Insightful thinking: Cognitive dynamics and material artifacts

Evridiki Fioratou, Stephen J Cowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We trace how cognition arises beyond the skin. Experimental work on insight problem solving is used to examine how external artifacts can be used to reach the goal of assembling a 'cheap necklace'. Instead of asking how insight occurs 'in the head', our participants in Experiment 1 can either draw solution attempts or manipulate real objects (specifically, chain links that make up a necklace). Even though performance with real chain links is significantly more successful than on paper, access to objects does not make this insight problem simple: objects themselves do not shape cognition. This challenges extended mind views. While failure often results from the inappropriate (to the current insight problem) application of hill-climbing, material artifacts can trigger solutions. In Experiment 2, we used 'open link' conditions of the concretized problem to prompt participants to act (or think). Solutions arrived via insight, serendipity, or trial-and-error. By investigating how objects are used, we show that they do more than supplement neural events. Rather, participants monitor and anticipate the effects of action (and thinking) within an organism-environment system. By analogy, language too draws on experience of monitoring real-time effects as bodily dynamics play out in a normative and cultural world. In engaging with public language, it is likely that verbal patterns function by constraining anticipatory (action-based) cognitive processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-572
Number of pages24
JournalPragmatics & Cognition
Volume17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Artifacts
artifact
Cognition
Language
cognition
experiment
Skin
language
Experiments
Head
supplement
Monitoring
monitoring
Thinking
Artifact
event
performance
experience
Necklace
Experiment

Cite this

Fioratou, E., & Cowley, S. J. (2009). Insightful thinking: Cognitive dynamics and material artifacts . Pragmatics & Cognition, 17(3), 549-572.

Insightful thinking : Cognitive dynamics and material artifacts . / Fioratou, Evridiki; Cowley, Stephen J.

In: Pragmatics & Cognition, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2009, p. 549-572.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fioratou, E & Cowley, SJ 2009, 'Insightful thinking: Cognitive dynamics and material artifacts ', Pragmatics & Cognition, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 549-572.
Fioratou, Evridiki ; Cowley, Stephen J. / Insightful thinking : Cognitive dynamics and material artifacts . In: Pragmatics & Cognition. 2009 ; Vol. 17, No. 3. pp. 549-572.
@article{84beb2d1e1e44402831d3406e724119e,
title = "Insightful thinking: Cognitive dynamics and material artifacts",
abstract = "We trace how cognition arises beyond the skin. Experimental work on insight problem solving is used to examine how external artifacts can be used to reach the goal of assembling a 'cheap necklace'. Instead of asking how insight occurs 'in the head', our participants in Experiment 1 can either draw solution attempts or manipulate real objects (specifically, chain links that make up a necklace). Even though performance with real chain links is significantly more successful than on paper, access to objects does not make this insight problem simple: objects themselves do not shape cognition. This challenges extended mind views. While failure often results from the inappropriate (to the current insight problem) application of hill-climbing, material artifacts can trigger solutions. In Experiment 2, we used 'open link' conditions of the concretized problem to prompt participants to act (or think). Solutions arrived via insight, serendipity, or trial-and-error. By investigating how objects are used, we show that they do more than supplement neural events. Rather, participants monitor and anticipate the effects of action (and thinking) within an organism-environment system. By analogy, language too draws on experience of monitoring real-time effects as bodily dynamics play out in a normative and cultural world. In engaging with public language, it is likely that verbal patterns function by constraining anticipatory (action-based) cognitive processes.",
author = "Evridiki Fioratou and Cowley, {Stephen J}",
year = "2009",
language = "English",
volume = "17",
pages = "549--572",
journal = "Pragmatics & Cognition",
issn = "0929-0907",
publisher = "John Benjamins Publishing Company",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Insightful thinking

T2 - Cognitive dynamics and material artifacts

AU - Fioratou, Evridiki

AU - Cowley, Stephen J

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - We trace how cognition arises beyond the skin. Experimental work on insight problem solving is used to examine how external artifacts can be used to reach the goal of assembling a 'cheap necklace'. Instead of asking how insight occurs 'in the head', our participants in Experiment 1 can either draw solution attempts or manipulate real objects (specifically, chain links that make up a necklace). Even though performance with real chain links is significantly more successful than on paper, access to objects does not make this insight problem simple: objects themselves do not shape cognition. This challenges extended mind views. While failure often results from the inappropriate (to the current insight problem) application of hill-climbing, material artifacts can trigger solutions. In Experiment 2, we used 'open link' conditions of the concretized problem to prompt participants to act (or think). Solutions arrived via insight, serendipity, or trial-and-error. By investigating how objects are used, we show that they do more than supplement neural events. Rather, participants monitor and anticipate the effects of action (and thinking) within an organism-environment system. By analogy, language too draws on experience of monitoring real-time effects as bodily dynamics play out in a normative and cultural world. In engaging with public language, it is likely that verbal patterns function by constraining anticipatory (action-based) cognitive processes.

AB - We trace how cognition arises beyond the skin. Experimental work on insight problem solving is used to examine how external artifacts can be used to reach the goal of assembling a 'cheap necklace'. Instead of asking how insight occurs 'in the head', our participants in Experiment 1 can either draw solution attempts or manipulate real objects (specifically, chain links that make up a necklace). Even though performance with real chain links is significantly more successful than on paper, access to objects does not make this insight problem simple: objects themselves do not shape cognition. This challenges extended mind views. While failure often results from the inappropriate (to the current insight problem) application of hill-climbing, material artifacts can trigger solutions. In Experiment 2, we used 'open link' conditions of the concretized problem to prompt participants to act (or think). Solutions arrived via insight, serendipity, or trial-and-error. By investigating how objects are used, we show that they do more than supplement neural events. Rather, participants monitor and anticipate the effects of action (and thinking) within an organism-environment system. By analogy, language too draws on experience of monitoring real-time effects as bodily dynamics play out in a normative and cultural world. In engaging with public language, it is likely that verbal patterns function by constraining anticipatory (action-based) cognitive processes.

M3 - Article

VL - 17

SP - 549

EP - 572

JO - Pragmatics & Cognition

JF - Pragmatics & Cognition

SN - 0929-0907

IS - 3

ER -