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Conclusion: Toward a Model of Cognitive Ecology

  • Evelyn B. Tribble
Part of the Cognitive Studies in Literature and Performance book series (CSLP)

Abstract

Throughout this book I have argued that a distributed or systems-based model of cognition best accounts for the complex relationships among insides, objects, environments, and people that comprise the early modern theatrical system. Viewing the theatre as a dynamic system allows us to keep a range of levels of analysis in play without privileging any one. This distributed/systems level of analysis can equally be seen as an ecological approach. In this conclusion, I refine and extend this model through an examination of the concept of “cognitive ecology,” which I test here through a brief analysis of a range of theatrical organizations other than the early modern adult sharer-repertory system. A model of cognitive ecology posits that a complex human activity such as theatre must be understood across the entire system, which includes such elements as neural and psychological mechanisms underpinning the task dynamics; the physical environment(s), including the relationships between playing and audience space; cognitive artifacts such as parts, plots, and playbooks; technologies, such as sound or lighting; the social systems underpinning the company, including the mechanisms for enskillment; the economic models by which the company runs; the wider social and political contexts, including censorship, patronage, and commercial considerations; and the relative emphasis placed upon various elements of the enterprise, including writerly or directorial control, clowning, visuality, and improvisation.

Keywords

Theatrical Practice Cognitive Burden Cultural Tourism Cognitive Artifact Artistic Director 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Evelyn B. Tribble 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evelyn B. Tribble

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