Controversies in Cognition
Memory aids from a distributed
Two case studies reflecting both sides of the
Dementia - Definition, Cause, Features
Case Study 1 - Guide Me Project
Case Study 2 - Gloucester Smart House
Conclusion and Discussion
Dementia: the Facts.
Hagnell et al (1981)
‘Guide Me’ Project
With the advancements of technology, its
potential can be utilized in order to bring benefit
to the lives of those suffering with Alzheimer’s.
Guide Me Project – undertaken by Dept. of
Industrial Design, University of Eindhoven.
Integrates GPS & GSM technologies
Locator and communication product for
In the early stages of the disease, patients will
suffer from temporary memory loss, also known
These can occur at any time and often cause the
patient to lose track of their own whereabouts.
Becomes a worry for caregivers of the patient.
Patient can go about his/her daily life without
constant supervision from caregiver.
Prolong the period of care that can be
administered by the caregiver
Delaying the admission into an Alzheimer's
Guide Me Research
Socially active people
whom want to
maintain their current
Accept that there are
Scenario 1:- Scenario 2:
due to a blackout. Emergency signal on
location of patient on the device.
map, with respect to Provide reassurance
where he/she is to the caregiver and
heading to. patient, in any case of
emergency, that there
is help at hand.
Conclusions of Guide Me
Harness GSM and GPS technologies
Living situation for the partner and patient
Ultimately, prolonging the time that a
patient can stay at home
A paradox - to become more independent,
and thus assure better quality of life,
cognition is distributed between both
caregivers and technology.
Independence? Ethical concerns
Devised over last 12 years by Hutchins, Clark,
Reconceptualises what is considered cognitive.
Hutchins (1995) – Cognitive ethnography on
board US Navy ships.
Three Central Tenets
Caroll (2002), Hutchins (1995)
Socially distributed – social organisation
itself is a form of cognitive architecture
Embodied – Organisation of mind an
emergent property of interactions among
internal/ external resources
Culturally embedded – Study of cognition
not separable from study of culture
Distributed Cognition cont.
New theoretical foundation for HCI
Carmien 2003 - Increasing workplace
independence for people with cognitive
disabilities by leveraging distributed cognition
among caregivers and clients.
Emphasises mediating tools and social
processes by which patients cognition is spread.
Support groups (social configurations)
MAPS (Memory Aid Prompting System)
A device or strategy which can be used by
a patient suffering memory loss in order to
store information or to alert a user to an
event or an issue which might otherwise
Generic techniques such as paper and
Advanced electronic devices.
These combinations of external representations
and physical tools have greatly extended and
supported people’s ability to carry out cognitive
activities. (Norman, 1993)
Main goals which have cognitive benefits:
1. Externalizing to reduce memory load
2. Computational Offloading
3.Annotating and cognitive tracing
External Memory Aids
Changes to your routine which help jog memory
Diary Leaving physical
PDA’s (Personal items as reminders
Digital Assistants) i.e. leave items you
Alarm Clocks/Timers need to take with you
by the front door.
Lists on Memo
Boards/Post it Notes
Where’s my house?
Technology for maintaining independence
The developmental stage
Technology in the House
Bath and Basin Monitor
Evaluation of the Gloucester House
Quality of life
The carers and the sufferers
Guide Me Project – cognition distributed
between caregivers and technology.
Smart Houses – more genuine independence.
However – from distributed cognition
perspective, others are implicated in cognition
regardless of whether cognitive deficit.
Iterative design process – ethical concerns can
be taken into account.
Distributedcognition affords framework for
design and evaluation of digital artefacts.
Hutchins – Memory processes in airport
However, does not address potential for
Carmien, S., Gorman, A., DePaula, R., & Kintsch, A. (2004) Increasing
Workplace Independence for People with Cognitive Disabilities by
Leveraging Distributed Cognition among Caregivers and Clients. ACM
Portal, Vol. 13, Issue 5-6.
Department of Health, (2004) Memory Aids and techniques, Online,
Available HTTP: www.mhra.gov.uk (Accessed May 2005)
Hollan, J., Hutchins, E. & Kirsch, D. (2000) Distributed Cognition: Toward a
New Foundation for Human-Computer Interaction Research, ACM
Transcations on Computer-Human Interaction, Vol. 7. No. 2.
Loh, J., Schietecat, T., Fai Kwok, T., & Lindeboom, L. (2004) Technology
Applied to Address Difficulties of Alzheimer Patients and Their Partners.
Briggs, R. S. J. Alzheimer’s Disease: The clinical context in: Davies, D.C.
(Ed) (1989) Alzheimer’s Disease: Towards an understanding, John Libby &
Company Ltd: London.
Carmien, S., Depaula, R., Gorman, A. and Kintsch, A. (2004) Increasing
workplace independence for people with cognitive disabilities by leveraging
distributed cognition among caregivers and clients. Computer Supported
Cooperative Work, 13, pp443-470.
Loh, J., Schietecat, T., Kwok, T.F. and Lindeboom, L. (2004) Technology
applied to address difficulties of Alzheimer patients and their partners.
[online] ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, ACM Press: New
Giere, R.N. (1996) Models as parts of distributed cognitive systems. In:
Magnani, L. and Nersessian, M. (2000) Model Based Reasoning: Science,
Technology, Values. Kluwer University Press: New York.
Clare, L., Roth, I., Wilson, B., Carter, G. and Hodges, J. (2002)
Relearning face-name associations in early Alzheimer’s Disease.
Neuropsychology, 2002, Vol 16, No.4, pp538-547.
Adlam, T and Orpwood, R. (2002) The Gloucester Smart House, Online
voice.org.uk/projects/projects_gloucesterproject.htm (Accessed May
Preece, J. (2002) Interaction Design
Wiley Press, U.K