For a long time we have assumed that the brain works in a linear way, which is of course a natural conclusion, judging from the way we speak and write. When we speak the words appear in a correct grammatical order and form most of the time. The same is even more true about our way of writing.
The brain does not normally work in a linear way. For instance, you very seldom remember full sentences from what you read or heard , but rather single words .
When you speak, the main part of the energy is used to find the right words, to add a correct grammatical form to the words and to choose from a number of alternatives. It is important not to be misunderstood by using the wrong words or gestures.
At the same time, as you speak and follow a mainstream of thoughts, there is an ongoing process in your brain which not only concerns the mainstream but also several sidetracks, such as: ˜Did I turn off the lights before I left? or ˜Those shoes are really ugly!
You can also easily notice that the listener s brain does not receive your message in a linear way. Often his own associations carry him away to draw conclusions you did not expect. He gets other associations from the same words because he has other experiences connected to them.
As you gradually develop your learning map technique you will notice your memory and learning skills develop also. Learning maps and memory techniques are based on the same type of thinking, where you use unique pictures or words to stimulate your imagination and creative thinking . You save time and become more efficient in your listening and reading. You also save time when you revise your notes as they don t consist of a lot of unnecessary words.
If you write the keywords in long rows, as most books on study skills recommend, you miss the opportunity of pointing out connections and getting new ideas.
There is an underlying structure in every text, a skeleton construction. The writer has had a purpose for his text when he wrote it and he has chosen a suitable form for it. Some writers are very clear and help the reader to get the message. Others are vague and difficult to understand. Whatever the writer s style is, learning maps are an excellent note-taking technique to catch the message.