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Is it possible to increase your spatial intelligence?

Antediluvian

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Spatial intelligence seems like the core of general cognition to me, and it seems fairly immutable, but I'm not certain. Thoughts?
 

Da Blob

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Competitive computer games.

Maybe, but spatial intelligence is related to the tactile/kinesthetic sense with the evolution of internal models of space resulting from actual actions in space.

Picking up handball as a hobby could increase one's spatial awareness as well as allow one to gain a greater degree of physical fitness, while sitting in front of a computer screen most likely will do neither.

However, computer games like the Wiki and eventually Virtual Reality games, could potentially achieve the same results.

re:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telehaptic
 
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Spatial intelligence seems like the core of general cognition to me, and it seems fairly immutable, but I'm not certain. Thoughts?
This I agree with, because it allows one to consciously visualize more complex phenomena.


In terms of applied spatial intelligence in the physical world (vs mental visualization ability, though the former does help the latter), here's the THD way:

Buy yourself a compass, learn how to use it (ideally in an open area), and calculate your pace (# paces it consistently takes you to travel 100 yards/meters in a straight line). From there, grab a map and pick a destination. Moving through a forested area, over hills, across streams, etc. is best. You'll need to visualize the entire route in 3-D, take a variety of bearings, etc. Da Blob's post applies here as well because you're using your kinesthetic sense as you physically move through the area.

Eventually you may want to ditch the compass altogether and use the sun/moon/stars, known direction and flow of rivers/streams/coastlines, behavior of flora and fauna, etc. These are all things you have to notice in space using cues from the space itself. It takes a bit of practice, but once gained it never goes away (to my knowledge at least. I was taught this by an 84 year old).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orienteering
 

Antediluvian

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Competitive computer games.

I have read that video games can make one better attend to visual information in general, but I am not sure if they aid in visual pattern recognition.
 

Cognisant

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Play portal one and two, also Farcry 2 multiplayer on a custom map comprised of many hills and valleys with everyone using sniper rifles, the trick isn't shooting someone, the trick is shooting someone without someone else then shooting you.
 

snafupants

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I have read that video games can make one better attend to visual information in general, but I am not sure if they aid in visual pattern recognition.

That's sounding like fluid intelligence and visual processing to me; these two sub-constructs basically comprise the overarching perceptual reasoning index on the WAIS or WISC. Well, fluid intelligence and working memory are highly correlated, partly because they share neuronal substrates. Basically, I advise something entirely unoriginal: read, debate and write extensively to increase crystallized intelligence and flex working memory. Learn new systems of thought and additional languages. Maybe fluid intelligence will improve. The research on improving working memory and fluid intelligence, and their exact correlation, is incipient and pretty spotty.
 

joal0503

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you could always try hallucinogens :D
 

Da Blob

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Or try this instead...

The Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC) brings together scientists and educators from many different institutions to pursue the overarching goals of

♦ Understanding spatial learning
♦ Using this knowledge to develop programs and technologies that will transform educational practice, helping learners to develop the skills required to compete in a global economy.

SILC participants include researchers from cognitive science, psychology, computer science, education, and neuroscience, as well as practicing geoscientists and engineers who are particularly interested in spatial thinking in their fields, and teachers in the CPS.

http://www.spatiallearning.org/
 

Antediluvian

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That's sounding like fluid intelligence and visual processing to me; these two sub-constructs basically comprise the overarching perceptual reasoning index on the WAIS or WISC. Well, fluid intelligence and working memory are highly correlated, partly because they share neuronal substrates. Basically, I advise something entirely unoriginal: read, debate and write extensively to increase crystallized intelligence and flex working memory. Learn new systems of thought and additional languages. Maybe fluid intelligence will improve. The research on improving working memory and fluid intelligence, and their exact correlation, is incipient and pretty spotty.

I'm not sure if the "entirely unoriginal" thing was meant to be sarcastic, but yes I see the point about reading, as it is largely a perceptual task. There was an article that claimed that cramming for the LSAT increase IQ, and cortical thickness. Though, I would think the rate of cortical thickness would be a more objective measure. Basically, you might be on to something. After I posted this thread, though, I've come to a tentative conclusion.

The research done on various brain training games seems to overwhelmingly indicate that such games only enhance performance on their respective tasks, not increasing general intelligence. Also, I've come across articles that suggest aerobic exercise influenced the maintaining and enhancing of general cognition much more so than mental tasks did. Another article claimed that playing an instrument increased long-term memory and IQ. I'm just wondering if exercise and the physical side of things can potentially boost fluid intelligence more than mental tasks would. Though, one study contradicted this in that "mental math" (without the aid of paper) showed benefits for mental growth. Perhaps a combination of the two is the most healthy.

In some ways though I'm sort of wrapped in fatalism. Changing the brain is obviously much easier when younger, and as you say the research on increasing fluid intelligence is rather murky. I could be targeting underlying anxiety issues, which dampen my performance, at least to some extent.

I'd also like to take an untimed spatial test, at some point.
 

Double_V

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Yes, I believe so. I recall when I first played mini golf I was not very good at it and then one day 'saw a line' from the putter to the hole (same with pool). Later when I had to start measuring real estate (buildings, rooms, etc) with a tape measure it didn't take me long before I needed no measure and was correct down to the inch. Same with 'knowing' the square feet of an entire house at a glance. Also seeing materials, calculating them in your head and then visualizing their same volume but packed in a rectangle (dumpster).

I visited my old house and to my horror found the lady is a hoarder. I realized in my head I had picked up the house, rolled it over, and calculated the cubic feet of what was in it (to get rid of).

It was also not long ago I was thinking about a multifaceted problem when I realized I was visualizing in my left hand a rubics cube with I was able to rotate without really rotating. Each small square was a problem I need to flip to male it work.

I should think gaging the distance (& speed) to another ivehichle infront would be an excercise of it as well.

While I was always quite good at parallel parking I'd assume it's another example of where the average person has to improve their spacial abilities.

One thing I am stuck on. Our old mod, John, at ENTP.org once made a comment about something being a "Cosmic Fuck Ton". Believe me, he has no idea how that has stuck in my had. There is no way (for me) to qualify what the specifications are for a Cosmic Fuck Ton. Many times that term has popped back in my head from nowhere, and I just can't get it.
 

Antediluvian

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http://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/

I've been taking tests at the above website, and it's interesting concerning the variability in being able to increase test scores. Of course, one has to take into consideration novel stimuli, but I would think that this would apply to all the tests, but maybe some of them are tapping into mechanisms that are (seemingly) impervious to practice in terms of getting a higher test score. For instance, I've gotten a 99% performance rating on Double Trouble, and a high score on Grammatical Reasoning, but the spatial and working memory tests seem to be "capped" around a certain bubble of test score performance. Working memory might be the impervious thing.

So, I'm not saying that my reasoning ability has actually increased, but that it's easier to attain a much higher score on those verbal tests of reasoning than it is concerning something heavily testing visual working memory.

To be honest, I'm having a difficult time articulating what I want to, but this will have to suffice.
 
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