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The visuospatial sketchpad (VS) is the section of one's normal mental facility which provides a virtual environment for physical simulation, calculation, visualization and optical memory recall. It is important to note that the visuospatial sketchpad is part of the working memory, and it holds the information it gathers during the initial processing of it and if it is retrieved later from the long-term memory, to produce the recollection of an image (a place, someone's face, etc.)
The degree of development and usage of the VS varies greatly from person to person. Some people use their visuospatial sketchpad often in normal thought processes, while others use it very little. It can be developed with practice using visualization and conscious effort, though everyone has their own limits of both patience and aptitude. As with all other aspects of memory, the more one tries to use the visuospatial sketchpad, the easier it will be. The mind can be "trained" to strengthen the response, and by doing exercises of visual recall, one can strengthen the VS to produce much sharper, clearer images on demand. Overtime, the recollection of one image can change from a general recall to one with crisp detail through practice and patience.
Logie's elaboration of the visuospatial sketchpad
Logie has proposed that the visuospatial sketchpad can be further subdivided into two components:
- The visual cache, which stores information about form and color.
- The inner scribe, which deals with spatial and movement information. It also rehearses information in the visual cache and transfers information to the central executive.
Three main findings provide evidence for the distinction between visual and spatial parts of the visuospatial sketchpad:
- There is less interference between visual and spatial tasks than between two visual tasks or two spatial tasks.
- Brain damage can influence one of the components without influencing the other.
- Results from brain-imaging show that working memory tasks with visual objects activate mostly areas in the left hemisphere, whereas tasks with spatial information activate more areas in the right hemisphere.
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