Knowledge at basic level

May 15, 2010

“Our knowledge at the basic level is mainly organized around part-whole divisions. The reason is that the way an object is divided into parts determines many things.

  1. First, parts are usually correlated with functions, and hence our knowledge about functions is usually associated with knowledge about parts.
  2. Second, parts determine shape, and hence the way that an object will be perceived and imaged.
  3. Third, we usually interact with things via their parts, and hence part-whole divisions play a major role in determining what motor programs we can use to interact with an object. Thus, a handle is not just long and thin, but it can be grasped by the human hand.”

Lakoff (1987) p.47

Gestalt (‘What is it?’) and affordance (‘What can I do with it?): core processes in screen communication

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