Your brain thinks – but how?
The world is a confusing and busy place. Our brains must make sense of it by processing a never-ending stream of information. Ideally – because it would be most accurate – our brains would analyze everything thoroughly. However, they cannot, because it is too impractical.
Our brains find shortcuts to overcome the thinking problem by relying on thoughts already stored in our minds, called schemas. Schemas do the processing for the brain, like auto-fill, but for thinking.
Using schemas is more efficient than analyzing every aspect of every moment. They allow our brains to process more information with less effort, saving brain power for other important thinking and problem-solving.
Schemas are the building blocks of our knowledge about the world. Our brains rely on different types of schemas to understand different types of situations.
Schemas are like books in your mind telling you what different objects are and what they do. A bird schema, for example, might say that birds are “small animals,” “have wings” and “can fly.” Together, all the objects you know form a collection of books that fill the shelves of a library in your mind.