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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Visuospatial thinking includes thinking about space at the smaller scale of objects and at the larger scale of environments. It also includes situations in which we use visuospatial representations to think about nonspatial entities. At the scale of objects, this chapter reviews the types of representations and processes that underlie object recognition and categorization, the nature of visuospatial mental images of objects, and how these are processed in interactions with objects and in reasoning and problem solving. At the scale of environments, we examine the nature of environmental spatial representations and the processes that operate on these to keep us oriented in space, to reorient ourselves when we are lost, to learn the layout of new environments, and to plan routes through familiar environments. Finally, the chapter reviews how spatial representations are used metaphorically, to think about nonspatial entities, in language, reasoning, and graphics.

Keywords: imagery, navigation, spatial updating, cognitive maps, spatial metaphors, diagrams, graphs

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