Metacognition: A Closed-Loop Model of Biased Competition–Evidence from Neuroscience, Cognition, and Instructional Research

  • Neil H. SchwartzEmail author
  • Brianna M. Scott
  • Doris Holzberger
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 28)


In this chapter, we take the position that self-regulation and metacognition reveal an undeniable conceptual core that assumes individuals make efforts to monitor their thoughts and actions, and try to gain some control over them. In the neurosciences, the higher-order processes of monitoring and control are referred to as “executive control processes”—processes that should be evident as neurological activity within known neuroanatomical locations. From this vantage point, we closely examine two predominant cognitive models of working memory—Cowan’s embedded processing model and Baddeley’s model containing a central executive component. We conclude that the former is the best fit with research from neuroscience and explains most efficiently the findings of metacognition in instruction. Thus, we offer a model of monitoring and control as a reciprocal function of the same neurologic processes that excite and inhibit, in a recursive fashion, the regions of the brain responsible for two types of activities involved in learning—the activities involved in processing the information itself relative to the goals of a task and the activities involved in processing (evaluating and correcting) the original activities deployed to seek goal attainment, activities that are metacognitive.


Prefrontal Cortex Executive Control Active Cognition Central Executive Central Controller 
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 New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil H. Schwartz
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Brianna M. Scott
    • 5
  • Doris Holzberger
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCalifornia State UniversityChicoUSA
  2. 2.International Cognitive Visualization ProgramChicoUSA
  3. 3.GrenobleFrance
  4. 4.LandauGermany
  5. 5.University of IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA
  6. 6.University of FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany

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