The aim of this blog is to serve as a meeting point to those who study or have studied English philology and, more broadly, to all those who love literature and language.

16 Apr 2009


A recent study carried out by the Center of Cognitive Neuroscience, at the University of Pennsylvania, reveals that those who consider themselves as visual learners convert linguistically presented information into a visual representation of such information.
On the contrary, verbal learners tend to convert visual information into linguistic representations.

By means of magnetic resonance imaging technology, professor Sharon Thomson-Schill and her team scanned the brains of 18 subjects while performing several tests that involved both word-based and picture-based feature matching conditions. The results demonstrated that modality-specific areas of the brain were activated depending on how the subjects consider themselves: visual or linguistic learners.

So, once again, science confirms what everybody knows intuitively. Now investigators expect that further research will be useful for educators in helping them to determine the most effective way to learn for each individual.

I think it would be also interesting to determine if one learning system is more effective than the other and –as a mere curiosity- if there are more visual learners than linguistic learners or vice versa.


  1. According to the Cone of Experience theory ( by American educationist Edgar Dale, knowledge gained by means of visual sources remains is better assimilated and lasts longer than the one we get simply through verbal media.

    That would be something general but it is true that there are differences in learning syles although the limits for categorisation are certainly blurred. I can't say if there are more visual learners but I myself feel much more confident when I see a written form of a word that I intend to learn and, when coping with an exam, I remember contents better if I can recall where they were placed on the page I studied them from.

  2. I've just tried this test:

    I don't know to what extent it can be reliable but it can give a hint on learning preferences.

  3. This test is very interesting and I´ve confirmed that I´m a visual learning, as I already supposed. Maybe most of us have a tendency to be visual learners because of the influence of the written transmision of ideas, which is strongly rooted in our culture.