Got an exam coming up? Better start sketching!
A new study found that drawing information you need to remember is a very efficient way to enhance your memory. The researchers believe that the act of drawing helps create a more cohesive memory as it integrates visual, motor and semantic information.
“We pitted drawing against a number of other known encoding strategies, but drawing always came out on top,” said Jeffrey Wammes, PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo.
Together, they enlisted some of the University’s students’ help and presented them with a list of simple, easily drawn words, such as “apple.” Participants were given 40 seconds in which to draw or write out the the word repeatedly. After this, they were given a filler task of classifying musical tones, to facilitate memory retention. In the last step of the trial, the students were asked to recall as many of the initial words as they could in just 60 seconds.
“We discovered a significant recall advantage for words that were drawn as compared to those that were written,” said Wammes.