Alan Levine quite rightly takes on this factoid and gnaws at it like a bone: "Research at 3M Corporation concluded that we process visuals 60000 times faster than text." And that's it - no context, no literature, no citation (except for 'research' at 3M corporation. He makes an offer: "I will pay the first person to send me the source of this research $60.00!" Darren Kuropatwa found nothing despite a good look. I scouted a bit myself and found a lot of (name-up) explanations of why this would be the case (like this: This is because we take in all the data from an image simultaneously while we process text in a sequential fashion"). I dipped into Google Scholar and found more references to the same 3M 'research' (which, ironically, has no pictures, so I used a sidebar graphic (above)). So I think Levine has a pretty good point.