oa Alternation - Distributed Cognition at Three Months: Caregiver-infant Dyads in KwaZulu-Natal

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Until recently most work in cognitive science adopted what has been challenged as an 'Input-Output' (I-O) model (Hurley 1998). Conflating brain and person, cognitive processes are presented as problems or tasks that are independent of affect, perception and action. Using a narrow concept of causation together with the belief that, somehow, mind is realised at a 'level' of the brain, I-O models have had thirty years of hegemony. In spite of their interdisciplinary claims, this kind of cognitive science deems the study of mind independent of much anthropology, linguistics and psychology. Specifically, the problem solving and task analyses of I-O models make talk, culture and everyday behaviour too concrete for analysis. Instead emphasis is placed on principles, rules and networks that generate mathematically specified output and patterns. For the internalist, the resulting descriptionptions are cognitive models. They illustrate, for example, how 'mind' processes sentences or calculates chess moves.

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