Radiant Thinking
Radiant Thinking is the underlying theory and philosophy behind Mind Mapping. Buzan (2003) describes a Mind Map as literally a map of the mind. He describes the central thought/image as a supernova and the associated thoughts radiating into an on-going countless number of directions and calls this radiant thinking. To understand how Mind Mapping works you first need to understand the theory behind Radiant Thinking.
Buzan (1993) describes Radiant Thinking as a Branching Association Machine (BAM). This machine describes the mind as always radiating from a central image. Every image has a never ending chain of branching patterns or images away from this central image.
To describe Radiant Thinking further Buzan (1993) notes what happens in your brain when you taste a ripe pear, smell flowers, listen to music, watch a stream, touch a love one, or simply reminisce. The answer is most simple and yet amazingly complex. Each bit of information entering your brain – every sensation, memory or thought, can be represented as a central image or thought which radiates tens, hundreds, thousands and millions of hooks. Each hook represents an association and each association has its own infinite array of links and connections.

(Please find Radiant Thinking diagram in context bar to see an image of how this works.)
According to Author Unknown (n.d.) Radiant Thinking works by acknowledging the fact that no one mind works without connecting associations together. Buzan’s (1993) suggests that due to the development of human thinking through evolution, humans are only using single beams or hooks rather than multiple branches.

“It is not natural for the mind to work in any other way, yet many people believe that the mind works in a straight line way of thinking. Our mind is made up of a huge network of associated thoughts, and we can take advantage of the hierarchy of those thoughts by using the concepts of radiant thinking” (Author Unknown, n.d.)