Sunday, February 13, 2005

The Visual Learning Style as a Kaleidoscope

There is a restlessness afoot among some parents and educators who feel that visual learners are neglected in the school system. So, you may ask, does brain research support such a thing as a 'Visual Learner'? Yes. But it's not a single type. Visual learning is more like a kaleidoscope than a single shade of a color. That's because there is a remarkable diversity to the organization visual abilities in the brain. Expertise at visual learning may mean a preference for learning by seeing visual relationships or pictures, a preference for learning by reading text, expertise at translating verbal information into visual pictures or imagining visual permutations, visual sensitivity to detail, color, texture, or motion, or a spectacular memory for visual information. A visual genius may have capabilities in one, several, or all areas of visual ability.


The picture above shows the differences in brain activation patterns in adults vs. children (aged 7-10 years old) performing a verbal task in response to a target word flashed on a screen. The children appeared to respond much more powerfully in their visual cortex than adults.


Another area at the front of the brain comes into play when solving the visual Tower of London puzzle. What might we conclude from this? Giftedness in visual abilities may not be 'global'. It's important to look for patterns and clusters of talents- and see that there are great variations among gifted visual learners.

Age-Related Processing Differences
Tower of London Visual Problem Solving

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the daily lesson, as always. I have a blog too, though it's not nearly as erudite as yours!
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