Collaborating to remember: A distributed cognition account of families coping with memory impairments

Mike Wu*, Jeremy Birnholtz, Brian Richards, Ronald Baecker, Mike Massimi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals with cognitive deficits and their families are prime examples of collaborative "systems" that seek to perform everyday tasks together. Yet there has been little investigation into how these families communicate and coordinate in basic tasks like remembering appointments. In this paper we take a distributed cognition approach to studying ten families struggling with amnesia through nonparticipant observation and interviews. Our data show that the families work closely together as cognitive systems that must compensate for memory volatility in one of the members. We explore our participants' strategies for overcoming these difficulties and present lessons for the design of assistive technologies, highlighting the need for redundancy, easy and frequent synchronization, and awareness of updates. We conclude with implications for distributed cognition theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication26th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Conference Proceedings, CHI 2008
Pages825-834
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 22 2008
Event26th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2008 - Florence, Italy
Duration: Apr 5 2008Apr 10 2008

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Other

Other26th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2008
CountryItaly
CityFlorence
Period4/5/084/10/08

Keywords

  • Amnesia
  • Assistive technology
  • Collaboration
  • Design
  • Distributed cognition
  • Exploratory study
  • Family
  • Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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