This paper was recently published by the journal “Cognition, Technology & Work”.
Coping with complexity in home hemodialysis: a fresh perspective on time as a medium of Distributed Cognition
Atish Rajkomar, Ann Blandford and Astrid Mayer.
The existing literature on Distributed Cognition (DCog) mostly presents the temporal distribution of cognition in terms of system evolution that happens over time. In this paper, we illustrate how cognition can also be distributed through time in more immediate ways, through four principles we developed while studying how renal patients cope with the complexity of home hemodialysis. These principles are temporal assignments to tasks to aid prospective remembering; temporal arrangement of tasks to help deal with anticipated problems; temporal distribution of a task plan to avoid omission of steps; and temporal re-arrangement of tasks to reduce peak complexity. Like the physical environment, the time continuum is an external medium that can support distributed cognitive processes, serving as a representation for task reminders and allowing actors to organize the order, duration, and spacing of tasks to reduce complexity in cognitive work. These principles can highlight problems and opportunities in the design of socio-technical systems, by explicitly considering time as another medium that can be used to support DCog in short-term activity.
Our published work on distributed cognition
Atish Rajkomar and Ann Blandford (2012). Understanding infusion administration in the ICU through Distributed Cognition. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 45, 580–590.
Paolo Masci, Huayi Huang, Paul Curzon and Michael D Harrison (2012). Using PVS to investigate incidents through the lens of distributed cognition. Proceedings of the 4th NASA Formal Methods Symposium (NFM-2012), 273–278. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 7226. Springer.
Atish Rajkomar and Ann Blandford (2012). A distributed cognition model for analysing interruption resumption during infusion administration. Proceedings of European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE 2012).
Paolo Masci and Paul Curzon (2011). Checking user-centred design principles in distributed cognition models: A case study in the healthcare domain. Proceedings of the 7th Conference of the Workgroup Human-Computer Interaction and Usability Engineering of the Austrian Computer Society (USAB 2011), 95-108. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 7058. Springer.
Paolo Masci, Paul Curzon, Ann Blandford and Dominic Furniss (2011). Modelling distributed cognition systems in PVS. Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on Formal Methods for Interactive Systems (FMIS 2011). Electronic Communications of the EASST, vol. 45.
Dominic Furniss, Ann Blandford, Atish Rajkomar, Chris Vincent and Astrid Mayer (2011). The visible and the invisible: Distributed Cognition for medical devices. Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems for Medicine and Health Care (EICS4Med), 1–6.
Rajkomar, A., & Blandford, A. (2011). Distributed cognition for evaluating healthcare technology. Proceedings of the 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction (HCI-2011), 341–350.