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Distributed cognition in everyday environments

Most of the initial work on distributed and extended cognition studied professional work in technology rich environments such as flight decks and control rooms. Our interest is in using the same basic approach in studying everyday cognition.  We believe that this not only is a fruitful path for understanding everyday cognition and communication, but also an approach that fruitfully can contribute to the theoretical discussion on extended and distributed cognition by placing it on a firmer empirical foundation.

We are currently working on two different projects; the natural use of the environment to support cognitive functions in elderly people, and the use of body, maps and environment in finding the way in a new environment. The latter is joint work with David Kirsh at University of California San Diego.


Nils Dahlbäck
Mattias Kristiansson


Fredrik Stjernberg
Department of Culture and Communication, Linköping University

Kenny Skagerlund
Department of Behavioral Scences and Learning

David Kirsh
Department of Cognitive Science, University of California San Diego (UCSD)


  • Hydén, L. C. & Kristiansson, M. (forthcoming) Collaborative remembering in dementia: a focus on joint activities. To Appear in In M. Meade, A. J. Barnier, P. Van Bergen, C. B. Harris & J. Sutton (Eds.), Collaborative Remembering: How Remembering with Others Influences Memory. New York: Oxford University Press
  • Dahlbäck, N. & Kristiansson, M. (2016) A Perspective on all cognition? A study of everyday environments from the perspective of distributed cognition. To appear in Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.
  • Kristiansson, M. (2015) Interacting with the environment for remembering intentions: from normal to atypical cognitive aging. Poster presented at the Swecog conference, June 15-16, University of Skövde, Sweden.
  • Kristiansson, M., Wiik, R. & Prytz, E. (2014) Bodily orientations and actions as constituent parts of remembering objects and intentions before leaving home. Sensoria - a journal of mind, brain, and culture, 10(1), 21-27. DOI: 10.7790/sa.v10i1.385.
  • Kristiansson, M. (2013) The case of cognitive ecology for cognitive processes in everyday life situations. In M. Knauff, M., Pauen, N., Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.) Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2778-2783). Berlin: Cognitive Science Society
  • Dahlbäck, Nils, Kristiansson, Mattias & Stjernberg, Fredrik (2013). Distributed Remembering Through Active Structuring of Activities and Environments. Review of Philosophy and Psychology Vol 4 (1), 153-165.
  • Skagerlund, Kenny, Kirsh, David, and Dahlbäck, Nils (2012) Maps in the Head and Maps in the Hand. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Sapporo, Japan, Augst 1 - 4, 2012, pp 2339 - 2344
  • Skagerlund, Kenny & Dahlbäck, Nils (2011). Culture, cognitive systems and Extended Mind – Embedding the extended mind within Activity Theory. Poster presented at the Workshop on Embodied, Distributed and Extended Cognition, March 24-26, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Kristiansson, Mattias, Dahlbäck, Nils & Stjernberg, Fredrik (2011). In search of the real Otto and Inga: Extended mind in the wild. Poster presented at the Workshop on Embodied, Distributed and Extended Cognition, March 24-26, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Dahlbäck, Nils, Kristiansson, Mattias, Skagerlund, Kenny & Stjernberg, Fredrik (2011) Two ways of grounding the discussion on extended cognition. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2011).

Page responsible: Tom Ziemke
Last updated: 2016-10-10