Barbara Tversky. using space to represent space and meaning

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1 Barbara Tversky using space to represent space and meaning

2 Prologue

3 About public representations:

4 About public representations: Maynard on public representations:... The example of sculpture might suggest masks, masks suggest dance and theater, these in turn suggest music with words, then poetry and storytelling (including acting, dialogue and music along with pictures) and so forth: in short that loose family of production we usually call representations normally understood as appealing to the imagination, whatever other uses they might be put to.

5 About public representations: Maynard on public representations: Tversky on public representations... The example of sculpture might suggest masks, masks suggest dance and theater, these in turn suggest music with words, then poetry and storytelling (including acting, dialogue and music along with pictures) and so forth: in short that loose family of production we usually call representations normally understood as appealing to the imagination, whatever other uses they might be put to.... Like language, graphics serve to convey spatial and abstract concepts to others. They make private thoughts public to a community that can then use and revise those concepts collaboratively.... Spatial thought, spatial language and spatial graphics reflect the importance and prevalence of visuospatial reasoning in our lives, from knowing how to design a house, from explaining how the judicial system works, from understanding basic science to inventing new conceptions of the origin of the universe. Where do we go from here? Onward and upward?

6 About past discussions: Tufte (Minard) Pinker Maynard s psychologists

7 Part I: Dissolving oppositions

8 vision vs. language parallel with language: metonymy and synecdochecognitive immediacy? metaphor (Lakoff?): using space to represent metaphorically spatial concepts is apparently not as immediate as using space to represent space IN FACT graphics using space metaphorically are a recent and Western invention (relative lack of transparency) IN SPITE of the fact that languages all over the world use space metaphorically spatial metaphors: gestures lines (orizontal - vertical) : vertical axis (gravity) spatial reasoning as a foundation for more abstract reasoning (in particular, spatial terms as the foundation for the temporal: priming for temporal perspective but not viceversa (Boroditsky))

9 Six dimensional man # # #

10 Six dimensional man # # #

11 geometric/gestalt properties vs. interpretation Zacks and Tversky, 1999 interpretation: lines as trends and bars as discrete relations (there is an increase vs. the B s are higher) discrete vs. continuous content (it has an effect, but the effect of the graphic format is greater) type of description affecting the type of depiction

12 geometric/gestalt properties vs. interpretation Zacks and Tversky, 1999 interpretation: lines as trends and bars as discrete relations (there is an increase vs. the B s are higher) discrete vs. continuous content (it has an effect, but the effect of the graphic format is greater) type of description affecting the type of depiction

13 internal vs. external tool idea: External representations bear similarities to internal representations if only because they are creations of the human mind that is cognitive tools to increase the power of the human mind. They also bear formal similarities in that both internal and external representations are mappings between elements and relations. visual representation and transformations on paper: External representations are constrained by a medium and unconstrained by working memory; for this reason, inconsistencies, ambiguities, and incompleteness may be reduced.

14 objects in the world vs. (mental and public) representations Gestalt laws proximity (categorical use, ordinal use, interval use, ratio use), completion (distortion) geometric principles? distortion: good continuation systematic errors

15 One example: distortion in alignment #

16 Part II: On my personal obsession (that is, constructions)

17 constructions $ Inferring conceptual ideas from perception (creativity): underlying this skill there is constructive perception, which is the deliberate adoption of perceptual strategies in the service of cognition. $$ A coordination of two processes: reorganizing perception and associating ideas.

18 animations Not a single example of superior learning by animations. 1) May be superior for other purposes (calling attention); 2) Complexity; 3) People think of dynamic events as sequences of steps rather than continuous animations (mental animations); THEN presenting change over time as sequences of steps may make the changes An interesting question about discrete and continuous actions

19 Part III: maybe dissolving too much?

20 Some difficulties What about concepts about abstract things? Tversky and a theory of concepts Naturally Maps: variability in them but same underlying structure Icons: depiction and resemblance Comparison with Pinker: wider scope but less theory

21 Why maps?

22 Why maps?

23 Why maps?

24

25

26 What is the role of an icon? and that of resemblance?

27 What is the role of an icon? and that of resemblance?

28 What is the role of an icon? and that of resemblance?

29 Comparison with Pinker

30 One (good) suggestion : back to our seminar entities in space difficult to understand in isolation, but easier to grasp in context (grouping) a library of cognitive maps?; relevant information, organized for the question at hand (constructing representations on the fly, incorporating only the information needed for the judgment, the relevant region, the specific entities within it; some of the information visuospatial from experience AND from maps, some linguistic) cognitive collage more apt metaphor than cognitive map for whatever representations underlies spatial judgments and memory; schematic representations more exact information may not be known (and therefore cannot be represented); more exact information may not even be needed; systematic errors necessarily entailed

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