Re: the role of externalization

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Sun Jun 06 2004 - 08:20:58 PDT

Check out " How a cockpit rembers" which is one of my favorite
Hutchins examples.

On Sun, 6 Jun 2004 wrote:

> I've been looking at the coordination of gestures, drawing, pointing,
> talk, and data entry in a design context (art and design for
> web-based art objects), thinking a lot about the heterogeneity and
> heterochronicity of new media, and seeing interesting ways that
> artifacts on paper and screen are worked out by these various means
> (in ways similar to what you're describing from Hutchins). Some nice
> examples were presented in Cognition in the Wild, but if there are
> more recent and detailed analyses he's published, I'd love to get the
> citation(s).
> >I would add, in addition to the regulation of self, also the regulation of
> >others and context to the functions such gestures can serve, in particular
> >when gesture is superimposed. or interaction with, various artifacts. I
> >am thinking of the recent work by Ed Hutchins examining the role of
> >various drawing, pointing and tracing gestures performed by navy bridge
> >operators over a nautical chart. Such gestures construct "shared objects"
> >used to control the operations and actions of spatially proximal agents
> >(hunched over the chart); these gestures only make sense given the
> >structure of the artifact itself and its local meaning given the activity
> >engaged by the various actors looking at and interacting with the chart.
> >
> >etienne
> >
> >
> >> The idea that people are self-regulating their thoughts when they gesture
> >> while they speak - especially obvious (now that this is pointed out) when
> >> they are talking to themselves, when they are on the phone, etc. - is
> >> still
> >> another gem from the treasure chest of CHAT-related research and theory
> >> for
> >> me to marvel at and think about. A couple questions immediately come to
> >> mind. Has there been any evidence that gesturing-as-self-regulation can
> >> be
> >> improved on as a skill, thereby enhancing one's cognitive awareness and
> >> abilities? (Counting on one's fingers is one possible example; how
> >> about sign language? etc.). And how about certain verbal habits, such as
> >> saying "uh" or "um" while pausing -- might, and if so, how might these
> > > kinds of utterances play a role in self-regulation?
> > >
> > > - Steve
> > >
> > >
> --
> Paul Prior
> University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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