GERNSBACHER, M. A. (1995). The Structure Building Framework: What it is, what it might also be, and why. In B. K. Britton, & A. C. Graesser, (Eds.), Models of text understanding (pp. 289-311). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
I have proposed previously that language comprehension can be described as structure building, and I have sketched a simple framework to use as a guide. I call this framework the Structure Building Framework. According to the Structure Building Framework, the goal of comprehension is to build cohesive mental representations, or structures. The first process involved in building a structure is laying a foundation. The next process involves developing the structure by mapping on incoming information when that information is less coherent, comprehenders employ a different process: They shift to initiate a new substructure. Thus, most representations comprise several branching substructure.
The building blocks of mental structures are memory nodes. Memory nodes are activated by incoming stimuli. Their initial activation forms the foundation of mental structures. Incoming information often is mapped onto a developing structure because the more coherent the incoming information is with the previous information, the more likely it is to activate similar memory nodes. However, the less coherent the incoming information, the less likely it is to activate similar memory nodes. If the incoming information is less coherent, it activates different nodes, and the activation of these different nodes forms the foundation for a new substructure.