Preferred Representational Systems

The Representational systems are the way that our brains code and store information. For example, when we receive information visually, our brain codes this as a picture, information received auditorily will be stored as sounds and words, information taken in Kinaesthetically or through our feelings will be coded as an emotion or feeling and the internal words that we form as a result of taking in information are referred to as auditory digital.

When you then recall information the brain will access and then express the memory in the same manner in which it coded and stored it. For example, if we hear something and store it as a memory of sounds when we recall it we express that experience using auditory language saying such things as; speak, hear, sound, loud, hum, silent.

This is why it is called a representational system as it is the way the brain re-presents memories.

As we grow to adulthood, most people will favour one representational system over the others. There is no right or wrong or best or worst representational system however it may be more helpful if some information is stored in one system rather than another especially in the area of learning.

As explained above there are four main Representational Systems and information and characteristics for each of those is detailed as follows: 


People who are visual often stand or sit with their heads and/or bodies erect, with their eyes up.  They will be breathing from the top of their lungs.  They often sit forward in their chair and tend to be organised, neat, well-groomed and orderly.  They are often thin and wiry. They memorise by seeing pictures, and are less distracted by noise.  They often have trouble remembering verbal instructions because their minds tend to wander.  A visual person will be interested in how what you are talking about LOOKS.  Appearances are important to them.


People who are auditory will quite often move their eyes sideways.  They breathe from the middle of their chest.  They typically talk to themselves, and can be easily distracted by noise.  (Some even move their lips when they talk to themselves.)  They can repeat things back to you easily, they learn by listening, and usually like music and talking on the phone.  They memorise by steps, procedures, and sequences (sequentially).  The auditory person likes to be TOLD how they’re doing, and responds to a certain tone of voice or set of words.


People who are kinaesthetic will typically be breathing from the bottom of their lungs, so you’ll see their stomach go in and out when they breathe.  They often move and talk verrry slooowly.  They respond to physical rewards, and touching.  They also stand closer to people than a visual person.  They memorise by doing or walking through something.  They will be interested whether what you are talking about “FEELS right”, or if you can give them something they can GRASP.

Auditory Digital

This person will spend a fair amount of time talking to themselves internally.  They will want to know if the things you are talking about “MAKE SENSE”.  They are interested in systems and processes and what works.  They think they know the right way to do things.  Auditory Digital people will usually learn by using an ordered process and understanding what it is that they are learning.  The auditory digital person can exhibit characteristics of the other major representational systems.