Information – visual vs aural

The two pathways of information traversal, eyes -> brain, ears -> brain, seem to be two vastly different circuits of information processing. Is this important? That is, is there a significant difference between information you receive, understand and retain through your eyes than through your ears?

With so much of a human’s brain dedicated to visual processing I would wonder than information that we receive through our eyes might be more detailed, more nuanced. And, primarily, would printed information, the word you are reading right now, take a critically different pathway through your brain to land in the place where these words take on meaning?

On the other hand, listening to things, listening to people speak for instance, would these words take a separate and perhaps more or less influential pathway to the place where the words take on meaning?

You read the word “STOP” on a  red sign while driving.
You hear the word “STOP” through a speaker while driving.

You [read or hear] the words “your biopsy shows signs of Leukemia.”

You [hear or read] the words of an environmental speech regarding climate change.

You [read or hear] your parent or child say, “I’m going out for an hour, I’ll be back by four.”

Do any of these scenarios imply that hearing vs reading, listening vs seeing makes a difference in the result of the information entering our brain? Do we remember the written word better than the spoken word? Or vice versa?

And with this question comes the kicker, if there is a difference, should we be focusing more on the one than the other as a means of learning?


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