Spatial thinking: characteristics and features of development

A normal person usually correctly navigates the terrain. Spatial thinking helps him in this. Without this item, our consciousness will be considered inferior. A highly developed spatial thinking makes it possible to easily solve complex geometric problems. Three-dimensional thinking is necessary for people who have chosen professions such as an engineer or an architect.

What it is?

A certain mental activity that helps a person create spatial images is called spatial thinking.

In simple terms, people who can easily navigate the terrain and not use various maps have developed visual-spatial thinking.

You need to know that spatial intelligence depends on the abilities that are listed below:

  • if you know how to build spatial images in your mind, then this is spatial intelligence;
  • if you can mentally rearrange images, then You have developed spatial thinking.

In the mind of a person with the above qualities, the whole area is seen in volume, i.e., such an individual can embody in his mind the scheme of the place that is of interest to him. For example, guides who easily move through hard-to-reach places must have such skills.

Spatial thinking is a kind of figurative thinking.

Spatial thinking has a graphical basis, so visual images play an important role here.

When there is a transition from one visual image to another, one whole image system arises.

If an individual can think in this system, he is endowed with a special gift that allows him to navigate in many life situations. It must be taken into account that spatial thinking is formed much earlier than figurative thinking. Although it is believed that these concepts are inseparable and can replace each other.

When creating a spatial image, the basis of visibility is subjected to transformation. When an image is operated on, the already created image is able to change. This means that the transformation of images is inherent in the various stages of ontogeny.

Sensorimotor mapping develops throughout an individual’s life. This process begins when real objects are deposited in the child’s memory. So the child gets an idea of ​​the world. Later, in adolescence and youth, this direction is replaced by the world of concepts.

In psychology, it is customary to pay special attention to the growth of figurative thinking. The development of spatial skills in children is almost the main direction in pedagogy.

Thanks to the right work of specialists children quickly develop spatial thinking, and with it, abilities in mathematics appear and in the humanities.

No wonder neurophysiologists after research proved that in early childhood, specific areas of the brain develop rapidly. The child who received training in a special program, is able to retain his developed abilities for a long time and even retain them for life.


Let’s start with the fact that you can diagnose yourself with the presence of figurative thinking. To do this, you can conduct self-observation. To do this, you need to apply some introspection on the following points.

  • Stand in a room with a large mirror. Try to look into it and understand the mirror image of indoor items.
  • Try to imagine an empty room, and then arrange objects in it, which are going to be placed there. Then mentally rotate the room 90 degrees. In this case, all things should remain in the places where you installed them for the first time.
  • And here is another task. Answer yourself the question: «Can you load the car trunk to the maximum?»
  • Many often go on vacation to unfamiliar places. Try to imagine one of these places and mentally transfer the location of objects on the map.
  • If you drive a car, you should know if you know how to park properly, namely, calculate the dimensions of the place where you are going to put your car.
  • The easiest method for everyone. Look at the picture, then close your eyes and try to describe what is in it. And then rotate this image in the other direction (you can flip it from top to bottom). All elements of the picture must remain in place.

After completing the above tasks, you can say that whether your imaginative thinking is developed or not. And one more interesting fact.

Women are better able to navigate in a small space, and men are distinguished by their abilities in spatial thinking. Therefore, it is believed that men are better oriented in open areas, and women can easily find any thing in a small room.

Next, check yourself again for orientation in space. To do this, also answer some questions for yourself.

  • Can you quickly decide on a coordinate system?
  • Can you roughly estimate the distance you walk from one point to another? For example, how far do you travel when you walk from home to work?
  • Can you determine the latitude and longitude?
  • How do you navigate in two or three dimensions?
  • How do you use various geographic symbols, images, as well as dots, lines and arrows in practice?

Also, be aware that space is it is the mutual arrangement of objects that are in some relation to each other. Therefore, try to correlate the familiar intersections that you constantly meet on the way. And also answer the question: “Which neighboring region is on your right, and which is on your left?”

An adult can test himself on his own, but it is difficult for a child to cope with such a task. That’s why test the preschooler as soon as possible using the methods below.

  • You can choose any animal, for example, a dog. Give the task to the child to mentally hide it in a box or container. Items can be of different sizes, for example, a glass, a refrigerator, a booth. Ask a leading question: «Is it possible to hide a large dog in a glass?». The answer must be negative. If you get a positive answer, then do a few more experiments. After that, you will find out how much figurative thinking is developed in your baby.
  • When playing on the playground, ask your child to remember the location of objects that are nearby. Then turn it the other way and start asking questions: “Which side is the house, bench, slide, swing, etc.?”.
  • You can also hide toys in an opaque bag. and ask the child to identify and name the hidden objects by touch.

Causes of violations

The problems associated with spatial thinking can be different. Everybody is here depends both on the person himself and on the quality of his life, as well as various diseases.

Even experts cannot come to a common decision about the causes of this defect.

Therefore, consider the most visible and common causes.

  • If the temporal regions of the brain are affected, then it is difficult for a person to navigate in the world around him due to violations of thinking and memory. These disorders do not allow a person to perform the usual tasks due to the fact that the individual initially receives distorted information. Therefore, in principle, he cannot orient himself in space.
  • Brain tumors of various directions can also contribute to cognitive impairment.
  • Various disorders affect spatial thinking very negatively.a. They give impetus to the minimization of mental operations. The patient at the cellular level cannot correctly perceive the environment, this applies to both people and objects. Such pathologies lead to Alzheimer’s disease or schizophrenia.
  • Various psychoses prevent a person from concentrating on information. As a result, he cannot order it. His brain does not perceive the surrounding reality realistically. There is a fragmentation of thoughts, and there is no connection between logic and thinking. It turns out that there is no associative connection between objects and situations. The result is a violation of spatial thinking.
  • The thinking of a healthy person is arranged in such a way that it seeks a way out of the current situation, based on past experience. If thinking is disturbed, then there is a failure in the entire system of consciousness.
  • When a person cannot control his thoughts. He relies only on those events that are of value to him. So, his figurative thinking is violated.
  • Inability to abstract from the surrounding discomfort can lead to various depressive disorders, resulting in a violation of spatial thinking.
  • Various bad habits such as smoking and alcohol reduce the level of imaginative thinking.

Ways of development

It is definitely necessary to develop imaginative thinking for both adults and preschoolers. Various techniques developed by specialists will help improve interhemispheric interaction. Consider exerciseswhich will help to make a correction that significantly improves visual thinking both in adults and in schoolchildren, as well as in adolescents.


Training can be carried out regardless of your location. In this case, your brain will act as a simulator.

  • When you are on your way to work and you are inside the bus cabin, try to choose a fellow traveler whose image you will need to carefully consider and remember. Before falling asleep, describe the person in your mind. Try to remember all the details in his clothes and appearance. If he said anything, then also remember these words.
  • Place an object in front of you (you can use a bright children’s toy). Consider it carefully. Close your eyes and describe the subject in detail. Open your eyes and compare your image with the original.
  • Think of an animal you like. Imagine it mentally and describe it in your mind. Then think about what benefit or harm this creature brings. If you have chosen a cat, then imagine how she catches mice, fawns near your feet. Fantasize like you’re watching a documentary.

Preschool children still perceive some tasks poorly. Therefore, to form imaginative thinking, use other methods.

  • We are trying to play the reincarnation of images. For example, a child portrays a fox, and after five minutes he must try on the image of a bunny.
  • Reading stories must be accompanied by mimic elements, gesticulate and use a large number of emotions.
  • Children should be asked to take turns making up different stories or fairy tales. Complement their stories with more colorful moments.
  • You need to draw a lot. Give assignments to younger kindergarteners so that they draw any characters from fairy tales.
  • Walking on the street, you can ask children to associate clouds with any city.a cartoon character or, for example, find an unusual tree and match it with a fictional character.
  • Make riddles.


The formation of spatial images occurs with the help of interhemispheric interaction. Then it is possible to solve the tasks of geometric orientation. For example, you can draw objects that consist of lines and various shapes (cube, triangle, etc.).

Stick shifting classes are also very good at helping to develop spatial thinking.

Try to arrange the matches so that you get some kind of animal. Remove a few of them and ask the child to restore the image using the missing sticks.

Solving tests is also an activity that helps develop imaginative thinking. For example, you can apply the following test. Draw a square and divide it into several non-arbitrary parts. Choose one of these parts and redraw exactly on a separate sheet. Invite the child to find this part inside the triangle.

Also, the development of imaginative thinking will help the test, which is called «Rotation of the cube». Draw a cube and mark one of its sides with the letter A. Consider the image as follows. Then try turning the cube in different directions in your mind. The letter A should be the reference.

Games «Find the animals»

Various games help develop spatial thinking in children. Try playing with shadows. Go outside on a sunny day when the children’s figures begin to cast shadows. Consider each of them. Change location and repeat the exercise again. Let the children learn to determine the location of the body parts by the location of the shadow.

In addition to this simple technique, there are various constructors for development.

Construction details and cubes significantly develop both the motor skills of the child and his imaginative thinking.

Various games can be applied. For example, game «Find the animals». On special pictures, the animals are hidden so that it is impossible to see them at once. Therefore, everyone the participant of the game will have to use attentiveness and imagination, before being able to complete the task.


First of all, this issue should concern those who choose the path of life. Professions related to figurative thinking are diverse. It is necessary not to make a mistake with the choice.

Some are interested in high technology and various puzzles. Others have excelled in drawing and like to visit exhibitions and theaters. Both of them have imaginative thinking.

That’s why you need to know what type of thinking your intellect belongs to. Knowing this, you can easily choose a field of activity that you like and in which you can easily navigate.

There can be many examples.

Artists have highly developed spatial thinking.

With these abilities, they paint pictures. Recently, such a direction has become fashionable, like 3D design. A person without the above qualities will not be able to compose three-dimensional images. In this case, creative imagination is the basis of the process.

The ability to operate with spatial images is also possessed by mathematics. To represent an object and calculate its parameters, you need to learn how to move geometric shapes in your mind with extreme precision. Only then can the correct calculations be made.

The same can be said about those who is involved in geophysics. They need to imagine how tectonic plates move. But do not think that imaginative thinking is characteristic only of people who are engaged in the exact sciences. Doctors, namely neurosurgeons, must necessarily know and represent the structure of the brain. Otherwise, they will not be able to navigate in all its areas.

This is the only way doctors can save a person’s life, because nothing will work without special methods and knowledge. And this knowledge is backed by abilities.

Creative people also need to have imaginative thinking. For example, a writer will never be able to create a story if he does not draw a complete picture of what is happening in his head. Only after that he will be able to describe the plot and transfer it to paper. Imaginative thinking requires imagination.

Оставьте комментарий

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован.