Neisser's model of perception as a cyclical process in which top-down processing and bottom-up processing drive each other in turn. To be purely data-driven we'd need to be mindless automatons; to be purely theory-driven we'd need to be disembodied dreamers. An active schema sets up relevant expectations for a particular context and if the sensory data flouts these expectations this may modify the schema or trigger a more relevant one. The basic principle is one of feedback. See alsoschema theory.
Subjects: Psychology — Media Studies.