Friday, July 10, 2009


This week has been a whirlwind tour of Dr. John Media's "Brain Rules". His work is a fascinating journey into our brains, developing a set of 12 principles for surviving and thriving at work, home, and school. Though I've only taken a look at 5 of the 12, I encourage you to get a copy of his book, check out his website, and find out how they can make a difference in the way you live.

Here are some of his comments about vision:

Vision trumps all other senses.

  • Vision is by far our most dominant sense, taking up half of our brain's resources.
  • What we see is only what our brain tells us we see, and it is not 1005 accurate.
  • The visual analysis we do has many steps. The retina assembles photons into little movie-like streams of information. The visual cortex processes these streams, some areas registering motion, others registering color, etc. Finally, we combine that information back together so we can see.
  • We learn and remember best through pictures, not through written or spoken words.
  • We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you'll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you'll remember 65%.
  • Pictures beat text as well, in part because reading is so inefficient for us. Our brain sees words as lots of tiny pictures, and we have to identify certain features in the letters to be able to read them. That takes time.
  • Why is vision such a big deal to us? Perhaps because it's how we've always apprehended major threats, food supplies and reproductive opportunity.
  • Toss your PowerPoint presentations. It’s text-based (nearly 40 words per slide), with six hierarchical levels of chapters and subheads—all words. Professionals everywhere need to know about the incredible inefficiency of text-based information and the incredible effects of images. Burn your current PowerPoint presentations and make new ones.

Check out this video for more information on vision.

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