Brain Benefits of Doodling - How Did We Do?

Why does doodling boost memory? While there's no definitive answer, researchers are uncovering some intriguing insights. When we're bored, our fight-or-flight response kicks in to keep us alert. Doodling, a form of fidgeting, might be our brain's last-ditch effort to stay awake and attentive. It prevents us from nodding off or zoning out completely, keeping our minds engaged just a little longer.

Doodling isn't just about memory—it's also a tool for stress relief and enhanced focus. Spontaneous drawings can alleviate psychological distress, making it easier to concentrate. Sometimes in life, we encounter gaps that resist explanation; doodles may help fill those gaps by engaging the brain's "time travel machine," retrieving lost puzzle pieces of memories and enriching our life narrative. This deeper sense of self and meaning can lead to increased relaxation and concentration.

Despite their appearance—scribbles, random words, or partial faces that morph into unexpected shapes—doodles aren't as haphazard as they seem. Dr. Robert Burns, a former director at the University of Seattle, uses doodles to diagnose emotional issues in patients, believing they reveal unconscious thoughts. Doodle researchers concur that these seemingly random drawings convey deeper messages about our inner world.

KT and Toby doodled each other. How did they do?

Photo: Taylor Shay

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