Low-level visualization technique

Almost the first thing we teach at the course is low level visualization technique of efficiently creating visual markers. We do require vivid visual imagery, and some people simply find it hard to visualize. These are some discussions with these beginner students. Also we give some outline of expected progress to build up the expectations when learning markers.
Visualization techniques

Are there ways to improve your visualization abilities? I have trouble creating the vivid visual images.

  • Dr. Lev Gold 

    Not sure I understand the problem. Can you draw your markers on paper? See e.g. http://www.ted.com/talks/sunni_brown.html. Many people [including me] find it easier to imagine cartoons or flowcharts than actual “vivid” images….

  • When asked to visualize the coffee cup, including all the details (what I meant by vivid), I have trouble “seeing” it in my head. Any techniques or ways to practice this skill other than just continuing to try to visualize things throughout my day? Thanks!

  • Just doodle the cup on a sheet of paper. Anything goes – you do not have to be an artist. Eventually you will start doodling in your head, then you will not need the paper any more. Alternatively collect all the markers you need from google image search. After 100+ images your brain will spontaneously “fetch” the imagery from your memory.


Feedback on Demonstration: creating marker

I looked at the article and the way created marker.

It seems you choose the article because you were interested in it. I don’t know what are your areas of interest but maybe history, geopolitics are topics that interest you.
Reading such article, creating images and remembering would be hard for me as my experience, knowledge, interest is low.
That’s where your presentation on curiosity makes sense. I would need to research easier articles, reading on the topic to build foundation. And then come back later to this article.

  • You are right. The assumption is that you read something of value. If you read something that does not generate any response, there is a question of why are you wasting your time….

    There are methods of generating interest to any arbitrary subject, but they are very technical. Basically you can meticulously measure your KPI: reading speed, percentage of understanding and retention after some time. Then you treat learning activity as weightlifting: trying to develop discipline and beat your personal record. If you have enough discipline and are sufficiently competitive you will enjoy this approach.

  • A fantastic point, Dr. Lev. When I was reading the most boring of case studies on Finance or Accounting in business school, I would challenge myself to beat my personal records of time/accuracy, or try to see “how fast can I reach the required level of understanding and memory in order to present this case in front of the class.” Creating an internal competition worked for me here, just like it does when I’m trying to perform a workout which I particularly hate doing. Spot on!

    Visual markers, i don’t get them..


    First of all thanks for this course, it is really interesting.

    I just did not understand the typical “Flow” of speedreading a text.

    Let’s say something technical fo example : a new methodology to ease website creation.

    If i understand well, the first time you discover this “text” you’ll quickly scan the headlines in order to see how it is structured and to allow a better flow of information later.

    Then you will create visual markers (or do you create them during the pre-read phase?)

    Then you use saccades and push them to the limits in order to increase speed and wait for comprehension to level up.

    I don’t understand the link between visual markers and saccades ? I mean when you speed read a paragraph you should spot the visual markers you’ve created earlier like the phrase “AGILE METHOD” . This phrase should remind me of the first project we did with my team for example and then we move on ?

    I think i do understand the concepts separately but i have trouble organizing them in a coherent flow… and above all understanding how they all support them.

    Thanks for your answer

    • Just from reading your question it feels that you tried to go through the course too fast. You need to master each step before taking the next one. I suggest redoing the course at slower rate doing all the available training. If you still have questions, we are here to help 🙂

    • Hello,

      Indeed i’m at lesson 17 but i did not get the link between visual markers and speed reading. Should i start the lessons again or continue till i get it ?

    • I think that restarting will work .

      The link is very simple: your inner voice subvocalization speed is ~200wpm, the visual cortex can be much faster limited maybe at ~10000wpm. By switching from “inner voice” to “inner images” you remove the “inner voice” bottleneck and reach “information processing” limitation that is ~600wpm.

      When you become an advanced student (not sure if this is in the scope of this course) the 600wpm information bottleneck is solved by separating information intake and information processing during “scanning” and “jumping” of saccade cycle. Probably this issue was a bit out of scope for you.

      Above 1000wpm you reach a new bottleneck of memory access speed which is solved by prioritizing information and varying reading speed. Around 2000wpm (5 A4 pages per minute) there is a new bottleneck of conscious vs subliminal memorization which requires extensive visual training I was personally too lazy to do.

      At high speeds you need to read an hour per day just to preserve your abilities which is equivalent to 300 A4 pages. Even finding so much interesting reading material is a challenge.

      As you can see there is virtually no limit to your reading speed, but there are several separate bottlenecks that require progressively more work to make progress.

    • Alexis Sindicic 

      Ok i’ll restart the course and tell you if i got the thing this time !

      Thanks for the answer

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