Summary : ' The Owner's Manual For The Brain '

1428 Words Oct 15th, 2015 6 Pages
The twentieth chapter in Howard’s tome The Owner’s Manual for the Brain is entitled “How We Learn” and it dedicated to memory and, of course, learning. The subtitle of that chapter is “Acquiring and Remembering Information”. Although I shall have something to say about the equating of learning with memory, I would like to focus on one particular subtopic within this chapter. Topic 20.25 possesses the heading “Schema,” and, as expected, is focused on that concept.

To be understood plainly, a schema can be said to be a group of elements that, for some reason, we bring together in a meaningful unity. A schema provides for the framework that connects theses discrete atoms, much like a spider web allows for the arachnid-creator to negotiate the breadth of its domain with ease. A schema is the scaffolding of which a shortcut is constructed so that we humans are better able navigate through the world. To illustrate this point, just imagine for a second what the experience of reading a given would be like if you were not able to make the leap from a recognized conglomeration of letters, to their grander form: words. I would venture a guess that many readers are also able to make one more jump, and recognize groups of words in a familiar phrase, and elicit the greater idea without processing each word on its own. We should all be able to recognize with ease this phenomenon- mostly because it is a necessary condition for you, reader, to be currently understanding the text on this…
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