Color coding for notes has existed for quite some time and for a good reason. Despite this popularity, diagrams for courses such as Anatomy and Physiology were often not very colorful- instead, opting for realistic, less vibrant color schemes. Hanson’s Anatomy notes were created with the understanding that it is important to find what methods best prepare you to study. For some students, this means preparing for exams with vibrant, expressive study materials. To fully understand why expressive med school notes help some students retain information necessary to reach their goals, it is important to look at the relationship color has with our ability to absorb information.
Color Helps Capture our Attention
One of the reasons that some students benefit from a colorful anatomy and physiology study guide is because of the impact color can have on our attentional level. Color plays an integral role in enhancing our attention level, and we have a much better chance of transferring stimuli to more permanent memory storage. For example, Farley and Grant suggested a theory that colors have an effect on our ability to pay attention to stimuli. In their experiment, they compared color and noncolor multimedia presentations on memory performance, finding that the colored multimedia presentation held the attention of the participants better than the non-colored presentation. Some studies have shown similar results, with Greene, Bell, and Boyer, for example, showing in their study that warm colors may have a greater effect on attention than cool, neutral ones.
Color Produces Emotional Responses
There are numerous studies on the relationship between color and our emotions. It is important to note that the results of these studies were produced by observing human subjects under different conditions while using color stimuli- this means that the studies did not utilize an fMRI to specifically see how the brain responded to color. Still, many of us associate certain colors with an emotional response, and this can be drawn from to increase the effectiveness of our study routines. For example, green is commonly associated with calmness, happiness, peace, and comfort. Red is associated with feelings of energy that, when harnessed for repetitive or detail-oriented tasks, may improve focus performance, and determination. While research may not definitively show that color inspires an emotional response in all of us, individuals that do find that color produces an emotional arousing effect are likely to find that more vibrant study materials influence how they retain information.
Color Enhances Memory Performance
For notes to be fully effective, they need to be remembered for future use. Through multiple experiments studying the relationship between color and memory, scientists have found it possible that color does have an impact on our ability to recognize images. For example, a study performed by Smilek, Dixon, and Merikle explored the relationship between color and memory performance. To test, they used digit numbers with black, white, congruent, and incongruent color conditions. After allowing students three minutes to study the stimuli and three minutes to recall, researchers found that the students performed better in the congruent color condition group than any of the others. Many of the studies performed on the relationship between color and memory did not explore the potential reasons why color can be beneficial for some students’ memory performance. While color’s influence on attention levels and emotion are certainly potential reasons, it is also possible that colored images may stand out in our mind’s easier as we attempt to recall information.
How Does Creativity Help Spur Some Students’ Learning?
For many students on tracks and detail oriented as med school, studying and the ability to retain information is closely tied to their ability to stay motivated. An anatomy and physiology study guide that contains vibrant use of color and diagrams may help students that struggle with motivation because they do not yet see the creative side of the medical field. Underneath the technical terms and other information necessary to succeed in med school, there is a world of creativity that opens up for students- with a catch! Students will need to stay motivated through difficult moments in their education to fully see this world open up. Creatively made study guides give students a glimpse of this world early through thoughtful notes that help show the wonders of the human body. Those that do not feel as though their learning styles or preferences are reflected in their current educational texts and diagrams, therefore, may find that a creative anatomy and physiology study guide keeps them motivated to reach their goals