Knowledge and Understanding

  • Anthony Reading
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Biology book series (BRIEFSBIOL, volume 1)


One of the most remarkable things the brain does is transform the raw data of experience into the informational structures that provide a sense of meaning and understanding to our lives. Knowledge is comprised of organized sets of meaningful information that are encoded in the central nervous system, some based on personal experience and some on what others have passed on to us. Understanding is a special form of knowledge that involves appreciating how interacting entities affect each other. Rule-based reasoning involves the sequential processing of discrete bits of information according to strict algorithmic rules, while pattern-based reasoning involves searching for correspondences and contrasts between perceived patterns and reference ones. We organize and rearrange information to build models that reflect our understanding of how individual facts and inferences are linked and interact. We have no way of being certain that the knowledge we accrue is correct, however, since our information-processing systems are not good truth-detectors.


Mental Model Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Sensory Receptor External Reality Justify True Belief 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South FloridaFloridaUSA

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