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OT: Spatial thinking (WAS: Re: Letf / Right, was Re: Count and mass nouns)

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 21, 2004, 20:01
Interesting reading.

Now, it, as is only to common, made me go off on a tangent and think of
something other I've been wondering about for a long time:

My mother has described me as a person who can see before his inner eye a
colour map of Europe with all borders and capitals indicated, and under the
names of the capitals are the population numbers written, and moreover can
zoom and rotate the map at will. Now, except for the population numbers thing,
that pretty much true, and I was in my late teens before I came aware there
are apparently people who can't pull this, to me, pretty much trivial feat,
and not for lacking knowledge of geography.

Probably relatedly, what for me was the big step in linear algebra was going
to higher than three dimensions, for the obvious reason I can't visualize it
easily anymore. Saying this rather surprised some of my fellow students, who
had been solving problems by pure number crunching all along.

From this, and various other experiences, I draw the less than revolutionary
conclusion that people's propensity, and likely also innate ability, for
visualizing spatial relationships varies wildly. What I'd like to know is if
there any much data on this, and in particular if the "mental map" thing is
rare, or my family (they all claim not to be able to do it) just happens to be
poorly equipped in that area.


Quoting Carsten Becker <post@...>:
> > So you might be interested in > > > Carsten Becker > > -------------------------------------------------- > > >


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Axiem <axiem@...>
Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Chris Bates <christopher.bates@...>