Re: the role of externalization

From: Etienne Pelaprat (
Date: Sun Jun 06 2004 - 10:38:29 PDT

Nothing yet but this paper Hutchins wrote on "material anchors," but this
is in the context of conceptual blends, which is marginally exciting, I


> 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.
>>> 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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