Visual thinking

mental process

Visual thinking also called visual/spatial learning or picture thinking is the phenomenon of thinking through visual processing.


  • In many cases a dull proof can be supplemented by a geometric analogue so simple and beautiful that the truth of a theorem is almost seen at a glance.
    • Martin Gardner "Mathematical Games", in Scientific American (October 1973); also quoted in Roger B. Nelson, Proofs Without Words: Exercises in Visual Thinking (1993), "Introduction", p. v
  • When visualization tools act as a catalyst to early visual thinking about a relatively unexplored problem, neither the semantics nor the pragmatics of map signs is a dominant factor. On the other hand, syntactics (or how the sign-vehicles, through variation in the visual variables used to construct them, relate logically to one another) are of critical importance.
    • Alan MacEachren, How Maps Work: Representation, Visualization, and Design (1995) p. 368

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