In collaboration with the University of Twente in the Netherlands, Professor Emmanuel Manalo of the Graduate School of Education at Kyoto University found evidence that the burden on the brain increases when a person sees an abstract figure such as a graph.

Illustrations and graphs are used as an effective means of communicating information in various everyday situations such as materials, TV news, and discussions.Shapes bring together important parts of information and reveal the connections between them.However, previous studies of students have shown that they tend to avoid using shapes when the shapes used to solve problems are abstract or when there are both shapes and sentences.

In this study, students were shown several different figures (illustrations, formulas, tables, graphs) representing the same information to measure brain activity in order to observe the actual burden on the brain.As a result, we found that the activity of the brain was the most active when looking at the most abstract graph.In other words, measuring the brain revealed that it was more burdensome.This result shows that which shape is important to convey the information.It also suggests the importance of training students in their ability to understand figures in education.

In the future, we plan to investigate whether such training will increase students' use of figures or reduce the burden on the brain to understand figures.Even if you are not a student, you often see figures in TV news, company materials, presentations, etc., but it is quite difficult to understand the contents.It can be expected that it will lead to a training method for understanding such figures quickly and with little burden.

Source:[Kyoto University] Do more abstract figures really put a higher load on our brain?

Kyoto University

Foster a free academic style based on the spirit of "self-respect for self-weight" and open up a world of creative learning.

With the motto of self-study, we will continue to maintain a free academic style that is not bound by common sense, and develop human resources who have both creativity and practical ability.We provide an inclusive learning space that allows for diverse and hierarchical choices so that students themselves can choose a solid future through valuable trial and error. […]

University Journal Online Editorial Department

This is the online editorial department of the university journal.
Articles are written by editorial staff who have a high level of knowledge and interest in universities and education.