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Every Brain Is Different

A new book by Temple Grandin takes a look at the different ways different people think.
A headshot of Temple Grandin is placed next to the cover of the book Different Kinds of Minds.
Kelly Buster, © Penguin Random House
Temple Grandin (left) hopes to inspire kids to explore the ways their brains work.

Have you ever noticed that some people are fantastic artists, while others have a way with words? Still others work well with their hands. Why aren’t we all good at the same things? A new book for young readers can help answer that question.

Titled Different Kinds of Minds, the book is about how each person thinks differently. Its author, Temple Grandin, hopes it will inspire kids to explore how they think and figure out the things they’re great at.

Grandin is known for her studies of animal behavior and for designing devices that allowed farm animals to be treated more humanely. She has also spoken and written about her experiences as a person with autism. Growing up, being autistic made her aware that everyone has their own way of taking in information.

In the book, Grandin explains the different ways people think. She is a visual thinker, which means when she has a thought and idea, she pictures it in her mind. Some people are pattern thinkers, which means they may be good at things like math and music. And some people are verbal thinkers, which means they’re good with words and remember information best by reading it or hearing it read to them. Many people can think in more than one way, but there’s probably one way of thinking they do best.

You can read more about types of thinking farther down on this page.

Grandin hopes to encourage young readers to consider how they think best and explore ways to make the most out of their incredible brains.

Did You Know

© Fabio Berti/
No matter how you learn information, your brain is amazing. Scientists say that the human brain has nearly unlimited storage space for new information!

Thinking Differently

In Different Kinds of Minds, Temple Grandin writes about three kinds of thinkers. Below, you can read a little bit more about each one. Grandin says most people can think in more than one way, but there’s usually one way they’re best at.

Profile of a head with two diagrams of a car from different angles.
© cherezoff/, © Vasabii/; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Visual Thinkers

Visual thinkers learn best by looking at pictures or diagrams instead of reading words. They’re often talented artists and usually have mechanical skills, such as the ability to design and build machines. Many inventors are visual thinkers.

Profile of a head with musical notation.
© beemore—E+/Getty Images, © Vasabii/; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Pattern Thinkers
Pattern thinkers think in patterns, or information that repeats in a predictable way. They are often good at math, music, or both—areas that have a recognizable set of rules. Pattern thinkers may be good at games like chess.
Profile of a head with a page from a dictionary.
© Dmitry Elagin/, © Vasabii/; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Verbal Thinkers
Verbal thinkers often think in words instead of pictures or patterns. They may like to read stories and facts, and they often have a great talent for memorizing what they’ve read. These thinkers may learn best by reading information and writing things down.

Temple Grandin

Austin Community College District

Animal scientist Temple Grandin says visual thinkers like her are often comfortable around animals because animals express themselves without words.

You can learn more about Temple Grandin at Britannica!

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Word of the Day


Part of speech:
: to take in and use (information)
Definitions provided by
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