Visual Thinking

Allen Kent and James G. Williams, Eds. Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology. Volume 23, Supplement 8. New York; Basel: Marcel Dekker, Inc. (1990) 411-427.

19 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2015

Date Written: 1991

Abstract

Its ability to deal with visual information is one of the mind's most powerful capacities. Visual thinking, high-level manipulation of visual information, is important to computer science because, with the flowering of computer graphics and image processing, it provides the basis for a rich and intuitively satisfying channel of man-machine interaction. Just as writing evolved to help the verbal mind, so various media have evolved to help the visual mind. I propose that visual thinking involves the internalization of visuo-manipulative activity and of movement through the environment. We move through the physical environment, sometimes in a familiar place, sometimes in a strange place; we handle objects, sometimes to accomplish a specific task, sometimes simply to inspect the object. Visual thinking involves imagined locomotion in imagined settings, imagined manipulation of imagined objects. The settings and objects may be real, but not present, or they may exist only in imagination.

Keywords: visual thinking, computer graphics, graphics interface, cognition, vision

Suggested Citation

Benzon, William L., Visual Thinking (1991). Allen Kent and James G. Williams, Eds. Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology. Volume 23, Supplement 8. New York; Basel: Marcel Dekker, Inc. (1990) 411-427.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2625245

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