Just read a fascinating article on Alternet.org by Blanca Mendez about emoticons and other image-based communication methods, basically communication via pictures. It reports on a number of websites, including 4chan, where people post images and words together (some very strange stuff, let me tell you…) and dump.fm, where people communicate only with images (including animations).
The author talks about the research of Todd Watson, professor of psychology at Lewis and Clark College. Blanca says: "These results can be explained by previous theories holding that words and pictures are processed differently by the brain. These theories argue that words and pictures are processed by distinct but interconnected systems that may, but do not always, activate the same sections of the brain."
These theories could go a long way in explaining the impact of graphic facilitation/recording.
I'm trying to get a copy of the original research, will post if I do!
Such "progress". From this:
to this, from Skyrock:
To this? Fractal emoticons by DarkStormLord