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Visual Thinking

2 settembre 2004

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One of today’s Boing Boing posts links to an interesting entry on Nanotech titled The Kabbalah Nanotech Connection. I’ve always been fascinated by Jewish misticism (especially by Hasidism), so I went and read Nanotech’s blog entry. What intrigued me most about it though is not its main topic, but its mention of Temple Grandin, an autistic scientist who published (among other things) a very interesting book titled Thinking in Pictures (you can read Chapter 1 online). I’ve always known my thought processes were highly visual, but I never knew that visual thinking is one of the distinctive traits of autism. So I googled a bit, and came up with a paper by Lesley Sword titled I Think in Pictures, You Teach in Words: The Gifted Visual Spatial Learner which defines a few distinctive traits of “gifted visual spatial learners”, among them “very sensitive hearing [they] can hear sounds that would simply be background noise for other people”. I still remember when I heard the foot of a soccer player struck the ball 60 or 70 metres away despite the background noise of 80.000 people around me…..