Visual/Nonverbal Memory Systems
Visual/Nonverbal memory is our ability to remember and re-create non-verbal visual experiences and images. It’s our visual memory system. It gives us the ability to “picture” in our mind, images of what we've seen or experienced when it isn’t there to actually see any more.
- The earliest form of learning is visual by way of the primary visual cortex. Babies learn visually first with lots of neural networks being formed, strengthening the ability of the visual memory systems in the early years.
- When you see something in your “mind’s eye” two thirds of the same area of the brain is activated as when you really see it.
- Visual-spatial processing is the brain’s ability to complete pictures when you only see part of something. If you see part of something you’ve seen before, your brain will complete the image.
- We will remember content associated with images more easily. The brain remembers pictures before words.
- Visual prompts prime the brain and get it ready for new content. They "wake up" existing neural networks and provide something to link new learning to, creating stronger, faster neural pathways.
How many ways can we plan to capitalize on the fact that visual memory systems are very strong and can help students make stronger neural connections?
Thoughts & Strategies
Plan To Put What We Know About Visual Memory To Work In The Classroom
- Make learning beautiful. Draw it. Doodle it. Integrate visual art with verbal or written content to strengthen memory.
- Creatively plan to connect classroom content with images or objects creating yet another pathway for retrieval.
- Decorating with content capitalizes on the brain’s ability to recall pictures first.
- Graphically organize a unit to help learners recall the information. A group mind map can be used to focus instruction and can be added to throughout a unit.