A mind map or mindmap is a picture that represents semantic connections between portions of learned material. For example, it can graphically illustrate the structure of government institutions in a state. Once a mind map is well-structured and well-established, it can be subject to review (e.g. with spaced repetition). The uniform graphic formulation of the semantic structure of knowledge ensures uniform reconsolidation of memories. This makes memories stable and long lasting and can thereby increase motivation to work on a task.
The mind map concept was originated by a British psychologist, Tony Buzan. The idea started forming as he wrote An Encyclopedia of the Brain and Its Use in 1971. The idea is that articles like this just rely on you reading left to right and up to down, while what we really do is scan the page.
The mind map has many potential applications in personal, family, educational, and business situations. Possibilities include note-taking, note-making, brainstorming, summarizing, revising and general clarifying of thoughts. For example, one could listen to a lecture and take down notes using mind maps for the most important points or keywords.
Software ranging from freeware to high-level commmercial applications have implemented mind mapping. Today, mind maps are in use by millions of students around the world. They are also very popular among managerss.
One can use mind maps as a mnemonic technique or to sort out a complicated idea. Mind maps can be used individually or in groups.
See also: semantic web