Color Premise and the Research Behind It

Color is more effective than any other “tags” used for solidifying and extracting memories. It is the most powerful memory trigger used in methods such as remembering by association or cued recall.

Color improves focus and attention, increases one’s ability to retrieve information from memory, and strengthens retention.

Supporting research/results(experiments and studies) for:

Color improves focus and attention:

“Color is able to summon attention automatically”…M.Turrato, G.Galfano, 2000: Color, Form, and Luminance Capture Attention in Visual Search. University of Padua.

“Tests indicate that a black and white image may sustain interest for less than 2/3 a second, whereas a colored image may hold  the attention for two seconds or more.”..Jill Morton, 2005: Color Matters. University of Hawaii. International Color Institute.

“It is probably the expressive qualities (primarily of color but also of shape) that spontaneously effect the passively receiving mind, whereas the tectonic structure of pattern (characteristic of shape, but found also in color)engages the actively organizing mind.”..Rudolf Arnheim,1974: Art and Visual Perception. University of California Press, Berkly.

Color strengthens retention( memory):

Reaction to color is an inherited human trait. Inherited neurotransmitters effect the human endocrine system. The human body actually has a chemical reaction to color...Barret, 2008. University of Leicester.

In regard with the effects of color on memory, it has been reported that color has been found to increase a person’s arousal (Birren, 1978), and the arousal increases memory.(Roozendaal, 2002)

A study of the effects of arousing events(colored images) on memory revealed that subjects show a high level of memory for details of images if the images are presented as vivid colored stimuli. (Wolters & Goudsmit, 2005)

A study performed on black and white ads had a recall rate of 6%, but an advertisement placed using color had a recall rate of 21%..Denby, 2002: The Color of Memory. Austin State University.

By hanging an extra “tag”of data on visual scenes, color helps us to process and store images more efficiently than colorless (black and white) scenes, and as a result to remember them better too…Wichman,Sharpe,Gegenfurtner,2002:Journal of Experimental Psychology-Learning, Memory, and Cognition.

Considering that color is “sensory”:

More durable memories are created when deep or elaborate encoding is applied to an experience by linking the new memory with an existing ..sensory…memory. Lawrence, 2009..How Memory Retrieval Works

Color increases the ability to retrieve info:

Retrieval (recall) refers to accessing information from memory, which has been previously encoded and stored in the brain. ( Encoding is the initial perception of new information and its original storage in memory). Memories are stored in our brains as a kind of collage, involving different elements stored in disparate parts of the brain linked together by associations and neural networks

Memory retrieval therefore requires re-visiting the nerve pathways the brain formed when encoding the memory, and the strength of those pathways determines how quickly the memory can be recalled. ..Mastin, 2010; The Human Memory.   

Using color as a cue for retrieval is extremely effective for anyone who has color knowledge. This pertains to many people—even those that are extremely young.

In the CCM, ten colors are correlated with the ten© digits 0-9. It will be easy for the brain to make this connection and  locate this information as pre-existing memories. (colors are already known; numerical digits 0-9 are also known by most people)

Retrieval involves drawing on existing knowledge. It forms the basis for all new knowledge. Retrieval of prior knowledge during learning directly affects the amount of new information that can be processed… Muskingum College

Memory works by association. In order to remember (retrieve from memory) any new thing, it must be associated with something you already know. As one learns and remembers more, their memory is given more “hooks” to add further associations. 2009. Memory.

Study done at Purdue University: investigation conducted with 125 students learning the German language; purpose was to determine if color coded images related to German words made a difference in retrieval of information. Results were significantly in favor of the color and picture combination treatment for the recall of German articles. Nyikos,1987. The Effect of Color and Imagery as Mnemonic Strategies on Learning and Retention of Lexical Terms in German.

Focal colors appear to be especially powerful enhancers of memory in tests…Reiger, Kay, & Cook, 2005.