Cognitive Mapping

Bob Horn, inventor of Information Mapping, visualized and described hypertext long before the Web was invented. His "maps" of connections and thoughts explain concepts better than any 10,000 words, often nearly instantaneously.

Many a workshop or conference on strategy or a reorganization or a new product launch could be replaced by a good cognitive map and a discussion. I imagine the lessons would stick better, too. Workshops try to fancify and retell what's going on. PowerPoint reductionism. Cognitive maps, by contrast, attempt to diagram the real thing.

Three years ago, Bob Horn, Jim Spohrer, and a bunch of other polymath geniuses got together under the auspices of the NSF to discuss the convergence of cognition, biology, nanotech, and information technology. The common thread of Nano-Bio-Cogno-Info? It's all code. This is better than science fiction.

I had the good fortune of chatting at length with Bob right after he returned from the NSF session several years ago. The event was a catalyst for his thinking deeper about unravelling the Human Cognome. Cognome? You got your genome and your bionome. Why not?

Today I was delighted to see where Bob has taken this. Here's his preliminary cognitive map of for researching the Human Cognome itself.

A small chunk:

Bob suggests these major themes for study of the Human Cognome.

  • Cognitive prostheses for human limitations.
  • Reduce fragmentation of social-psychological disciplines.
  • Visual language to manage complexity.
  • Understanding each other's worldviews.
  • Sequencing the Human Cognome.

Posted by Jay Cross at June 11, 2004 06:34 PM | TrackBack

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