Spatial intelligence


The spatial intelligence is part of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences of Gardner (1983), which comes in response to the need to globally assess the potential of people and their development, leaving aside the idea of a general intelligence that is only measurable through written tests. This type of intelligence is applied to solving problems about the space in which the person operates, being useful and necessary for all human beings.


What is spatial intelligence?

Spatial intelligence is the human capacity that allows to perceive reality in detail through the senses of vision and touch with the aim of recreating or modifying it at the mental level and in its graphic reproduction; For its execution it makes use of the right cerebral hemisphere and its contribution is holistic , since it contributes both to the development of science and art.


Definition of spatial intelligence

It includes the ability to accurately receive the visual world, in the same way it can be transformed and therefore, modify the initial perception itself, in addition to mentally recreating the visual world without the presence of the physical stimulus.


It should be noted that having a great capacity for visual perception and expressing it graphically is not the same as having the ability to draw, imagine and transform non-existent scenarios .

Among the skills that can be seen late in a person, is the discrimination visual,  the  mental image , recognition, projection, spatial reasoning and management and playback both  mental and graphics . It should be noted that these skills, all or some, can be expressed in the same person.

Likewise, this intelligence does not depend on visual perception, it also involves the sense of touch, therefore, blind people can also develop spatial intelligence.


  • It is related to the upper quadrant of the right cerebral hemisphere .
  • It is associated with orientation .
  • Contributes to the development of three-dimensional thinking.
  • Use your imagination to recreate or generate mental images.
  • It involves the ability to color, align, shape, space, and manage the links between these elements.
  • It includes the ability to visualize, graphically represent visual or spatial ideas .
  • Children with this intelligence excel at drawing, color matching , arranging objects, reading maps, orienting themselves in space, interpreting graphics, solving puzzles and mazes.
  • It is related to learning through sight and observation, manifesting itself in the recognition of faces, things, shapes, tones, details and scenarios.

What is spatial intelligence for?

It allows to respond to spatial problems through observation and perceptual stimulation of reality from different angles; makes it easy to navigate and understand maps.

Contributes to the scientific development of physics, chemistry and biology ; an example is the double helix model that represents the molecular structure of DNA .

Another area where it is best manifested is in chess , where you must anticipate moves and their consequences also making use of imagination and visuospatial memory.

In the artistic field he contributes to architecture, plastic arts , performing arts and literature.

As for everyday life, spatial intelligence is useful to orient oneself in the city, to recognize places and objects when working with graphics on maps, diagrams or geometric shapes ; It is also used when sensitizing towards metaphor and creating real scenarios as a result of the relationship between the theoretical description and reality and when fantasies are made based on reality.

Types / Factors

 Spatial intelligence is determined by three factors:

Visual creativity

Facilitates the creation of images, graphics, scenarios through drawing, painting, visual organizers and color combinations; This production can be done for spreading or to give solutions to problems.

Visual memory

Represents the storehouse of all objects, shapes and scenes perceived by the person, the recovery of the elements can occur in dreams, precise mental images of the places visited and events experienced .

Spatial Orientation

It allows the person to be located in the space where they are, whether inside a building, the city or outdoors, it manifests itself in the ease of reading and understanding maps , understanding the operation of devices and machines just by seeing and imagining them inside, orient yourself in the city even without having precise directions.

Activities to develop spatial intelligence

The development of spatial intelligence will allow the person to perceive the visual world around him more clearly and reproduce it mentally with great precision; it will also favor the development of the imagination.

In the case of adults, the following activities can be carried out:

  • Improving observation: contemplating an object, for example, the kitchen and concentrating on capturing all the details, then closing your eyes and imagining the kitchen with all its characteristics and ‘seeing’ it from different angles.
  • Make diagrams and graphs: when studying, organize the information in visual charts, which will also help to better learn the content of the subject.
  • Strengthen the imagination: to create mental images it is possible to invent a virtual world by closing the eyes and assign a story to each created scenario.
  • Carry out playful activities with the clay, solve puzzles, mazes, locate words in the pupils , etc.
  • Practice chess .
  • Perform artistic activities such as drawing, painting, design, sculpture , etc.
  • Search the internet for Gestalt School images to identify the various elements of each one.

For children, the activities are:

  • Tell a story by fragments, asking the child to continue the narration with what he thinks will happen , asking him to express alternative endings.
  • Parents can ask the child’s opinion on facts of everyday life, without censoring their arguments.
  • In classrooms, the teacher can brainstorm ideas and then ask the children to place them in a graphic organizer.
  • Stimulate creative drawing.
  • Build structures with Lego pieces.
  • You practice origami.

Professions associated with spatial intelligence

  • Sea navigator
  • Airplane pilot
  • Sculptor
  • Surgeon
  • Professional chess player
  • Graphic designer
  • Architect
  • Civil engineer
  • Carpenter
  • Mechanical
  • Art critic
  • Photographer
  • Tour guide
  • Interior designer
  • Surveyor
  • Astronaut
  • Publicist

Leave a Comment