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Hong Kong Exhibition:

CogSpace presentation Hong Kong

CogSpace was exhibited at the "Exploring Consciousness with Art, Technology, Media, and Design" at the Asian Consciousness Festival in Hong Kong in June 2009.


CogSpace is an interactive, multimodal, and collectively formulated visual mind map of Cognitive Science and Consciousness Studies.

This model is an examination of consciousness through an interactive visual representation of the interdisciplinary knowledge domains of Cognitive Science and Consciousness Studies. As a visualization of the various scientific and academic approaches toward understanding mind and consciousness, a unified and comprehensive overview is achieved that orients our collective approach in the field of consciousness research as a whole.

The model is based on a 3-dimensional axiomatic conceptual framework that assigns six (6) formally established primary knowledge domains of interdisciplinary Cognitive Science (namely: Psychology, Anthropology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Philosophy, and Linguistics) as dual pair terminal points to the geometric polar axis (x+, x-, y+, y-, z+, z-) of the Cartesian coordinate system. Within this general axiomatic conceptual framework, many more specific knowledge areas are plotted as sub-domains (such as Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Semantics, Language Processing, Psychophysics, Sociolinguistics, Game Theory, Symbolic Systems, Human-Computer Interaction, etc). The position of each sub-domain point is correspondent to it’s relative magnitude of association to the six primary terminal points of the framework. Each sub-domain’s relative metric of associations is derived by collective consensus, the averaging of variable determinations provided by a diverse group of people (and is, therefore, also a representation of a collective perspective of consciousness research, not merely the perspective of a single individual or isolated disciplinary field). All points are assigned a color value that is in direct correlation to position: the primary red, green, and blue color values are derived from a proportionate correlation to the x, y, z coordinate values (x+, x-, y+, y-, z+, z- = r+, r-, g+, g-, b+, b-). Thus, topical groupings of points will tend to be placed in similar areas of color, and correspondingly, topic areas and color fields will naturally overlap. This represents perfect correlation between semantic context, spacial position, and color value ... delivering a type of synesthetic representation of the entire model. Cogspace is 5-dimensional in the sense that it expresses interpretive meaning with 3-dimensions of space, with an additional 2-dimensions: one of color and one of motion (or modifiable relative perspective). CogSpace unites concept with percept: a unique visualization of conceptual information organized in interactive "rainbow space".

With this dynamic arrangement of organizational factors, the model renders a unique integral perspective and comprehensive cartography of the “terrain”, and provides a “navigational instrument” for our explorative traversing across the frontiers of consciousness research. By plotting each sub-domain in scope of the relative positions of all other domains, areas of knowledge and research concentration and lack of concentration (“unexplored regions”) become apparent. When referencing any particular disciplinary sub-domain within the manifold model, where it is at and what color it is can suggest something about it's qualitative proximity to either more discrete and concrete or more continuous and abstract types of knowledge and research. For example, a sub-domain that is extremely neurobiological will be far less philosophical, and is placed on an extreme exterior boundary of the model (color saturation is more additive toward extreme hues). Inversely, a sub-domain that is a hybrid, somewhat balanced in interdisciplinary collaboration between linguistics and computer science, psychology and anthropology, and philosophy and neuroscience, is placed closer to the center of the model (color saturation is subtractive toward gray). The exterior of the model therefore represents the diverse and distributed areas of the more discrete and concrete knowledge domains--portrayed as the bright “rainbow” spectrum of colors. The interior of the model represents the hybrid and cross-disciplinary areas of the more continuous and abstract knowledge domains--portrayed figuratively and literally as the “gray area”. As the exact center of the model represents an absolute and unified knowledge of consciousness, the closer a disciplinary sub-domain is to the center, the closer it may be to an actual experiential and holistic “knowing” of consciousness, yet it may also loose degrees of specificity and applicability found with the more phenomenological approaches of the exterior domains . This trend is representative of our collective approach from “the exterior” toward the frontier of "the interior”, as well as a transdisciplinary approach toward the coalescent amalgamation of the unified whole.

Download the abstract and full descriptive paper

Read the blog post

See Hong kong exhibition photos

UPDATE: plans are in motion toward 1) producing a more advanced version of CogSpace, and 2) providing a 3D Mind Mapping application (based on CogSpace) for everyone! To be informed of these updates, sign up for the Holosys Newsletter:

CogSpace Updates

CogSpace is an implementation of the Rainbow Space framework, and is in continual development by Michael Gaio

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