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What the eye sees… How long do you need to see something to remember it?

The brain is wired to learn visually

The eyes inform the brain.

What if I told you that 90% of the information that we absorb we see and the balance of 10% is divided among the rest of our senses?  Some of you will immediately protest, “What about blind people?”  I would say, that provided that we have working vision, that 90 percent is true.  People who are blind will develop greatly increased sensory acuity in hearing and smell. 

What does this mean if we are to increase our learning and build more ability in our Innate Genius skill? If the eyes are the primary way that we consume process and understand our surroundings, then visual is the easiest way to take in information that will help to develop further our super power.  

The time needed for us to make some sense of our surroundings is startlingly short.  13 milliseconds is the time that researchers at MIT found was necessary for an individual to create a memory of a random image. Seen for 13 milliseconds and then able to be remembered later.  It’s a wonderful piece of grey matter!  Less time than the snap of the fingers!! 

Caught in a moment in time

How fast do we see things?

The eyes are constantly scanning and the images seen will direct where to look next to build an environmental picture that gives us context and recognition.  The eyes shift their gaze 3 times every second.  The brain has to process the image very quickly so that it can decide what to look at next.  

Visual processing is 60,000 times faster than for text, however, there is evidence that we recognise words as a picture, which is why we often don’t see the spelling mistakes because they don’t substantially alter the “picture” of the word.  A good editor will see the difference in the picture of the word immediately and put the Red Pencil through it.

Words are a picture to the brain 

What you see you remember for 7 days

Images evoke memories and experiences better than a written word.  We can remember more than 2000 images with 90% accuracy for 7 days, even though we saw them for a very short period of time.  Images drive feelings, and that explains why we are all so captivated by visual media. 

It can be in your hand on any platform, or on the wall as TV.  Both suck us in and we have to work hard to pull our attention away.  Try NOT looking at a screen with images on it when you walk into a room or at the Gym.  It is all but futile.  

This helps to explain why the Social Media platforms are so successful.  They all rely almost exclusively on images, both static and moving.  We don’t really stay around to read the text, it takes too long!  

So what do we do with this piece of great information? 

Screens - try to look away

Visual Learning 

We can know that images are processed many times faster than text and remembered for longer.  With this in mind maybe we should be creating our own images that will remind us of important information.  Illustrated work will draw us in and make it easier for us to remember content.  A text Head Line might get our attention, but we will have to work harder at remembering the content.

Studying, know your learning style

Individuals who are getting ready for the Memory Olympics, make up visual cues and stories to assist with remembering facts and stories.  It is interesting how people develop a practice long before science looks into “the how” or mechanics of why something works.

Remember the order of a deck of shuffled cards for 30 minutes after looking at them for 5 minutes!

Tying it all together for Learning

I like to tie various blog topics together.  So in the previous blog we learned that we all have an innate genius ability.  A part of our brain that operates like no-one else.  When we use this Genius Ability, the part of the brain where the skill lives will experience a huge increase in blood flow and that this in turn creates more neurons and connections.  We know that memory is created when it is attached to an emotion.   Visuals or images have an immediate emotional connection for us, so they are a key to remembering important and meaningful events. 

So in the next blog I will explore how to find meaning and relevance, necessary items that build a memory.  

Chiropractor Leura, Springwood,Winston Hills