3 ways the brain creates meaning

By Tom Wujec

"Last year at TED we aimed to try to clarify the overwhelming complexity and richness that we experience at the conference in a project called the Big Viz. And the Big Viz is a collection of 650 sketches that were made by two visual artists. David Sibbet from The Grove, and Kevin Richards from Autodesk made 650 sketches that strive to capture the essence of each presenter's ideas. And the consensus was, it really worked. These sketches brought to life the key ideas, the portraits, the magic moments that we all experienced last year.

This year we were thinking, "Why does it work?" What is it about animation, graphics, illustrations, that create meaning? And this is an important question to ask and answer. Because the more we understand how the brain creates meaning, the better we can communicate. And I also think, the better we can think and collaborate together. So this year we're going to visualize how the brain visualizes.

Cognitive psychologists now tell us that the brain doesn't actually see the world as it is, but instead, creates a series of mental models through a collection of "Ah-ha moments," or moments of discovery, through various processes."

Watch the Video.

Image from Flickr Creative Commons.

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