Foundations Of Cognitive Science

Symbolic Architecture

Symbolic architecture refers to the classical view of the architecture of the mind. In this approach the mind is viewed as a process in which symbols are manipulated. Symbols are moved between memory stores such as long term and short term memory and are acted upon by an explicit set of rules in a particular sequence. The symbolic architecture is the manner in which memory stores are related and the set of rules applied to the system.

The symbolic architecture approach has been widely applied and formed the basis of influential work such as Newell & Simon's Human Problem Solving. More recently, this approach to cognitive architecture has been challenged by the connectionist architecture approach.


  1. Collins, A. & Smith, E.E. (Eds.). (1988). Readings in cognitive science: A perspective from psychology and artificial intelligence. San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufman.