If you are a visual thinker then you share at least one trait with the genius Albert Einstein

This lesson profiles a Visual thinker and explores the hidden subtext . We look at what message a visual learner needs to takes away from lectures and language based text .

Visual Thinkers  can improve short term and working memory by adopting  a  show  me rather than tell me  attitude.  Favour learning  materials that include video  ,charts and  diagrams . Source materials that rely on  visual metaphors to explain difficult concepts  . Learn to create  mind maps and  spider diagrams .

Visual Thinking is defined as a representation class


When engaged in visual thought body language will be forward . Tension exists in the shoulders, .Breathing will be high in the chest . Tonality may be pitched higher than normal. Gestures to the eyes and use of language is indicative of visual thought .

Eye Cues

It has been established that for a the majority of right handed people when trying create an image . Eyes move up to the right . When trying to recall up and to the left or straight ahead.

Reading – In the west eye movement is left to right and top to bottom .Clinical tests have established that spelling accuracy improves if the eyes move up and to the left for right handers .

Next …. Structure .. Sub Modalities … Language …


Learning Channel – : Visual

The structure of a page of text is not random but linear . Page structure itself  leaves an imprint on the subconscious mind .

Try reading a page of text quickly Then sit back and try to picture the structure of the page in your mind’s eye .

A well designed page of text has built in attention cues . Through experimentation you will find that you are drawn to certain sub modalities  

Differences in font size , type and boldness , headers , underlined text , colored text , images ,bullet points lists and graphs .

These sub modalities act as memory cues .

If the page is not well designed revisit and reorganise the text .  A failure to pay  attention to structure and sub modalities  leads to a weak memory trace  . A weak  traces require more repetitions  to internalise.More reps takes up more of your limited time .

A failure to revisit material can lead to  a subconscious restructuring of the message

Sub Modalities

Learning Channel : Visual

The Quality Of The Senses. A term first used by Aristotle .

  • Associated/Disassociated
  • Color Black or White
  • Framed or Unbound
  • Dimensionality [depth]
  • Location [left , right , up or down ]
  • Distance of self from picture
  • Brightness and Contrast [font weight]
  • Clarity [blurred or focused]
  • Movement[film or slide show]
  • Speed[faster or slow motion]
  • Number [split or multiple images ]
  • Size


Applying sub modalities to a written text .

Only associated/disassociation [ where and when questions] , brightness and contrast , font weights and styles , size of headings and numbers, paragraphs are immediately relevant .

Our missing sub modalities .

Text tends to come in just the one flavor black and white , the page is unframed , pages are two dimensional not three with very little spatial [location] organization of material . Distance of self from picture is irrelevant ,since zooming and panning will not separate out the forest from the trees .

It is easy to see why a visual thinker will have difficulty recalling text with any clarity .

Highlighted text and images stand out . Bringing a few words and phrases to mind. It is important  that it is logically possible to deduce meaning from these  words or phrases

Visual/ Kinesthetic

Finally two modalities conspicuous by their absence and important to the visual/ kinesthetic learning style movement and speed .


For individuals with a visual/auditory thinking style diagrams . mind maps , star maps , spider diagrams and information triangles add a spatial dimensions .


Learning Channel : Visual

The point of language is to communicate . In order to achieve its goal language has to bridge the gap of competing representational systems .The words and phrasing we use in life reflect our representation system .


Reflect , Dark , Blank , Cascade: Eye , Vision , Illusion , Imagine , Focus , Illustrate , Notice , Survey , Outlook , Watch, Preview , Perspective , Visualize , Picture .


  • Eye to eye
  • Blind Spot
  • Show Me [what you mean]
  • To look closely at [ an idea]
  • It appears to me
  • It colors perception
  • Throwing light onto a subject
  • You will look back on this and laugh
  • Mind’s Eye
  • I see what you are saying

Use of language in a statistically significant manner together with speed , tonality ,posture and body language should indicate a leaning towards one of the representational systems .


Careful preparation and selection of materials is essential .A message can be optimized to suit a visual thinkers by paying attention to structure , sub modalities and  the language used.

The evidence suggest that for the visual thinker written language is processed as symbolic visual imagery . Words like Bridge and Point both used in this article are examples of visual analogies .

Both  act like landmarks on a journey inside a mental landscape . For the eye minded individuals who instinctively processes language visually . The message and the memory trace need to be related .

Inappropriate use of language can  lead to confusion about both content and context .

Earlier on under language we opened with this paragraph .

The point of language is to communicate . In order to achieve its goal language has to bridge the gap of competing representational systems

Bridge is used correctly .Point is not .

Point – you have a  subconscious image of someone pointing  . This has nothing to do with languages . The message and the memory trace are not related  you have created some mental imagery in someone else mind eye  that is un-relatable  . You have just added to their cognitive load 

A bridge on the other hand  connects . In this case representational systems  .

Appropriate use of visual analogies/simile to set the context and concept visualizations to explain content is a marginal gain  .  This may seem small but replicated 1000’s of times these marginal loses add up to a massive drain on attention and focus .