Why Drawing is Better For Your Memory Than Writing

Why Drawing is Better For Your Memory Than Writing

Drawing outdoes writing, visualization exercises and more when it comes to recalling important information.

Love to doodle? It could be to your benefit in the long run. A recent study has found that older adults who take up drawing could be improving their memory.

Researchers from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, made the discovery.

They asked both young people and older adults to complete a variety of memory-encoding techniques. Then, they tested participants’ recall.

It was found that even if you aren’t any good at drawing, using it to remember something can be useful. Drawing actually outdoes re-writing notes, visualization exercises, and passively looking at images in order to remember them.  

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“Drawing improves memory across a variety of tasks and populations, and the simplicity of the strategy means that it can be used in many settings,” said Myra Fernandes, a psychology professor in cognitive neuroscience at Waterloo.

Why does it work? The study’s authors believe drawing incorporates multiple ways of representing information you’re trying to recall, including spatial, verbal, semantic and motoric. Because of this, you’re recall goes further when you use it, which is useful for everyone.

Researchers are especially excited about the implications their findings can have on intervening with memory loss in dementia patients. Memory loss can’t be stopped in dementia patients, but techniques can be used to help in the early stages to prolong independence. 

For more on this study, click here to read about it.

Photo credits: Andrej Sevkovskij/Shutterstock.com

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