Monday, October 31, 2005

What Do You Remember? Ideas vs. Novelty

What do you remember best? Novelty generally always wins, but in this latest view from the Stanford's Wagner lab, there is an interest separation between conceptual and perceptual remembering.

Conceptual remembering, or 'ideas' seems more localized to the left hemisphere, while Perceptual remembering (for instance, what it looks like), localizes more on the right. It's interesting to look at this split because there do seem to be lopsided learners who seem to favor one side more than the other.

In general, the conceptual / verbal sort are better suited to conventional schooling (reading, writing, speaking). The perceptual learners are more likely incidental or hands on learners, may fiddle with their hands more, and align more along the description of tweaker. Perceptual learners are also probably more likely identified as having ADHD or being underachievers.

It's interesting to see too that novelty localized more to the right and perceptual remembering. That would fit with what we've seen with the kids, too.

It's surprising that although the phrases "preference for novelty" or "attention for subjects personally interested in" occur with some frequency in ADHD behavioral checklists, there's remarkably little guidance for parents or teachers who are trying to figure out how to reach these independent spirits.

There are some book publishers and authors who have caught on, though. Novelty learners (probably more boys than girls) tend to like books and subjects pushing limits like Guiness Book of World Records or Believe It or Not, space, black holes, infinity, or science fiction, Amazing Facts / Extreme Facts (for instance, for animals), and funny or a little shocking stuff like you might find in Horrible Histories, Calvin & Hobbes, or Cartoon Guide...
Memory for Novelty, Conceptual, and Perceptual

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