Friday, September 30, 2005

Conceptual & Perceptual Remembering

In some interesting work from Stanford, there's a interesting figure which shows a striking difference between conceptual and perceptual remembering. When we remember personally at a specific place and time, we can recollect aspects of what we experienced from a conceptual viewpoint (meanings, ideas) or from a perceptual one (sensory details).

What is striking is how different the appearance is, depending on how people recollected what they saw. Both conceptual and perceptual thinking are based on patterns and categories, but conceptual thinking is more 'left-brain'. That could be why perceptual learning is often a harder thing to pass down through words.

Another interesting finding from the paper is their finding of a "striking overlap between the novelty detection and perceptual recollection tasks". It's been our observation in our clinic that some of the most strongly novelty-seeking kids (highly distractible, touching everything, interested in how things work) are also the strongest perceptual learners. It's nice to think that both types of learners (dominant conceptual or dominant perceptual) are each really seeking out knowledge in their best style...the conceptual through verbal experiences, and the perceptual through sight, nonverbal sound, and touch.

Conceptual & Perceptual Remembering
Conceptual Thinking
Conceptual & Perceptual Thinking in Mathematics
Teaching History: Conceptual awareness through categorising in History
Perceptual Learning & Attention (research)

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