Drawing works better than writing when it comes to retaining new info.
Want More of This? Get Some Brain Food Every Week.
Bust out the crayons
Good news for all of us: the relaxing act of doodling hearts and cats (just me?) — actually serves a purpose in brain function across different age groups from youngish to oldish.
The researchers at the University of Waterloo tested both undergrads and aging adults in this study and both showed improved brain retention with drawing. It was slightly extra effective in the older group.
No buts. The researchers from the University of Waterloo found that even if you’re not good at it, (and let’s be honest, isn’t art in the eye of the beholder?) drawing as a method to help retain new information was better than re-writing notes, visualization exercises, or passively looking at images.
If researchers say we’re all artists, who are we to argue?
If your brain was a person, picking up a drawing tool would be like hitting the gym to pump some iron with the muscles that retain memory.
Specifically, that part of the brain is involved in visuospatial processing — how your brain interprets images and pictures, which stays mostly intact in normal aging, and in dementia.
The reason drawing led to better recall than the other techniques in the study is because it integrates multiple ways of representing info, including: visual, spatial, verbal, semantic, and motoric.
All the ways.
Ready, set... draw!
Why not start flexing your visuospatial processing powers now? The next time you’ve got new information to retain or share, invite everyone to grab a pen and see what happens.
After spending Mother's Day explaining what exactly your job is again to your mum or your partner's mum, you might end up with some interesting new art.
FOR THE NERDY: Time to let your inner artist out [source: Neurosciencenews.com - Drawing is Better Than Writing For Memory Retention]