Educación, Psicología & Ciencia

My brain craves images, and yours?

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When I was a kid, I struggled in classroom each time we had to do a summary. I liked so much colors and shapes. I still remember THE ADVISE – If you continue painting each time that you want to memorize stuff; you will never learn how to write properly. – Now I am an adult, I use to write the content of books and I am saying in public that my brain craves images; Funny, – Isn´t it?

2015-12-02 20.32.21

Graphic Recording – Learning & DNA

After a few years and still in high school, another teacher banned the use of pencils and colorful markers in the classroom. I recently found packed in a box my old notebooks; it´s curious see all content in blue/black color, and “big schemes with drawings, arrows and shapes”, hidden to the human eye, in the last «dirty-page».

In second grade, the teacher called to my parents for a meeting because I was doing a terrible calligraphy, I was under suspect of learning or emotional troubles. I still remember my parents looking at me like … – could you keep your creativity under control at least at school sweetheart? At home I got a “white card to creativity” but I promised in exchange, impeccable notes for school. I was a successful student thanks to that free-card and a weird perception of colors.


Bad Calligraphy at School – Feliz means Happy!


Because in my mind, the basics of knowledge, as arithmetic or reading are linked to colors and shapes; my understanding of algebra was linked to the abstract rhythm of sounds and literature to multi sensorial experiences.


Because in my mind, a city as Manchester is orange colored and Mozart smells to cinnamon.

Christmas was always a good time; time for murals, paintings, poetry, cards and creativity. I just loved “the creation process” of those little things… cells, atoms, kinetics or literature. So, I chose sciences and technology field.

When I was seventeen, the selective admission test for the University was stressful. To make the matter worst, I forgot my calculator, – Physic and Math…! – How possible? After “20 minutes in a terrifying shock”, I took two extra sheets of paper and I draw numbers as a portrait, as pure art. – That year I started my university degree.

What is the most important in learning? – Recording information or be able to critically understand the information? The ability to integrate and produce new content is a GIFT.


Bad Calligraphy in 2015, where Feliz still means Happy

People who read pictures and sounds

Colors, smells, music, words and shapes are mixed in my brain. I AM A VISUAL LEARNER, and probably YOU ARE TOO. You know that saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. But, – why?

Research says that…

Almost a 50% of our brain is involved in visual processing
Almost a 70% of all our sensory receptors are in our eyes
We can get a visual scene in less than 1/10 second


NYC, oh NYC!

Vision is such a big part about how we interpret the world that even can overwhelm the other senses. Actually, each time we want to read something our brain reacts to texts and words, as images. And the highest impact comes when the visual information moves in front of our eyes

– Why do you think that NYC moves its adverts such smoothly? (* yes, I know that NYC is not an animate alive creature that moves its adverts with freedom).

Think about a random day in our random lives: internet, TV, adverts… we are exposed to tons of information, and it increases more and more each year.

– How can we summarize all this information in small bits without losing content of the relevant? How could we make information accessible, persuasive and easy to recall? – Using ART.

We are not calculators, but we still can paint. – Everybody can do it!

From Ode to Things; That´s the question! – Where is the moralis of this story?

– Every brain is different and so we learn in different ways and so we are unique organisms with very different potentials.

Neuroscience research is leaving us a lot of tracks about how the brain creates new ideas and new knowledge. Whether we want to learn a new language, do a summary, write a book, learn to cook… it helps to know how our instrument (brain) works. While everyone learns differently, we do have similarities about how our senses gather information and how our neurons produce knowledge. So that´s how educationalists develop adapted strategies and tools to help people in learning.

– What people really do while painting/drawing their ideas?


Graphic Facilitation

  1. Expand memory
  2. Answer questions (own questions and the other´s questions)
  3. Link information
  4. Find patterns
  5. See data in context
  6. Make decisions
  7. Persuade (making an impact in others)
  8. Create a big picture (very important as we are over exposed to information)
  9. Tell a story
  10. Share, share… share!
  11. Collaborate ( – that thing related with experiential learning!)
  12. Inspire the others

We all know that … we haven´t enough time for doing THOSE LITTLE THINGS: compose a song, play piano, write poetry, draw your ideas, painting abstract, run, dance tango … but:

Did you know…
… that dancing and math can be related?
… that those researchers who find the cure of diseases are actually great artists?
… how space and time are linked to math calculation?
… how music can help people with neurodegenerative diseases?
… that some people can communicate with other through photography?
… that art can help in healing?
… that an image can make you feel hungry or spend money?
… that a story can actually change your life?
… that narrative means “neurons building great constructions» in your brain?
… that creativity is more important than IQ for survival?
… that our higher barriers are not technical (abilities) but emotional?

Let kids and adults experiment with all the colors, markers, fancy calligraphy, short stories, theater, dancing …

…and let GREAT LITTLE even TINY things happen!

A petition by a synesthetic brain

Have a nice weekend
Thanks for reading 🙂

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Autor: Lorena Álvarez

Psicóloga, activista, trotamundos y una apasionada por la ciencia y las letras.

2 pensamientos en “My brain craves images, and yours?

  1. Nice,
    You should write more about the synesthetic brain!

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