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date: 11 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Spatial reasoning is the mental transformation of spatial knowledge. Such transformation is an integral component of everyday cognition, occurring within a variety of domains, such as attention, memory, and language, and across a variety of tasks, spatial and nonspatial alike. The structure of this chapter is as follows. In the section entitled “Core Components of Spatial Reasoning,” we discuss spatial representations, spatial processes, and spatial memory. In the section entitled “Basic Spatial Tasks,” we discuss basic spatial tasks, including navigation, giving directions, imaginal perspective taking, spatial inference, and visualization. In the section entitled “The Broad Influence of Space,” we discuss the broader influence of space beyond such basic spatial tasks, as reflected in spatial compatibility effects, the use of space to understand abstract concepts, and reasoning by spatial analogy. In the section entitled “Neural Systems, Variation, and Learning,” we discuss neural systems that underlie our spatial abilities, individual differences, and learning. Finally, in the section entitled “Future Directions,” we discuss open questions for future research.

Keywords: spatial representations, spatial processes, spatial memory systems, spatial abilities and tasks, spatial compatibility effects, spatial grounding of abstract concepts, spatial analogies, spatial functional neuroanatomy, individual differences and spatial

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