Cognitive Ecology

Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (4):705-715 (2010)
Abstract
Cognitive ecology is the study of cognitive phenomena in context. In particular, it points to the web of mutual dependence among the elements of a cognitive ecosystem. At least three fields were taking a deeply ecological approach to cognition 30 years ago: Gibson’s ecological psychology, Bateson’s ecology of mind, and Soviet cultural-historical activity theory. The ideas developed in those projects have now found a place in modern views of embodied, situated, distributed cognition. As cognitive theory continues to shift from units of analysis defined by inherent properties of the elements to units defined in terms of dynamic patterns of correlation across elements, the study of cognitive ecosystems will become an increasingly important part of cognitive science
Keywords Embodied cognition  Ecological psychology  Distributed cognition  Brain–body–world systems  Human culture  Units of analysis for cognition  Ecology of mind  Situated cognition  Activity theory
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