doodleAre you a doodler? Do you sit in meetings and pass the time by surreptitiously doodling on the meeting agenda? Hide those doodles no more! “Recent research in neuroscience, psychology and design shows that doodling can help people stay focused, grasp new concepts and retain information,” writes Sue Shellenbarger for the Wall Street Journal. According to a 2001 study in The Lancet, a medical journal, some researchers believe that doodling may help the brain stay active by engaging its “default networks”—“regions that maintain a baseline of activity in the cerebral cortex when outside stimuli are absent,” Shellenbarger writes. People who doodled while listening to a list of people’s names being read were able to retain 29% more of the names on a pop quiz, according to a 2009 study in Applied Cognitive Psychology. Sunni Brown, author of a book, “The Doodle Revolution,” says that doodling provides another learning route for some people. Her work includes training company executives to use sketches and drawings to explore concepts, inspire new ideas, and improve communication. Still, doodling doesn’t work in all situations. According to a 2012 study published by the University of British Columbia, people who were asked to look at and remember images struggled when they were asked to doodle at the same time. Most likely, the doodlers’ ability to process images was split between two visual tasks, says the study’s author, Elaine Chan, a former psychology student at the university who is now a researcher at a Vancouver children’s hospital. Read the article at wsj.com.]]>

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