Focusing on Harvard's Center for Cognitive Studies as a case, this article uses economies of research tool exchange to develop a new way of characterizing cross-disciplinary research. Throughout its life from 1960 to 1972, the Center for Cognitive Studies hosted scholars from several disciplines. However, there were two different research cultures at the Center. With its directors and patrons committed to a philosophy that equated creative science with eclectic search for and invention of new tools, the Center's initial interdisciplinary research culture emphasized the exchange of ideas and methods. Several years later, once its work was well under way, the Center's culture became multidisciplinary. Rather than emphasizing the sharing, invention, location, discussion and stabilization of new research techniques, the Center's multidisciplinary economy involved researchers working in parallel.