Upgrade for existing customers - The latest version of Thinking with Pictures has many additional features. If you have already purchased a copy of the software, take advantage of our offer to upgrade your software for just £19.92. Find out how to upgrade and what's new in version 1.2 here.
Thinking with Pictures is unique in providing support for a full range of visual tools including concept maps, mind maps, webs, trees, bubble maps and many other useful forms. Thinking with Pictures helps the learner deal with facts and knowledge, with memory and retrieval, with language and thinking and with individual and social forms of learning.
Introduction to the
ideas behind concept mapping, visual thinking and mind mapping ®.
The human brain is the most sophisticated
machine imaginable (or unimaginable). It weighs about 1.5
kgs and is composed of more than 50,000,000,000 nerve cells.
Each of these nerve cells can form up to 10,000 connections
to other nerve cells.
In the past 10 years, due to new scientific
scanning techniques, brain researchers have learned more about
the workings of the brain than they had discovered in the
previous 100 years.
Instead of thinking about your brain as
a 'single' thing, it is better to regard a brain as a group
of specialised, interconnected and competing parts that reach
majority decisions by 'voting'.
PET scanning is a newly developed brain
imaging technique that can create three dimensional pictures
of brain activity. Using it you can actually see how different
parts of the brain specialise and work together to contribute
to different tasks.
In everyday life, you are mostly unaware
of how your mind works. You are all just too busy getting
on with your life. To get a fleeting glimpse into the way
your own mind works, why not try this simple experiment.
this chart. Are you reading the word, or saying the colour?
Could you feel different and 'competing'
parts of your brain voting for attention with contradictory
Your brain is a massive 'connection machine'
driven by all your senses.
Your ideas and memories are patterns of
connections. What makes you you is your special
pattern of connections, built up piece by piece through memory
of your experience over your entire lifetime.
Learning new things simply consists
of being able to connect new ideas to the connections that
represent what you already know. Scientists now understand
that making sense of new ideas is actually this connection
process in action. Learning is all about making connections,
between what you already understand and new, unfamiliar ideas
The ideas on these pages can help you understand
how to think and learn in powerful new styles that naturally
complement and echo the way your mind actually works. These
visual thinking techniques are also known as concept mapping,
visual learning and mind mapping ®.
Your brain is an amazing, powerful learning
instrument. It is the most powerful learning tool in the known
universe. And the more you use it, the better it works.
Visual Thinking (also known as concept mapping,
visual learning and mind mapping ®) is the most effective and
powerful way of learning. The way you learn, and subsequently
remember, bears a strong relationship to the way your senses
operate. The overwhelming proportion of your sensory learning
The use of visual maps, throughout history,
has been associated with knowledge and power. A visual map
is anything that shows you the way from one point to another,
or from one level of understanding to another.
Symbols make it possible to present a great
deal of visual information on a map in a very effective, space
Visual maps are the key to understanding
the organisation and structure of complex information. Maps
are models of your thoughts, and so they are personal and
differ from individual to individual. They can represent explicitly
the way in which thoughts inter-relate. The act of constructing
a map of your own is a key to crystallising your own understanding.
By creating connections you can assimilate,
associate and retain new information more effectively than
by using linear text.
Model mapping (also known as concept mapping,
visual learning and mind mapping ®) is relevant to all learners,
irrespective of their learning style or cognitive ability.
Research suggests that learning styles seem to be developed
primarily through socialisation, but it is also possible to
teach and reflect upon learning styles. Model mapping provides
a concrete productive medium for this to take place. The learning
benefit from this is improved thinking skills and accelerated
Visual Mapping can be used to develop the
four essential learning skills:
Creating an interest in the subject
Constructing memorable new meaning
The terms 'mind map'® and 'mind mapping'® are registered trademarks of the Buzan Organisation Ltd.