What’s happening in the brain when you watch a Visual Facilitation? Tom Wujec gives us the answer.

Categories creativity, learning, News, visual facilitation

Many people ask me whether or not visual facilitation is distracting to delegates.

The short answer is a loud and emphatic, ‘NO!!!’

The long answer is probably best addressed by Tom Wujec from Autodesk, delivering a TEDTalk in February 2009:

In a nutshell, he shows us how information entering the eye is processed ACTIVELY by the Primary Visual Cortex. This first port of call for light tells the brain simple things about geometry. But it ALSO coordinates information with around 30 or so OTHER parts of the brain, leading to ‘Aha!’ moments in lacing information together.

One of these other parts is the VENTRAL STREAM. This detects WHAT something is.

A second communication flow lands up in the DORSAL STREAM. This locates something in physical space. WHERE something is.

A third activation takes place in the LIMBIC SYSTEM. This is an ancient part of our brains, and it handles emotion, feeling.

Any visual stimulus activates those three subsystems (along with many others). This activation process is ongoing during a graphic facilitation. It works on three levels…

  1. Images clarify.
  2. They make the brain interact with concepts.
  3. And they augment our memory through visual persistance.

A big THANK YOU to @JeanneDP on Twitter for the link to Tom’s video.