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Three Ways the Brain Creates Meaning


Tom Wujec




Tom Wujec talks through three areas of the brain that help us understand words, images, feelings, connections. In this short talk from TEDU, he asks: How can we best engage our brains to help us better understand big ideas?


Last year at Ted, we aimed to try to clarify the overwhelming complexity and richness that we experience at the conference in a project called The Big Vis. And the big vis is a collection of 650 sketches that were made by two visual artists. David Si from The Grove and Kevin Richards from Autodesk made 650 sketches that strive to capture the essence of each presenter's ideas and the consensus.

It really worked. These sketches brought to life the key ideas, the portraits, the magic moments that we all experienced last year. This year we're thinking. Why does it work? What is it about animation, graphics, illustrations that create meaning? And this is an important question to ask and answer because the more we understand how the brain creates meaning, the better we can communicate.

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