Visualization: A cognition amplifier



Computational codes produce huge quantities of numbers, but what scientists seek is insight. That is, they want to know what these numbers reveal about the phenomena under study. Visualization, transforming data into graphical structures, can enhance research effectiveness by leveraging human visual perceptual capabilities. Evolved over millions of years for survival, these capabilities enable us to see structures and perceive correlations and regularities around us. When properly visualized, we can apply these same perception capabilities, with little rational effort, to our data. In this tutorial, after analyzing a short definition of visualization, its major concepts will be seen in action using a popular chemistry visualization tool. The tutorial closes discussing paths for continued exploration of the future potential of these visualization techniques and tools. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.