Cognitive Maps

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SAINT-PETERSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY
GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

Analytical overview
Topic: “Cognitive Maps”

Course: Knowledge Engineering
Author: Marina Borovkova
Group: FM.1

Saint-Petersburg
2011
Table of contents
Introduction3
Definition of Cognitive Mapping4
History and Use of the Term4
The Process of Cognitive Mapping6
Different Types of Cognitive Map and Mapping Techniques7
Cognitive mapping techniques8
Causal mapping.8
Semantic mapping9
Concept mapping10
Application of cognitive techniques and maps11
Conclusion13

Introduction
All of us face misunderstandings and perception discrepancies, but what is the reason? The visual environment, natural objects and human actions are interpreted differently by different people. Information in our brain about thing, events and notions is organized in some structural schemes called “cognitive maps”. They help us to systemize knowledge and easily extract it in the process of analyzing and interpretation of new, unknown events or things. It is meaningful to study how to understand, visualize and organize our cognitive maps. So the theme of cognitive mapping deserves attention and thoroughly research.

Definition of Cognitive Mapping
For understanding of the term “cognitive map” we should firstly define the meaning of “cognition”. From psychological point of view “cognition” refers to the mental models (belief systems), that people use to interpret, frame, simplify, and make sense of otherwise complex problems. These mental models are concerned in terms of cognitive maps, scripts, schema, and frames of reference. Such belief systems are built from past experiences and comprise internally represented concepts and relationships among concepts that an individual can then use to interpret new events. This is essentially important, for example, in the situation, when some company deals with complex problems like innovation. In that case decision-makers could rarely process all the information that would be relevant. So mental models can help decision-makers to select information and to decide what actions are appropriate. In general words a cognitive map may be defined as "an overall mental image or representation of the space and layout of a setting", which means that the act of cognitive mapping is "the mental structuring process leading to the creation of a cognitive map". And cognitive mapping may be defined as a process composed of a series of psychological transformations by which an individual acquires, codes, stores, recalls, and decodes information about the relative locations and attributes of phenomena in their everyday spatial environment.

History and Use of the Term
Cognitive map is the term used to refer to one's internal representation of the experienced world. Cognitive mapping includes the various processes used to sense, encode, store, decode, and use this information. Cognitive maps are invariably incomplete and partially distorted, features that can be revealed in external representations or in spatial behaviors. Firstly, Edward Tolman inferred the existence of cognitive maps by recording the spatial behavior of a maze-running rat who took a "short cut" to the final destination by running across the top of a maze instead of following a route through it. Recognition of this "place learning" activity stimulated multidisciplinary research in spatial knowledge acquisition. In city planning Kevin Lynch used sketch maps to reveal human knowledge of large-scale complex environments. Geographers researched the nature of "mental maps" via revealed place preference, subjective distance and configurationally (layout) representation using non-metric multidimensional scaling (MDS) and layout matching (spatial congruence) techniques. The methods used to assess spatial knowledge and examine how it is created have multiplied as researchers from anthropology, psychology, disability studies, artificial intelligence, computer...
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