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Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience – Class 4/17

Where are we now? (Byrnes and Fox was 1998, what’s happened since)

Priti – kids learning grammar; phonological process deficit, some research shows what parts of the brain are involved; example of identifying neural problem, developing a tool that addresses those problems (almost cures ’em)

Value of neuroscience – cost of doing that kind of research may outweigh the benefit; it’s not that neuroscience doesn’t have any benefits but that it is really expensive and may get at answers that could be found in another method for less; maybe used to justify rather than to figure something out
Discovering errors – cognitive tutors, distributed cognitive systems

Colleen – molded by experience and how that changes you; you’re not the same after an experience as you were before you had it

A little history –
learning – how are they changed by what they experience
Post-doc with Ed Hutchins was first work outside the lab

Why so much redundancy?
errors happening all the time, but so many people watching meant the errors got caught really fast
remarkable – how much time they hand to spend on each job before they counted as being good at it; 20 years to be considered one of the top
person doing the plotting knows from experience what might be different – remembers when he used to get a bearing wrong and can tell where errors are likely to occur
service – do the job before you can supervise anyone doing the job
Role of officers – why separate those functions
navigator is common sense guy – does your computation match what’s outside the window
another example: legal system – perspective you’re trying to show; can’t really judge the “guilty” evidence if you’re arguing “not guilty”; only seek confirming evidence rather than looking for disconfirming
best person to say if the computation is correct is a person outside the system
evaluation should be separate than the people doing the work
Contextual or not?
Stephanie’s comment – have talked about importance of contextual, but sounds like these tasks are totally decontextualized
Colleen’s response – classroom instruction talks about why you would want to do navigation in triangulation, etc.; huge attention problem – what’s hard about that task isn’t clear until you’re in that environment
on-the-job vs. in the classroom
physical context – may never see the people you’re working with
social context – you get to know the people you’re working with and what they’re grumpiness might be
work environment – high stakes, divided attention, orders, etc.

Why is navigating a ship so difficult
little margin of error, big ship turns really slowly, channels are deep enough
other jobs watch the ones they’re going to do next, overhearing (shared channel) what others do before
main focus for crew is reporting
plotter does all that in his head
all decisions about speed and direction are made based on the reports
witness for years before you’re in that role
corporate comparison – I want my boss’s job, so I need to watch what he does
horizon of observation – what you’re able to see happen
Priti – are there individual differences in horizon of observation?
Colleen’s answer – punishments if you fail to do your job well, off-the-job book work memorizing harbors

pressure of performance missing in simulation
can practice reporting on the common channel and working on attention

Horizon of observation
things you can observe without attention – does another group come in really early in the morning or never does (office cubicles); what’s interesting – you weren’t trying to observe but did observe because of the work environment
How do you separate individual and group cognition?
References Hutchins book on distributed cognition
limits of individual cognition – can’t understand something from a perspective that’s not your own
still need a picture of each head and what info it gleans, interaction around those heads (feedback, comments, communication)
seemed theoretical to say that this system is a distributed mind, but it’s not that simple; “I wish it were that cool.”
Bratenburg – vehicles work; you see enough other with their lights on, and you turn yours on; nobody communicated about turning on their lights; not intended consequence of the group process, see the influence of the group
tragedy of the commons is big example – everyone’s decision about that affects everyone, but no group sat down and said this is our decision
music example – no individual can achieve that alone, but the coordination is important; product is an appreciation that’s not individual
rabbit-duckness – Eric’s example from the group/individual psych class
Colleen – keep thinking design will be the product; group computed something that the individuals couldn’t understand; individuals are contributing
how do these common references come up? group doesn’t necessarily have a product, what’s the role of intention? stephanie’s example of common gesture used to indicate a molecular structure later
emergenct cognition? is that an appropriate term?

technilogical devices that make the task easier

is culture ever intentional until it’s threatened? Armenia

Learning Sciences Agenda
take cues from online to make learning, self-guided, interesting
something you want to do because it’s fun
“lure of individualized” – not getting everybody to move in lock step; it’s not that we don’t organize information but that no one wants to learn it
goal = “concepts be in each head” learning sciences vs. situated cognition – shouldn’t conflate the terms
What about organizational learning?
distributed memory – org functions as though there’s a distributed memory, but what do you gain by looking at it at that level (the school of plankton vs. the plankton); what does distributed perspective help you understand about what’s going on?
“lure of Ed (Hutchins)” – almost Marxian in the elevation of collective
Richard Hackman – perception of the music group’s performance goes down with the percentage of women

What’s an organization if not an entity?
think about bee example – hives computing how fast to go collecting, really just a product of little rules
thinking about organizations – if the answer is task-specific, look at the tasks and see what they require
agent-based modeling and organizations – emerges out of small individual tasks but still isn’t necessarily an entity
people knowledge in success? what’s the role of knowing each other, having empathy, etc. in being able to learn together? rain in LA, snow in FL
sensemaking – information, acquire information and restate the problem
Colleen’s Dissertation
Dear Abby’s advice to lovelorn couples
neuroscience/biopsych – any kinds of brain except humans
cognitive neuroscience – determined by method, use pictures of brains working to figure stuff out
“if you’re interested in thinking, the brain’s not gonna tell us much.”
Are you a learning scientist?
felt left out because I’m not studying K-12; Shanck-sters building complex systems that don’t work
had to find a scientific group who’s interested in learning in the real world
just not an existing trend in learning sciences

So, what do you think ?

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