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Have you ever heard someone described as “right-brained”? It’s usually because they’re creative, maybe some sort of free spirit. While someone you think of as “left-brained” might be really organized and a logical thinker.
Well, it turns out there are no tasks or people who are completely right-brained or left-brained. What really happens is that almost everything we do is processed in more than one part of the brain – there’s nothing you can do that will activate only one side of the brain.
fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) is special imaging technology that maps out someone’s brain activity while they’re doing a particular task. When we’re watching a video, for example, we now know that when you hear something, it is processed in one part of the brain We take what we’re hearing and create a neural network in our audio cortex. At the same time, we take whatever we’re seeing and store that in the visual cortex.
Putting audio and video together is powerful because there are two traces being made – memories or neural networks are being created in two parts of the brain – your auditory cortex and your visual cortex. Those networks will be even stronger when you keep your video simple and sync up what you’re presenting via sight and sound. That way, even if something isn’t totally clear to someone when they hear it, the visual image can fill in the blanks for them – and vice versa.
This all builds on an earlier research study by Allan Paivio of University of Western Ontario, who found that 72 hours later, people only remembered 10% of what they had seen. When that visual information was paired with sound, memory retention skyrocketed to 68%.
And that’s one of the reasons that animated explainer videos are so effective for getting your message across to – and remembered by – your viewers. By combining their senses, you’re igniting their brain power.
Paivio, A. (1991). Dual coding theory: Retrospect and current status. Canadian Journal of
Psychology, 45, 255-287.