An interpretation of Pascual-Leone’s discrete mathematical model of human information processing capacity

A. G. Shannon
Notes on Number Theory and Discrete Mathematics, ISSN 1310-5132
Volume 14, 2008, Number 2, Pages 15—20
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Authors and affiliations

A. G. Shannon
Raffles College of Design and Commerce, North Sydney, NSW 2060, &
Warrane College, University of New South Wales, NSW 1464, Australia


This paper outlines the pioneering work of Juan Pascal-Leone’s investigations of the cognitive load of learners. It utilized a recursive scheme in a Piagetian cognitive development framework to measure the maximum number of discrete “chunks” of information or schemes that our working memory can process, control or integrate at any one time. Pascal-Leone further designed a new compound-stimuli visual information type of task for testing his theories quantitatively. The stochastic model used for his predictions was the Bose—Einstein occupancy model of combinatorial analysis.


  • Piaget
  • Bose—Einstein
  • Schemas
  • Cognitive load
  • Schemata
  • Motoric responses
  • Attending acts
  • Set measure


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Cite this paper

Shannon, A. (2008). An interpretation of Pascual-Leone’s discrete mathematical model of human information processing capacity. Notes on Number Theory and Discrete Mathematics, 14(2), 15-20.

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