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Spatial Cognition

  • By: Martin Swobodzinski
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Spatial cognition concerns the acquisition, management, and application of knowledge about phenomena in the physical world. Humans derive this knowledge from internalized processes within the cognitive system, which is believed to reside within the mind. As such, spatial cognition is intertwined with processes of thinking, reasoning, memory, abstraction, problem solving, belief formation, perception, sensation, language, and representation related to the spatial properties of objects and events situated in space. The main distinction that can be drawn between cognition and spatial cognition is the focus on the spatial properties of objects and events in spatial cognition.

Geographers interested in spatial cognition mainly focus on the domain of human beings. In other disciplines, spatial cognition also explores cognitive aspects in the context of nonhuman animals. In fact, ...

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