Thinking “with our hands”, thinking “visually”, thinking, seeing, touching… Our brain actively responds to the stimuli we offer it.
Visualizing situations, processes, models or drawings has great benefits: it integrates and balances the functioning of both hemispheres of the brain; it determines the amount of information and insights that can be extracted from what is observed, boosting one’s own intelligence; it allows us to make sense of and acquire a deeper understanding of complex situations…
According to the researcher Colin Ware (Visual Thinking for Design), an expert in data visualization, although we can form images in our brains, we work better when those images are outside, on a screen or on paper. In his “Active Vision” model, he talks about thinking of graphic designs as cognitive tools that enhance and amplify our mental capacity (in his words, we become “cognitive cyborgs”…).
I like to extend this theory not only to graphic designs on paper, but also to the resulting combination of representations, drawings or diagrams that can be made, for example, with the PLAYMOBIL.pro kit models using the Pro.Play® methodology.
Almost 50% of our brain is dedicated to the sense of sight, a significant part of which is devoted to pattern recognition; and recognising patterns lead to better problem solving. But not everything enters through sight, here we also play and we start with our hands: looking for the characters, adding defining elements.
I recovered from a precious book,“La mano que piensa”,concepts that support the powerful use of the kit (with the hands) for these interactions: “recent research and anthropological theories give the hand a primordial role in the evolution of language, symbolic thought and, in short, intelligence”.
It is suggested that the brain evolved and redesigned itself through the increasingly sophisticated use of the hands. “Hands and brain are one”, if you think about it, the connection is impressive: when you use a tool frequently, you no longer think of the hand and the tool independently, the tool becomes an extension of the hand that alters its natural possibilities and capabilities. Using our hands is another direct way of using our brain.
Therefore, manipulating different elements, drawing connections, observing representations, is a process of continuous feedback in which our brain is stimulated from multiple perspectives, activates multiple connections, accesses and builds information in a way that is not easily achieved with other approaches.
The combination of these worlds, the visual, the tangible, the cognitive… make the Pro.Play® Method a powerful tool of extraordinary value.
A methodology that, in the last year, has spread around the world and continues to multiply its community of users in view of the results it offers.
Bárbara Quirós is Actitud Creativa Senior Consultant and Visual Thinking Expert.