USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


A neurodesign model for IS research.

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Christopher J. Davis

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The constructive (i.e. Build) activity in Design Research is where human cognitive (e.g., complexity, creativity, control) and social (e.g., collaboration) activities contribute to the design of novel artifacts that improve the human condition. In this essay, we model the design activity as an iterative process with flows connecting external and internal environments and problem and solution spaces. The design team performs within this process through cognitive interactions at critical points in the flow in order to structure the design problem, produce novel design candidates, manage the refinement of the best candidates into use artifacts, and achieve consensus among the design team as well as stakeholders. The model provides a basis to 'broker' and align neuroscientific theory and design research in the Information Systems (IS) field and, by doing so, within the broader informing science transdiscipline. The emphasis in the model on the interplay of 'doing' tasks and 'making' sense focuses directly on the task at hand and in mind. These iterations are manifest in four interactions, each of which has a set of important cognitive challenges which we explore. Use of the model to guide NeuroDesign research presents a number of fruitful opportunities to extend the use of neuroimaging techniques in design research beyond the evaluation of information technology (IT) artifacts. The model also highlights the potential of design as an empirical context to identify, frame, and address some of the limitations of prior studies of complexity, creativity, control, and collaboration that, to date, have stymied mainstream neuroscience.


Full-text article is available through access provided by the publisher. Published in Informing Science: the International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, 17, 103-132. Retrieved from




Informing Science Institute

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.