  The following features are found in the notions elaborated by Peckham, Ueno, and Sayeki:
(1) Every "view" must be a view from a particular vantage point in situ playing a particular Role, that can be shifted, moved, exchanged, or replaced. The important point here is is that we actively choose and try out taking a variety of vantage points, in order to delineate the critical "invariant structure" (cf. Gibson) of the scene. Shifting vantage points can yield "insight" into a solution as Peckham described, too.  We need "tools" and "stages" for searching and trying-out possible vantage points.
(2) We learn more from observing the continuous changes of scenes, or
movements of objects along with our own movements and actions upon the
objects, rather than fixed "representations" or "snapshots" of objects .
(Here again, we take a Gibsonian view, rather than the "representationalist's view" of cognitive science.)
(3) We learn and think by acting, participating, and changing in a broad
domain of activity, rather than simply watching or manipulating objects
in your hands or on your "desktop," without moving your original
position. An important point here is that we occasionally change the
domain of activity, such as working at the desk, travelling by car,
train, and airplane, attending conferences, working at home at night,
and so on.  Current interface technology assumes an "armchair viewer" at
the fixed position.
(4) "Representation" is NOT a thought by itself; it is a medium of thoughts. "Representation" should be "social" from the beginning and be used "socially." It must be deeply rooted in cultural, "shared" knowledge, as well as triggered by the materialized "form" or appearance of the object to be represented.
In the presentation, we will explain a number of misunderstandings of physics problems as either (1) miscasting of actors, or (2) mis-staging of the environment.  Thus it would be possible to "cure" some of the "conceptual bugs" by re-casting or re-staging the situations.  We shall illustrate these points by the use of 3D Logo.


Mediation as a generative model for obtaining an area
    Yutaka Sayeki, ∗,     Naoki Ueno†,     Toshihiko Nagasaka‡
In Japanese elementary schools, the standard method employed to instruct students to calculate the area of a parallelogram is what can be called the “paper-cut model”. However, this method of instruction has many shortcomings. Following the Cavalieri method, we developed an alternative, “a deck of cards model”. Here, the side of a deck of cards represents the area to be calculated. One can physically generate various shapes, all of which have the same area, by transforming the side and without adding or taking away any cards. Three fifth-grades with a total of 104 students were randomly divided into one experimental and two control groups. Each pupil was supplied with a real deck of cards and was encouraged to experiment with constructing areas of different shapes. In cooperation with the teacher they could also establish that the area remained invariant through the transformations. Post-tests carried out one week after the instruction showed that the “deck of cards model” was a superior instruction method in several respects.
    Address for correspondence: Y. Sayeki, Faculty of Education, University of Tokyo, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo (113), Japan.

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2015 7:31 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Imagination

Attached is a paper by Yutaka Sayeki, our long time colleague brought to mind by Peg's note on the death of Naoki Ueno.
As you will see, his work has everything to do with imagination, as the book title indicates.

Sayeki-san's "imagination based" theory is pretty amazing.  At least encountering it was for me. I actually solved a physics problem of the kind I ALWAYS blow. The Newsletter article referenced in his talk gives a couple of concrete data examples. For discussion if people are interested.


It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.