A cognitive map shows relationships between and relative locations of various ideas and tangible elements. Creating these maps sharpens the mind’s eye — the ability to “see” things with your mind — helping you visualize the important aspects of a subject.
A basic example would be a map of how to get from Point A to Point B. A regular map would show all of the streets, using identical color and font, making it more difficult to remember the route you should take if you don’t have the map with you. A cognitive map might embellish relevant streets and show images of important landmarks, helping you recall street names and recognize your surroundings as you navigate without the map.
The ability of cognitive maps to highlight important information and ideas makes them very useful in a broad range of disciplines, such as geography, psychology, architecture, history, education, and even business. Read on to learn the key elements of creating an effective cognitive map and how MindView cognitive mapping software can help you make one.
You form the skeleton of a cognitive map by plotting out important information and ideas, which you can later draw relationships between and highlight with imagery and sound. The subject of the map represents the most important piece of information. From here, you think of the ideas and information most important to the subject.
Using MindView cognitive mapping software, you can just add these anywhere on your map as you think of them and move them around or delete them later. If, for example, you’re creating a cognitive map of important facts about a country, you might add “government”, “people”, “land”, and “history” as ideas for facts to cover. For each of these, you can add related facts.
MindView offers a brainstorming mode that gives you a blank slate to fill with ideas as the pop into your head. You can also choose from business and educational cognitive map templates to see how you might structure cognitive maps for specific subjects.
Create your own cognitive maps in minutes with MindView brainstorming mode and templates!
Once you’ve plotted your ideas and information, you can move these pieces around and draw lines between them to show how they relate to one another. The first aspect to consider is hierarchy: which ideas and information are most important and which ones support others? The second aspect is connections: where do links between pieces of information and ideas exist?
MindView mapping software helps you recognize both hierarchies and connections. For the former, it offers various map views, such as vertical, horizontal, and timeline, that allow you to experiment with different visualizations. You can easily move ideas and information around to see where they best fit within the hierarchy. To illustrate basic connections, you can draw lines. And when an idea deserves a cognitive map of its own, use the multi-maps feature to establish a connection between that idea on one map and its own separate map.
Imagery and sound are important elements of a cognitive map because they help you visualize ideas and information. Essentially, they give sight to your mind’s eye. In some cases, pictures, videos, and sound deliver information more efficiently and help you remember it better than text can.
MindView comes with over 1,500 clip-art images designed specifically for business and education. It also lets you insert your own pictures, videos, and audio recordings. Using these, you can create multimedia cognitive maps that help you understand concepts and recall information.
Improve your visualization using MindView multimedia options!