Boost your visuospatial skills and learn about your brain
– By Dr. Pascale Michelon
Visuospatial skills are used everyday in many ways, ranging from going from one room to another in your house to solving a jigsaw puzzle and navigating in a new city.
One specific visuospatial skill has to do with moving spatial information around in your head. It is called mental rotation.
Let’s take an example. Can you picture in your head an arrow pointing to the right? Now, turn this arrow so it points to the left. Done?
You have just performed a mental rotation! People use this ability when they read maps, use tools, play chess, arrange furniture, drive in traffic, etc.
Mental rotation relies mostly on the parietal areas of your brain (orange section in the brain image above).
Here is a brain exercise to stimulate your mental rotation skill.
For each number, decide whether it is a normal or reversed number (see example below).
Note: NO FLIPS allowed!
Row 1: normal, reversed, reversed
Row 2: normal, normal, reversed
Row 3: normal, reversed, reversed
— This article was written by Pascale Michelon, Ph. D., for SharpBrains.com. Copyright 2008. Dr. Michelon has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and has worked as a Research Scientist at Washington University in Saint Louis, in the Psychology Department. She conducted several research projects to understand how the brain makes use of visual information and memorizes facts. She is now an Adjunct Faculty at Washington University, and teaches Memory Workshops in numerous retirement communities in the St Louis area.
For more exercises, check out our Brain Teasers section.