The Psychology Of Learning Remembering

Research has shown that, during the learning process, the human brain primarily remembers the following:

• Items from the beginning of the learning period ('the primacy effect')

• Items from the end of the learning period ('the recency effect')

• Any items associated with things or patterns already stored, or linked to other aspects of what is being learned

• Any items which are emphasised as being in some way outstanding or unique

• Any items which appeal particularly strongly to any of the five senses

• Those items which are of particular interest to the person

This list of findings, taken together with the graph opposite, gives you information that is of critical importance in understanding the way your brain works.

Indeed it was this information (and not the 'left/right brain theory', as many have assumed) which gave rise to my development of Mind Mapping. In the 1960s, while lecturing at various universities on the psychology of learning and memory, I began to notice the enormous discrepancy between the theory I was teaching and what I was actually doing.

My lecture notes were traditional linear notes, providing the traditional amount of forgetting and the traditional amount of non-communication. I was using such notes as the basis of lectures on memory in which I was pointing out that two of the main factors in recall were association and emphasis. Yet these elements were singularly lacking in my own notes!

By constantly asking myself the question 'What, in my notes, will help me to associate and emphasise?' I arrived, in the late 1960s/early 1970s, at an embryonic concept of Mind Mapping. (For a fuller discussion of recall during learning, see Use Your Head, or for readers in the USA, Use Both Sides of Your

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Graph predicting the high and low points of recall during a learning period. The reasons for the high points can be used to construct the basis for a new theory of learning (see page 34).

Brain.) My subsequent investigations into the nature of information processing, the structure and functioning of the brain cell, and research into the cerebral cortex, confirmed and buttressed the original theory, and Mind Maps were born.

Our brains tend to look for pattern and completion. For instance, most people, reading the words 'One, two, three..will have to fight the impulse to add 'four'. Similarly, if someone says, 'I have the most fascinating story to tell you ... Oops! Sorry, I've just realised I'm not supposed to tell anyone', your mind will scream for completion! This in-built tendency of the brain to search for completion is satisfied by the structure of the Mind Map. The Mind Map allows an infinite sequence of associative 'probes' which comprehensively investigate any idea or question with which you are concerned.

This amazing machine, your brain, has five major functions - receiving, holding, analysing, outputting and controlling - explained as follows:

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.

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