This bibliography is intended as a guide to help you navigate your way through the many articles, books, and other publications written about visual literacy and brain science. Materials that are available through the University of Toledo are noted with a * and those that are available at the Toledo Museum of Art Reference Library with a +. Wherever possible, sources accessible through the web have been hyperlinked.

Recommended Reading

Avgerinous, Maria. "Re-Viewing Visual Literacy in the 'Bain d'Images' Era,"  Tech Trends, vol. 53 no. 2, March/April 2009 (28-34).

Bamford, Anne, “Learning in a Visual Age: The Critical Importance of Visual Arts Education,” NAEA.

Burmark, Lynell. Visual Literacy: Learn to See, See to Learn. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2002. *

But Did You See the Gorilla: The Problem with Inattentional Blindness,” Smithsonian Magazine, Sept. 2012.

Danko-McGhee, Katherina and Ruslan Slutsky. The Impact of Early Art Experiences on Literacy Development. Reston, Va.: National Art Education Association, 2007. *+

Dondis, A. Donis. A Primer of Visual Literacy. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, [1973]. *

Eilam, Billie. Teaching, Learning, and Visual Literacy: The Dual Function of Visual Representation. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. +

Journal of Visual Literacy: Official Journal of the International Visual Literacy Association. *+

Landau, Elizabeth. “What the Brain Draws From: Art and Neuroscience,” CNN, September 15, 2012.

Lehrer, Jonah. “How Does the Brain Perceive Art?” Wired, December 14, 2011.

Metros, Susan. “The Educator’s Role in Preparing Visually Literate Learners,” Theory Into Practice, 47:102-109, 2008. 

Perkins, David N. The Intelligent Eye: Learning to Think by Looking at Art. Santa Monica, Calif.: Getty Center for Education in the Arts, 1994. *+

Ratcliff, Trey. “Humans Evolve a New Form of Visual Literacy… Through Images,” Stuck in Customs: A Daily Photo Adventure with Trey Ratcliff, October 1, 2012.

Rosen, Christine. "The Image Culture," The New Atlantis, Number 10, Fall 2005, pp. 27-46.

Stokes, Suzanne. “Visual Literacy in Teaching and Learning: A Literature Perspective,” Electronic Journal for the Integration of Technology in Education, vol. 1, no. 1.

TEDx Toledo Talk: Brian Kennedy, Sensory Literacy

Williams. Patterson. “Object-Oriented Learning in Art Museums,” Published in Museum Education Roundtable, Roundtable Reports, vol. 7, no. 2 and reproduced in Susan K. Nichols, ed., Museum education anthology, 1973-1983: perspectives on informal learning, a decade of Roundtable reports. Washington, D.C.: Museum Education Roundtable, 1984. +

Further Reading

Additional articles, books, journals and website regarding visual literacy and brain science can be found below. 

Visual Literacy Websites and Media

Elements of Art – Formal Analysis

Maria Avgerinous Slideshow

Maria Avgerinous Podcast

Principles of Design – Formal Analysis

TEDx Dartmouth Talk: Brian Kennedy, Visual Literacy

Visual Literacy Portal -- Created by the International Visual Literacy Society, contains visual literacy related teaching resources, learning tools, publications, special collections and more.

Visual Literacy at the Iowa State University Art Museums


Brain Research

Asbury, Carolyn. “Learning, Arts, and the Brain: A Conversation with Michael S. Gazzaniga,” The Dana Foundation, May 22, 2008.

Bower, Bruce. “Whole Brain Interpreter: Michael Gazzaniga,” Science News, Feb. 24, 1996.

Can you learn to be synaesthetic?” Neuroskeptic Blog, July 6, 2012.

Colizoli, Olympia, Jaap Murre and Romke Rouw. “Pseudo-Synesthesia through Reading Books with Colored Letters,” PLOS ONE 7(6): e39799, June 27, 2012.

Garber, Megan. “Can You Teach Yourself Synesthesia?” The Atlantic, July 6, 2012.

Grapheme- color synesthesia,” Wikipedia entry.

Jacobs, Tom. “Paintings, Poems: You See Forest, I See Trees,” Pacific Standard, July 31, 2012.

Landi, Ann. “Is Beauty in the Brain of the Beholder?” ArtNews, Jan. 1, 2010.

Learning to Look: An Innovative New Partnership is Shared with the Hood Museum of Art,” Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, October 15, 2012.

Nemerov, Alexander. “The Pleasure of Conversation” in special issue: “The Original Work of Art: What It Has to Teach,” Yale University Art Gallery, 2003. +

Pappas, Stephanie. “Our Brains See Men as Whole and Women as Parts,” Scientific American, July 25, 2012. 

Spalter, Anne Morgan and Andries van Dam. “Digital Visual Literacy,” Theory Into Practice, vol. 47, no. 2, p.93-101, Mar. 2008. *

Udall, Sharyn. “Synesthesia in American Art,” American Art Review vol. XXII no. 6, Nov/Dec 2010, p.106-109. Review of exhibition, Sensory Crossovers: Synesthesia in American Art at the Albuquerqe Museum of Art & History.

University of California – Los Angeles, “Culture Influences Brain Cells: Brain’s Mirror Neurons Swayed by Ethnicity and Culture,” Science Daily, July 23, 2007.

Winner, Ellen and Lois Hetland. “Art for Our Sake,” Boston Globe, Sept. 2, 2007.

Visual Literacy

Ausburn, Lynna and Floyd Ausburn. “Visual Literacy: Background, Theory and Practice,” Innovations in Education & Training International, vol.15, no.4, Nov. 1978, p. 291-97.

Avgerinous, Maria and John Ericson. “A Review of the Concept of Visual Literacy,” British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 28 no.4, Oct. 1997 (280-291). *

Bamford, Anne, “The Visual Literacy White Paper,” Commissioned & Published by Adobe Systems Pty Ltd., 2003.

Brill, Jennifer, Dohun Kim and Robert Maribe Branch. “Visual Literacy Defined-The Results of a Delphi Study: Can IVLA (Operationally) Define Visual Literacy?” Journal of Visual Literacy, vol. 27, no. 1, Spring 2007, (47-60). *

Dallow, Peter. “The Visual Complex: Mapping Some Interdisciplinary Dimensions of Visual Literacy,” Visual Literacy. London: Routledge, 2008.

Greene, Maxine. “Being Fully Present to Works of Art,” Variations on a Blue Guitar: The Lincoln Center Institute Lectures on Aesthetic Education. New York: Teachers College Press, 2001.

Heise, Donalyn. “Is Visual Culture Becoming Our Canon of Art?” Art Education, vol. 57 no. 5 Sep 2004 (41-46). *

Jensen, Eric. Enriching the Brain: How to Maximize Every Learner's Potential. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, A John Wiley & Sons Imprint, 2006. Print.

Jessop, Martyn. “Digital Visualization as a Scholarly Activity,” Literary and Linguist ComputingSept. 2008, vol. 23 no. 3 (281-293). *

Smith, Mark K. (2002, 2008) “Howard Gardner and Multiple Intelligences," Encyclopedia of Informal Education

Wesch, Michael. “From Knowledgable to Knowledge-able: Learning in New Media Environments.”


Books and Journals

Brain Research

Armstrong, Thomas. “The Foundations of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences,” Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2000. *

Barry, Ann Marie Seward. Visual Intelligence: Perception, Image, and Manipulation in Visual Communication. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997.

Blake, Randolph and Robert Sekuler. Perception. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2002.

Gardner, Howard. Art, Mind, and Brain: a Cognitive Approach to Creativity. New York: Basic Books, c1982. +

Greenfield, Susan. Brain Story: Unlocking Our Inner World of Emotions, Memories, Ideas, and Desires. London: DK, 2000.

Livingstone, Margaret. Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing. New York: Abrams, 2002.

Ravin, James G. and Michael F. Marmor. The Artists Eyes: Vision and The History of Art. New York: Abrams, 2009.

Wexler, Bruce. Brain and Culture: Neurobiology, Ideology, and Social Change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008.

Visual Literacy

Curtiss, Deborah. Introduction to Visual Literacy: A Guide to the Visual Arts and Communication. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1987. *+

Elkins, James. Visual Literacy. New York; London: Routledge, 2008. +

Elkins, James. Visual Studies: A Skeptical Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2003. *

Frey, Nancy and Douglas Fisher, eds. Teaching Visual Literacy: Using Comic Books, Graphic Novels, Anime, Cartoons, and More to Develop Comprehension and Thinking Skills. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin Press, 2008. +

Greene, Maxine. Variations on a Blue Guitar: The Lincoln Center Institute Lectures on Aesthetic Education. New York: Teachers College Press, 2001. *

Heffernan, James A.W. Cultivating Picturacy: Visual Art and Verbal Interventions. Waco, Tex.: Baylor University Press, 2006. +

Howells, Richard, Dr and Joaquim Negreiros. Visual Culture. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2012. *+

Sinatra, Richard. Visual Literacy Connections to Thinking, Reading, and Writing. Springfield, Ill. U.S.A.: C.C. Thomas, 1986. +

Smith, Ken, ed. Handbook of Visual Communication: Theory, Methods, and Media. Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum, 2005. *

Wilde, Judith and Richard Wilde. Visual Literacy: A Conceptual Approach to Graphic Problem Solving. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1991. +