Bartletts Schemata Theory

schema theory. The English psychologist Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett (1886-1969) proposed an admittedly vague theory - the schemata theory of memory - as a way of invalidating and repudiating the classical trace theory of memory (i.e., the hypothesized modification of neural tissue resulting from any form of stimulation such as learning new material). Bartlett stressed the constructive, over the reproductive, aspects of recall and adapted his schemata theory (based on the assumption that schemata are cognitive, mental plans that are abstract guides for action, structures for interpreting and retrieving information, and organized frameworks for solving problems) from the English neurologist Sir Henry Head's (1861-1940) work on sensation, neurology, and the cerebral cortex. Unfortunately, Bart-lett's theory apparently was too speculative to gain wide acceptance in the psychological community, even though it led many people to think somewhat differently about the dynamics and nature of memory. Other forms of schema theory - the mental representation of some aspect of experience based on prior experience or memory, structured to facilitate perception and cognition - are Sir Henry Head's approach that emphasized a person's internal body image; and the concept of a "frame" described by the American cognitive scientist Marvin L. Minsky (1927- ), which is a schema formalized in terms of artificial intelligence, along with his concept of "knowledge-line," or "K-line," that is a hypothesized connection that reactivates a memory in an associative network model. See also ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE; CONSTRUCTIV-IST THEORY OF PERCEPTION; MEMORY, THEORIES OF; TRACE THEORY. REFERENCES

Head, H. (1920). Studies in neurology II. London: Oxford University Press. Bartlett, F. C. (1932). Remembering: A study in experimental and social psychology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Oldfield, R., & Zangwill, O. (1943). Head's concept of the schema and its application in contemporary British psychology: Part III. Bartlett's theory of memory. British Journal of Psychology, 33, 113-129. Minsky, M. L. (1967). Computation: Finite and infinite machines. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Zangwill, O. (1972). "Remembering" revisited. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 24, 124-138. Minsky, M. L. (1980). K-lines: A theory of memory. Cognitive Science, 4, 117133.

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