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Professional Psychology: Debating Chamber · Psychology Journals · Psychologists

Tony Buzan (1942-) is the originator of mind mapping and coined the term mental literacy. He was born in London and received double Honours in psychology, English, mathematics and the General Sciences from the University of British Columbia in 1964. He is probably best known for his book, Use Your Head, his promotion of mnemonic systems and his mind-mapping techniques.

Following his 1970s series for the BBC, many of his ideas have been set into his series of five books: Use Your Memory, Master Your Memory, Use Your Head, The Speed Reading Book and The Mind Map Book.

In essence, Buzan teaches 'Learn how your brain learns rapidly and naturally'.

His work is partly based on the explosion of brain research that has taken place since the late 1950s, and the work on the left and right brain by Robert Ornstein and Roger Wolcott Sperry.

Most of his teaching generally divides up into: general awareness of the extensive capabilities and capacities of the brain and its functions, memory skills, reading skills, mind map note-taking, creativity, and how brain function can be improved over time into old age.

Buzan developed Mind Mapping whilst at University, out of the frustration that traditional notes took up so much time to create and review. Research indicated that the brain responds best to key words, images, colours, and direct association. Buzan, refined these ideas into a simple set of rules that can be followed to create Mind Maps, which are an efficient way to take notes from lectures or books. Brother Barry Buzan, who co-wrote The Mind Map Book, suggested the technique could also be used to capture notes from one's own creative ideas. Many sources, including the note books of Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee and Winston Churchill have been found to contain notes or drawings that are similar to, or follow a sub-set of the Mind Mapping rules.

As a popular psychology author, Tony Buzan has written on subjects relating to the brain, genius quotient (GQ), spiritual intelligence, memory, creativity and speed reading. He is President of the Brain Foundation, the founder of the Brain Trust Charity, the World Memory Championships and the World Championships of the Brain. He is also a co-founder of the Mind Sports Olympiad and London's Mind body spirit festival.

Buzan and his followers claim that his techniques can dramatically improve study performance and results.

Tony's brother Barry Buzan is currently Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics.

Selected bibliographyEdit

  • Tony Buzan, The Mind Map Book: Radiant Thinking - Major Evolution in Human Thought BBC Active (paperback 2003) ISBN 0-563-48701-1

External linksEdit

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