PREVIOUS: Sensory Learning #3
QUOTE: “To develop a complete mind, study the science of art and the art of science. Learn to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.“ ~ Leonardo DaVinci
VISUAL Learning Style
According to Dr. David Sousa, 45% or more student in most American classrooms prefer to receive information visually. This includes pictures, video tapes & charts, as well as reading, because the interpretation of symbols translate into mental pictures (“How the Brain Learns”)
Our brains give preference to processing vision, compared to our other senses.
EXP: Imagine being in an open field. How far can you see? About 50 miles. How far can you hear? Maybe a mile or two. How about smell? 10-20 yards, assuming that the wind is not blowing. How about touch? Just an arm’s length. Taste? A couple of inches.
The Visual Cortex, in the Occipital Lobes, is the largest system in the human brain, responsible for higher-level processing or visual images. It’s at the back of the brain, above the cerebellum. It interprets info from visible light to build model of the world around the body. As the eyes gather information, the brain interprets & makes sense of what we take in. Both occipital & parietal lobes manage spatial orientation.
The eyes & the Visual Cortex form a massive parallel processor that provides the highest band-width channel into human cognitive centers. At the higher level of processing, perception & cognition are closely interrelated, which is the reason why the words “understanding & seeing’ are synonymous.” ~ Colin Ware (slide 17)
The average human attention span is 8 seconds, & our brain processes visual images 60,000 times faster than a text, in roughly 1/10 of a second.
Hubel and Weisel showed that the primary visual cortex consists of cells responsive to both the simple & the complex features of whatever we’re seeing. Interestingly, most of these cells have a preference for one edges of an angle over another, called ‘orientation preference’, & to inputs from one eye over the other, called ‘ocular dominance’.
These 2 patterns (preference & dominance) are not fixed genetically, but develop from visual experience, mostly soon after birth.
80-90% of children use their eyes to learn about their world. They’re used to gathering information nearby (what can be touched) & at a distance (beyond arm’s reach). Visual stimulation helps to shape children’s minds in powerful ways.
Science tells us the neurons that handle visual processing make up about 30% of the brain’s cortex – more than double that of hearing & touch combined. Via this method we store both negative & positive impressions in the brain (images of AK-47s & beautiful waterfalls), at conscious & subconscious levels. All imprints have a deep & lasting effect on the way we learn & think.
Most of our activities involve ‘seeing’, so the importance of this sense can easily be taken for granted, yet sight is crucial to learning. Visual learners take what is spoken or heard & make it into something they can see in their mind’s eye. They get the most out of visual aids, & put a lot of effort into observing / listening so they can turn info into notes, charts, graphs, pictures….
Re. INTUITION (Clear Seeing) Being able to visualize possible scenarios in the mind’s eye, as if recalling a memory or imagining an actual picture.
SOME general VISUAL Characteristics
KEEP IN MIND that whichever style is your preference you’re not going to identify with every single characteristic listed. That will depend on other factors, such as mixing in other learning styles with your primary one, your educational background and your native personality.
NEXT: Auditory Learners (Part 4b)