Wednesday, 4 February 2009

random wanderings in research

I'm not sure I still agree with the point I made in the last post, about how following up random leads is probably just a waste of time.

If research always followed a directed, carefully planned route without any deviations (or wild goose chases) then it could almost be automated - and then what would the point be in having researchers in the first place?

For example, with Owen Holland's talk yesterday, the vast majority of actual implementation seems to have been done by his phd students and research assistants (that was the impression I got from how he presents it, anyway) But without his original ideas and visions, the whole project wouldn't ever have happened.

Perhaps my problem really is that I never seem to follow a directed, carefully planned route in my work, and that I'm struggling to knuckle down to the real implementation work once I've finished devising what I'm going to do (but don't have anyone employed to do that work for me!)

So I'll make sure I make time for the random deviations... but make it the minority of time rather than the majority it seems to take at present.


  1. I got the following comment from Sandra...

    Your idea about bringing together linguistic and musical creativity from the perspective of cognition is great and to observe how cognitive smanticists deal with things may indeed bring you some fruitful ideas for the musical side of things. However, Cognitive Semantics, as I'm sure you've realised is a field that can be very daunting and can trick you into serious detours. I think with Conceptual Blendings and Image Schemas you have a lot to deal with and I would say stick to those. However, you mention in your blog the idea of bringing CL principles to a more abstract level. You may be aware that CL is, in a way, a byproduct of Cognitive Psychology so cognitive linguistis have already drawn their theories from more abstract approaches. In other words, it may save you some time -- although it might not look like it!, to fish out stuff from Cognitive Psychology. The cognitive psychologist Lawrence Barsalou is someone who is influencing cognitive semanticists (e.g. Vyv). If you look up Barsalou in the 'Cognitive Linguistics: an introduction' textbook, you should be able to figure out quickly how linguists 'used' psychology for their own purposes. And I'm guessing that that would be of interest to you in the sense that you could then assess whether or not cognitive psychology theories can be applied to the musical field in a simialr way than they are applied to the linguistics field. Just a thought! We could meet up to talk about it if you want.
    Have a good day!
    Sdra :-)

    PS A quick time saver for you:

  2. and this was my response:

    I've heard of Lawrence Barsalou before and thought he was another cognitive linguistics person... but of course it makes total sense that cognitive linguistics, this new emerging area, is drawing from the more abstract 'parent' field of cognitive psychology

    I'm so fascinated by the ways that one field of study can be used in another seemingly unrelated field of study - like musical grammars, for example, which was what sparked this whole cross-disciplinary interest of mine off in the first place

  3. Hi Anna! It has been so long since we last update each other.. How r u doing? Me doing fine, Imran is 5 months now, and I'm trying to settle him down in his nursery. Trying my best to get back to work in the lab. I think, you knew that I've changed supervisor? I'm now with the RepCog Lab. So, how's your research doing? Hope all goes well with you. Take care! Thanks for following my blog.