IQ and spatial awareness

Discussions about serious topics, for serious people
User avatar
Tessa K
Light of Blast
Posts: 4679
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:07 pm
Location: Closer than you'd like

IQ and spatial awareness

Post by Tessa K » Wed May 17, 2023 11:51 am

I'm wondering why spatial awareness is part of IQ testing when it seems a different category from problem solving, reasoning etc.

Any insights?

User avatar
dyqik
Princess POW
Posts: 7408
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:19 pm
Location: Masshole
Contact:

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by dyqik » Wed May 17, 2023 12:46 pm

Spatial awareness and reasoning is a form of problem solving.

Problems like "how do I rotate this sofa stuck on the stairs in order to get it into my flat?"*, "How can I fit all these dishes in the dishwasher?", etc.

*Spoiler:

User avatar
Tessa K
Light of Blast
Posts: 4679
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:07 pm
Location: Closer than you'd like

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by Tessa K » Wed May 17, 2023 1:15 pm

dyqik wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 12:46 pm
Spatial awareness and reasoning is a form of problem solving.

Problems like "how do I rotate this sofa stuck on the stairs in order to get it into my flat?"*, "How can I fit all these dishes in the dishwasher?", etc.

*Spoiler:
I don't have a problem with 3D spatial stuff (ie real life) but find the ones in tests hard. Is it the same skill set or just how my brain works?

I know IQ tests are problematic, I'm just curious.

User avatar
Martin Y
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3066
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:08 pm

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by Martin Y » Wed May 17, 2023 1:47 pm

It's something I've been curious about since as a student I was aware that I found it much easier to mentally rotate objects (in a technical drawing class not an X-Men movie) than other students who were at least as bright as me. Spatial ability seems to be more than one thing though, subdividing into a whole range of different tasks.

Rather like facility with languages or music*, I wonder whether the amount of "processing power" our brains devote to each type of task is innate or set in early development, or whether we can retrain ourselves later.

*Mrs Y can sight-sing music from a score but finds it really hard to pick up a song the way most of us do by just hearing it and singing along. Shows that "being good at music" is not one thing.

User avatar
Gfamily
Light of Blast
Posts: 5124
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:00 pm
Location: NW England

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by Gfamily » Wed May 17, 2023 2:06 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 1:47 pm
It's something I've been curious about since as a student I was aware that I found it much easier to mentally rotate objects (in a technical drawing class not an X-Men movie) than other students who were at least as bright as me.
Are you left handed? I've (half) a memory of reading somewhere that architects are more left handed than the general population, which might indicate a better than average aptitude for spatial awareness.
My avatar was a scientific result that was later found to be 'mistaken' - I rarely claim to be 100% correct
ETA 5/8/20: I've been advised that the result was correct, it was the initial interpretation that needed to be withdrawn
Meta? I'd say so!

User avatar
Tessa K
Light of Blast
Posts: 4679
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:07 pm
Location: Closer than you'd like

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by Tessa K » Wed May 17, 2023 2:31 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 1:47 pm
It's something I've been curious about since as a student I was aware that I found it much easier to mentally rotate objects (in a technical drawing class not an X-Men movie) than other students who were at least as bright as me. Spatial ability seems to be more than one thing though, subdividing into a whole range of different tasks.

Rather like facility with languages or music*, I wonder whether the amount of "processing power" our brains devote to each type of task is innate or set in early development, or whether we can retrain ourselves later.

*Mrs Y can sight-sing music from a score but finds it really hard to pick up a song the way most of us do by just hearing it and singing along. Shows that "being good at music" is not one thing.
I got better at it when I was learning to draw but I haven't drawn in ages so the skill has waned. I suspect there is a learnt element we can acquire if we need it. I'm much more likely to need the ability to get a sofa up stairs or pack items in a limited space than to rotate shapes in my head. The two are obviously connected but not the same.

User avatar
Boustrophedon
Stummy Beige
Posts: 2840
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:58 pm
Location: Lincolnshire Wolds

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by Boustrophedon » Wed May 17, 2023 3:49 pm

The questions in IQ test on spatial reasoning seem to usually involve pictures of dice and a selection of possible nets. I find these usually trivial but then it is a skill I have practiced. But it is still a problem solving activity. If you wanted to make a cardboard dice you would have to decide where to put the numbers on the net to get the usual opposite sides sum to seven thing. That seems to me a problem that tests thinking ability.

I spent decades of teaching and poo poohing the VAK models of learning, I keep a copy of this paper handy to refute it: "Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence" Harold Pashler, Mark McDaniel, Doug Rohrer, and Robert Bjork*, which ends in conclusion:
If classification of students’ learning styles has
practical utility, it remains to be demonstrated.
But now I am retired I discover that some people do not have an internal monologue. WTF? How do they even think? And another group of people have no ability to visualise at all let alone in 3D. I do wonder though is the first group simply misunderstood the question?
And then as witnessed trying to teach woodwork, there are the clumsy people who simply cannot coordinate their limbs, including one boy who could model small things with great skill, but could miss the door he was trying to walk through. I used to do a lot of Scottish Country Dancing, one fellow dancer was an Olympic Kayaker, who had two left feet and no rhythm at all. I could not understand how an athlete could be so uncoordinated.

So the 'visual, auditory, kinetic model might seem to have some validity.
Damn.


I worry that now that as Woodwork and metalwork progressed to 'Craft Design and technology', thence to 'Design Technology' and now just Tech and STEM with little or no practical content, that we are producing a cohort of school children with no dexterity beyond their thumbs on a phone. For me the ability to think in 3D came from fitting things together. We have no problem teaching children sport, but look down our noses at making things with their hands.


*https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/1 ... 09.01038.x
Hjulet snurrar men hamstern är död.

User avatar
dyqik
Princess POW
Posts: 7408
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:19 pm
Location: Masshole
Contact:

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by dyqik » Wed May 17, 2023 3:56 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 2:06 pm
Martin Y wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 1:47 pm
It's something I've been curious about since as a student I was aware that I found it much easier to mentally rotate objects (in a technical drawing class not an X-Men movie) than other students who were at least as bright as me.
Are you left handed? I've (half) a memory of reading somewhere that architects are more left handed than the general population, which might indicate a better than average aptitude for spatial awareness.
I am, and I have no trouble doing 3d CAD type things in my head, as well as more abstract things like visualizing complex vector fields in 3d and even a passable stab at visualizing 4d spacetime.
Last edited by dyqik on Wed May 17, 2023 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bagpuss
After Pie
Posts: 1693
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:10 pm

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by bagpuss » Wed May 17, 2023 3:57 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 2:06 pm
Martin Y wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 1:47 pm
It's something I've been curious about since as a student I was aware that I found it much easier to mentally rotate objects (in a technical drawing class not an X-Men movie) than other students who were at least as bright as me.
Are you left handed? I've (half) a memory of reading somewhere that architects are more left handed than the general population, which might indicate a better than average aptitude for spatial awareness.
Interesting. Mr Bagpuss and I are both left-handed and we both do pretty well on spatial awareness tests, and also in real life how-to-get-a-piece-of-furniture-round-this-corner-and-through-that-door type stuff. Neither of us can draw to save our lives, mind you, so I don't know what that means.

I did maths at university and one of the optional courses was topology. Because I wanted to get my degree credited as Maths/Stats rather than just Maths, I wasn't able to choose it as most of my choices needed to be Stats ones. Having later seen some of the work a friend of mine who did take it was doing, I was very relieved that I hadn't taken it - the maths looked truly hideous. But what was weird was that she found the maths easy, but just couldn't get her head round visualising whether two 3D objects were toplogically the same or not. I was completely the opposite - that part seemed easy to me but the maths - aaargh!

User avatar
Tessa K
Light of Blast
Posts: 4679
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:07 pm
Location: Closer than you'd like

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by Tessa K » Wed May 17, 2023 4:14 pm

Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 3:49 pm
The questions in IQ test on spatial reasoning seem to usually involve pictures of dice and a selection of possible nets. I find these usually trivial but then it is a skill I have practiced. But it is still a problem solving activity. If you wanted to make a cardboard dice you would have to decide where to put the numbers on the net to get the usual opposite sides sum to seven thing. That seems to me a problem that tests thinking ability.

I spent decades of teaching and poo poohing the VAK models of learning, I keep a copy of this paper handy to refute it: "Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence" Harold Pashler, Mark McDaniel, Doug Rohrer, and Robert Bjork*, which ends in conclusion:
If classification of students’ learning styles has
practical utility, it remains to be demonstrated.
But now I am retired I discover that some people do not have an internal monologue. WTF? How do they even think? And another group of people have no ability to visualise at all let alone in 3D. I do wonder though is the first group simply misunderstood the question?
And then as witnessed trying to teach woodwork, there are the clumsy people who simply cannot coordinate their limbs, including one boy who could model small things with great skill, but could miss the door he was trying to walk through. I used to do a lot of Scottish Country Dancing, one fellow dancer was an Olympic Kayaker, who had two left feet and no rhythm at all. I could not understand how an athlete could be so uncoordinated.

So the 'visual, auditory, kinetic model might seem to have some validity.
Damn.


I worry that now that as Woodwork and metalwork progressed to 'Craft Design and technology', thence to 'Design Technology' and now just Tech and STEM with little or no practical content, that we are producing a cohort of school children with no dexterity beyond their thumbs on a phone. For me the ability to think in 3D came from fitting things together. We have no problem teaching children sport, but look down our noses at making things with their hands.


*https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/1 ... 09.01038.x
My 3D thinking comes mostly from sewing, dressmaking and making things with needles of various kinds. A skill I don't think is taught in schools now although knitting and sewing became more popular during lockdown.

I used to go to a knitting/sewing group and help newbies. There was a lot of variation in how quickly people got the hang of knitting and crochet. A few couldn't get their heads round the coordination at all.

I'm not sure how my brain does it as I don't consciously visualise how things should fit together, it just sort of happens so maybe it's a subconscious process.

User avatar
Martin Y
Stummy Beige
Posts: 3066
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:08 pm

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by Martin Y » Wed May 17, 2023 4:37 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 2:06 pm
Are you left handed? I've (half) a memory of reading somewhere that architects are more left handed ...
Alas. Right handed. N=1 etc.

WFJ
Catbabel
Posts: 648
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:54 am

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by WFJ » Wed May 17, 2023 4:41 pm

I have read that men are more likely to think in 3D than women.

In particular, that women are more likely view this
Image
as a 2D object, whereas I struggle to see it as anything but 3D. When I try to think of it as a flat set of lines, all that happens is that which square is the front face of the cube flips in my head.

I'm not sure how true or general this is though.

User avatar
jimbob
Light of Blast
Posts: 5238
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:04 pm
Location: High Peak/Manchester

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by jimbob » Wed May 17, 2023 4:45 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 2:06 pm
Martin Y wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 1:47 pm
It's something I've been curious about since as a student I was aware that I found it much easier to mentally rotate objects (in a technical drawing class not an X-Men movie) than other students who were at least as bright as me.
Are you left handed? I've (half) a memory of reading somewhere that architects are more left handed than the general population, which might indicate a better than average aptitude for spatial awareness.
Anecdata - but a lot of my colleagues, or now-retired colleagues (so the older population in particular) are lefties. One, when he was a young postdoc in the 1970s (before the 1976 drought) was setting up a university cleanroom with his colleagues. They set it up as a left-handed cleanroom as they all were lefties and he claims they didn't realise that things like vac-pen placements were awkward for right-handers.

I do wonder if it is some social effect, as I haven't noticed it so much in my younger colleagues, who are far more multinational. Certainly that is the case with the proportion of women engineers. The proportion of female engineers who are UK born is far lower at work than for those who are from other countries. Compared to the number of male engineers from the same countries. Whilst the opposite is the case in finance, where I guess numeracy is also important. It makes me suspect that it is cultural (self?) selection against engineering/science for UK-born women.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

User avatar
EACLucifer
Stummy Beige
Posts: 4177
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:49 am
Location: In Sumerian Haze

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by EACLucifer » Wed May 17, 2023 4:54 pm

jimbob wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 4:45 pm
It makes me suspect that it is cultural (self?) selection against engineering/science for UK-born women.
Can also be in the other direction - in more sexist countries women more likely to seek out engineering as things seen as more "feminine" are looked down upon more than in less sexist countries and engineering thus becomes a route to status and independence whereas, say, literature, might not.

The trend is that the more equal a society, the bigger the gender gap in studying STEM, and one factor in that is that in a more equal society, people are freer to chose what they want to do.

User avatar
Grumble
Light of Blast
Posts: 4689
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:03 pm

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by Grumble » Wed May 17, 2023 4:59 pm

Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 3:49 pm
And another group of people have no ability to visualise at all let alone in 3D.
I don’t visualise things, but I’m quite good at spatial reasoning and awareness. It’s a bit like left and right, I just know which is which I don’t have to visualise it.
where once I used to scintillate
now I sin till ten past three

User avatar
Tessa K
Light of Blast
Posts: 4679
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:07 pm
Location: Closer than you'd like

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by Tessa K » Wed May 17, 2023 5:21 pm

WFJ wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 4:41 pm
I have read that men are more likely to think in 3D than women.

In particular, that women are more likely view this
Image
as a 2D object, whereas I struggle to see it as anything but 3D. When I try to think of it as a flat set of lines, all that happens is that which square is the front face of the cube flips in my head.

I'm not sure how true or general this is though.
Definitely see it in 3D.

If lefties are genuinely better at spatial awareness, could it be because they've had to adapt to a right handed world so need to do more mental juggling all the time?

Also with spatial skills irl some propriopception is involved which it isn't with 2D tests so maybe that makes a difference?

User avatar
Gfamily
Light of Blast
Posts: 5124
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:00 pm
Location: NW England

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by Gfamily » Wed May 17, 2023 5:36 pm

Grumble wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 4:59 pm
Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 3:49 pm
And another group of people have no ability to visualise at all let alone in 3D.
I don’t visualise things, but I’m quite good at spatial reasoning and awareness. It’s a bit like left and right, I just know which is which I don’t have to visualise it.
I generally have to mentally double check any Left/Right directions given, as it's not 100% immediate that I'll know which way that should be. My sister is the same, and she always asked anyone navigating from the passenger seat to go 'your side' / 'my side' for Right and Left respectively.
My avatar was a scientific result that was later found to be 'mistaken' - I rarely claim to be 100% correct
ETA 5/8/20: I've been advised that the result was correct, it was the initial interpretation that needed to be withdrawn
Meta? I'd say so!

monkey
After Pie
Posts: 1864
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:10 pm

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by monkey » Wed May 17, 2023 5:55 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 5:36 pm
Grumble wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 4:59 pm
Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 3:49 pm
And another group of people have no ability to visualise at all let alone in 3D.
I don’t visualise things, but I’m quite good at spatial reasoning and awareness. It’s a bit like left and right, I just know which is which I don’t have to visualise it.
I generally have to mentally double check any Left/Right directions given, as it's not 100% immediate that I'll know which way that should be. My sister is the same, and she always asked anyone navigating from the passenger seat to go 'your side' / 'my side' for Right and Left respectively.
Sames. I sometimes have to make an L shape with one of my thumb and index fingers and see if it's the right way round to be sure. I don't have to look at it though, just make the shape. Other than that I think I'm quite good with spatial stuff. Can even do nuts and bolts from the wrong side.

I can choose whether to see the shape above as 2D or 3D, or which face is forwards if in 3D. It stays the way I choose till I choose another way.

If I get the chance I'll look up depth perception and left handedness, think I saw something about that once.

I'm right handed.

FlammableFlower
Dorkwood
Posts: 1507
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:22 pm

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by FlammableFlower » Wed May 17, 2023 9:31 pm

Chemistry, and in particular organic chemistry, gets very 3D as you progress as where things are in space influences if, why and how they react. I have no idea of any gender split, but lots of students struggle with visualising flat 2D representations as 3D entities. It's one of the reasons we allow 3D model kits in our exams.

User avatar
wilsontown
Clardic Fug
Posts: 207
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:51 am

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by wilsontown » Wed May 17, 2023 9:35 pm

Interesting this. I am a structural geologist, so spatial reasoning is basically what I do. I'm not a natural at it though, I had to train myself. There's a lot of representing 3D relationships in 2D, and that stuff is not intuitive for a lot of people, as my years of banging my head against brick walls as a teaching assistant showed.
"All models are wrong but some are useful" - George Box

IvanV
After Pie
Posts: 2582
Joined: Mon May 17, 2021 11:12 am

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by IvanV » Wed May 17, 2023 9:54 pm

bagpuss wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 3:57 pm
Interesting. Mr Bagpuss and I are both left-handed and we both do pretty well on spatial awareness tests, and also in real life how-to-get-a-piece-of-furniture-round-this-corner-and-through-that-door type stuff. Neither of us can draw to save our lives, mind you, so I don't know what that means.

I did maths at university and one of the optional courses was topology. Because I wanted to get my degree credited as Maths/Stats rather than just Maths, I wasn't able to choose it as most of my choices needed to be Stats ones. Having later seen some of the work a friend of mine who did take it was doing, I was very relieved that I hadn't taken it - the maths looked truly hideous. But what was weird was that she found the maths easy, but just couldn't get her head round visualising whether two 3D objects were toplogically the same or not. I was completely the opposite - that part seemed easy to me but the maths - aaargh!
There are two subjects called topology in mathematics, there's analytic topology and algebraic topology, and the maths are rather different in each. I did a course in analytic topology, but not in algebraic topology (though I know some basics). Algebraic topology had a rather ferocious reputation, though I kind of wish I did it now, because it has been where an awful lot of modern maths has been happening, and I can't understand what they are talking about very much. I kind of promise myself I'll read up on al.top when I retire and have some mind space for it. Whether it will happen is another matter.

An.top. has the concept of the homeomorphism, whereas al.top. has homotopy. Two sets have the same topological shape whether they are homeomorphic, or homotopically equivalent. So topological shape exists as a question in both disciplines. But homeomorphy is really much more about whether the spaces have the same "texture". Whereas in al.top, basically all the spaces you deal with have the same texture as Euclidean spaces, of various dimensions. So homotopy is much more addressed to the question of whether shapes are topologically the same. Continuity is the big issue in an.top. But there's a lot else in algebraic topology, and most of the interest is beyond shape. So, visualising 3-d shapes as topologically equivalent, really not a big issue for being able to do either kind of topology.

Someone mentioned people who can't visualise things in their head. If they are referring to the the condition called aphantasia, then I think I have that. It is described as the inability to picture things in your mind. But although I have no pictures in my mind, I think I have quite good spatial awareness, I just don't do my visualisation in the form of pictures. I'm good at reading maps, and working things out in a spatial sense. Although I don't see a picture of a map in my mind, I can think about what I would see if I had the map in front of me. I can remember the topology of the map. If I try to draw that map for someone from memory, it is topologically accurate, but very badly distorted as a diagram. It may explain why I am and always have been completely useless at drawing. I'm much better at constructing diagrams with rulers, set squares, etc.

User avatar
jimbob
Light of Blast
Posts: 5238
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:04 pm
Location: High Peak/Manchester

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by jimbob » Wed May 17, 2023 10:01 pm

FlammableFlower wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 9:31 pm
Chemistry, and in particular organic chemistry, gets very 3D as you progress as where things are in space influences if, why and how they react. I have no idea of any gender split, but lots of students struggle with visualising flat 2D representations as 3D entities. It's one of the reasons we allow 3D model kits in our exams.
Just before Dad died, he gave me his father's molecular modelling set from the 1950s. Not the sort you might see at school, but for actually working out the shape of molecules.

His father was a chemical engineer, in case you couldn't guess.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

User avatar
Grumble
Light of Blast
Posts: 4689
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:03 pm

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by Grumble » Wed May 17, 2023 10:06 pm

jimbob wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 10:01 pm
FlammableFlower wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 9:31 pm
Chemistry, and in particular organic chemistry, gets very 3D as you progress as where things are in space influences if, why and how they react. I have no idea of any gender split, but lots of students struggle with visualising flat 2D representations as 3D entities. It's one of the reasons we allow 3D model kits in our exams.
Just before Dad died, he gave me his father's molecular modelling set from the 1950s. Not the sort you might see at school, but for actually working out the shape of molecules.

His father was a chemical engineer, in case you couldn't guess.
I wouldn’t be able to guess that, afaik chemical engineering involves very little chemistry. An appreciation of it, sure, but not really molecular structures
where once I used to scintillate
now I sin till ten past three

User avatar
jimbob
Light of Blast
Posts: 5238
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:04 pm
Location: High Peak/Manchester

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by jimbob » Wed May 17, 2023 10:09 pm

IvanV wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 9:54 pm
bagpuss wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 3:57 pm
Interesting. Mr Bagpuss and I are both left-handed and we both do pretty well on spatial awareness tests, and also in real life how-to-get-a-piece-of-furniture-round-this-corner-and-through-that-door type stuff. Neither of us can draw to save our lives, mind you, so I don't know what that means.

I did maths at university and one of the optional courses was topology. Because I wanted to get my degree credited as Maths/Stats rather than just Maths, I wasn't able to choose it as most of my choices needed to be Stats ones. Having later seen some of the work a friend of mine who did take it was doing, I was very relieved that I hadn't taken it - the maths looked truly hideous. But what was weird was that she found the maths easy, but just couldn't get her head round visualising whether two 3D objects were toplogically the same or not. I was completely the opposite - that part seemed easy to me but the maths - aaargh!
There are two subjects called topology in mathematics, there's analytic topology and algebraic topology, and the maths are rather different in each. I did a course in analytic topology, but not in algebraic topology (though I know some basics). Algebraic topology had a rather ferocious reputation, though I kind of wish I did it now, because it has been where an awful lot of modern maths has been happening, and I can't understand what they are talking about very much. I kind of promise myself I'll read up on al.top when I retire and have some mind space for it. Whether it will happen is another matter.

An.top. has the concept of the homeomorphism, whereas al.top. has homotopy. Two sets have the same topological shape whether they are homeomorphic, or homotopically equivalent. So topological shape exists as a question in both disciplines. But homeomorphy is really much more about whether the spaces have the same "texture". Whereas in al.top, basically all the spaces you deal with have the same texture as Euclidean spaces, of various dimensions. So homotopy is much more addressed to the question of whether shapes are topologically the same. Continuity is the big issue in an.top. But there's a lot else in algebraic topology, and most of the interest is beyond shape. So, visualising 3-d shapes as topologically equivalent, really not a big issue for being able to do either kind of topology.

Someone mentioned people who can't visualise things in their head. If they are referring to the the condition called aphantasia, then I think I have that. It is described as the inability to picture things in your mind. But although I have no pictures in my mind, I think I have quite good spatial awareness, I just don't do my visualisation in the form of pictures. I'm good at reading maps, and working things out in a spatial sense. Although I don't see a picture of a map in my mind, I can think about what I would see if I had the map in front of me. I can remember the topology of the map. If I try to draw that map for someone from memory, it is topologically accurate, but very badly distorted as a diagram. It may explain why I am and always have been completely useless at drawing. I'm much better at constructing diagrams with rulers, set squares, etc.
You sound almost the opposite to me. I don't really have an internal monologue as far as I can tell, but often, especially if doing a task, just have a visual image of what I want to do. It makes it difficult if I need someone to pass a tool or move somewhere, because I have no words for it when my brain is trying to solve the problem.


I do visualise maps pretty much as they are, I think.I might forget what Left and Right (or N, S, E, W) are called, but know what they are on the map or on the ground
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

User avatar
jimbob
Light of Blast
Posts: 5238
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:04 pm
Location: High Peak/Manchester

Re: IQ and spatial awareness

Post by jimbob » Wed May 17, 2023 10:11 pm

Grumble wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 10:06 pm
jimbob wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 10:01 pm
FlammableFlower wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 9:31 pm
Chemistry, and in particular organic chemistry, gets very 3D as you progress as where things are in space influences if, why and how they react. I have no idea of any gender split, but lots of students struggle with visualising flat 2D representations as 3D entities. It's one of the reasons we allow 3D model kits in our exams.
Just before Dad died, he gave me his father's molecular modelling set from the 1950s. Not the sort you might see at school, but for actually working out the shape of molecules.

His father was a chemical engineer, in case you couldn't guess.
I wouldn’t be able to guess that, afaik chemical engineering involves very little chemistry. An appreciation of it, sure, but not really molecular structures
It was possibly more on the development side, for example he worked with the inventor of polystyrene.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

Post Reply