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Mind map

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Mind map or mindmap is a multicoloured and image centered radial diagram that represents semantic or other connections between portions of learned material. For example, it can graphically illustrate the structure of government institutions in a state. Once a mind map is well-structured and well-established, it can be subject to review (e.g. with spaced repetition). The uniform graphic formulation of the semantic structure of knowledge may help reconsolidation of memories. This can make memories more stable and long lasting and may increase motivation to work on a task.

Mind mapping guidelines

These are the foundation structures of a Mind Map, although these are open to free interpretation by the individual:

  1. Start in the centre with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colours.
  2. Use images, symbols, codes and dimensions throughout your Mind Map.
  3. Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.
  4. Each word word/image must be alone and sitting on its own line.
  5. The lines must be connected, starting from the central image. The central lines are thicker, organic and flowing, becoming thinner as they radiate out from the centre.
  6. Make the lines the same length as the word/image.
  7. Use colours your own code throughout the Mind Map.
  8. Develop your own personal style of Mind Mapping.
  9. Use emphasis and show associations in your Mind Map.
  10. Keep the Mind Map clear by using Radiant hierarchy, numerical order or outlines to embrace your branches.

Critical research on mind mapping

Buzan (1991) claims that the mind map is a vastly superior note taking method because it does not lead to the alleged "semi-hypnotic trance" state induced by the other note forms. Buzan also claims that the mind map utilizes the full range of left and right human cortical skills, balances the brain, taps into the 99% of your unused mental potential, and taps into your intuition (which he calls "superlogic"). However, there has been research conducted on the technique which suggests that such claims may actually be marketing hype based on urban myths about the brain.

There are benefits to be gained by summarizing and organizing knowledge using various graphic organizers. However, Farrand, Hussain, and Hennessy (2002) suggested that the mind map technique had a limited impact on learning (only a 10% increase) and a significant decrease in motivation compared to preferred methods of note taking and idea generation techniques. They found that learners preferred to use other methods because mind mapping can be confusing when reviewed, they tended not to use multi-color notes, and the better students tended to use a wide variety of strategies rather than a single technique. Indeed, Pressley, VanEtten, Yokoi, Freebern, and VanMeter (1998) found that learners tended to learn far better by focusing on the content of learning material rather than worrying over any one particular form of note making.

This text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Related information

Using Mind Mapping to visualize information. Mind mapping is an effective way to represent the information visually. It allows handling large amounts of information more easily and encourages creative thinking.  

Full version of this article about Mind Mapping on Wikipedia

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News and featured articles about knowledge representation. Learn about mind maps, concept maps, process maps and other visualization techniques. Mind Pad is a concept mapping software. You can download fully-function 30-days evaluation version of Mind Pad: 

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