Distributed cognition and affordances

February 28, 2007

Article in press:
Cognition & Pragmatics, 00, 000-000.
Distributed Cognition, Representation, and Affordance
Jiajie Zhang
Vimla L. Patel


The most interesting idea of the paper is how they suggest to describe affordances: either as the constraints or as allowances of actions. This is well in accordance of the theoretical framework we have followed.

In terms of the theory of distributed representations, affordances are distributed representations extended across the environment and the organism. The structures and information in the environment specifies the external representational space. The physical structures of the organism and the structures and mechanisms of internal biological, perceptual, and cognitive faculties specify the internal representational space. The external and internal representations together specify the distributed representational space: the affordance space. The external and internal representational spaces can be described by either constraints or allowable actions. Constraints are the negations of allowable actions.

They refer to certain affordance types, i find this one interesting, because the same example has been brought in itersubjectivity studies:
Cognitive Affordance
Affordances of this type are provided by cultural conventions. For example, for traffic lights, red means “stop”, yellow means “prepare to stop”, and green means “go”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: