What Is Spatial-Temporal Reasoning?

Ever wondered why some people seem to display a greater natural ability to solve puzzles and the likes? This can be scientifically explained in terms of cognitive ability: spatial-temporal reasoning allows one to understand how pieces of items can fit into a given spatial pattern.


This cognitive power basically assists a person in understanding a spatial pattern; he visualizes the latter and works out how items can methodologically be arranged into varying sequences. In short, it is the ability to create a mental picture of moving objects in space and time to solve problems.

Most of us use this level of cognition in our daily activities like loading shopping bags and boxes in a car; with spatial-temporal reasoning, we do not have to depend on trial and error only. According to scientists, it is innate in humans. While everyone is capable of doing so, the ability varies from person to person.

Spatial-temporal reasoning is usually accompanied by similar skills pertaining to the solving of problems, and organisation. You will have noticed that some children exhibit spatial-temporal reasoning more than others in their enhanced ability to assemble puzzles and blocks.

One of the characteristics relating to this reasoning is how the individual is able to visualise the ‘finished product’. He will often start from there (from the desired end-product) to go back to the individuals pieces, thereby marching his way backwards to achieve the assembling process.

Also, people who have a predilection for the arts like painting, drawing, and music might also show such (higher) capacities of thought processing. This reasoning is what architects or artists would need, or what will allow artists to generate 3D pictures, and make to-scale drawing, with the shading as appropriate. As for musicians who possess this ability on an enhanced level, they are able to visualise how different musical instruments can be used to work in harmony; for them, individual musical notes will be but pieces of a large puzzle.

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