Calculation of space, rotation, perception and visualisation.
How do you navigate and walk around without bumping into furniture all the time? How is it possible that what you see with your eyes gives you hints of where to walk? Your brain is able to estimate locations, distances, space and to think in both 2D and 3D. All of these activities fall under the spatial cognitive abilities that rely on vision to give you input and your brain to work out the mathematics required.
Our everyday life requires a lot of spatial processing but some tasks are even more heavy on this. Parking a car in a narrow spot is an example where eyes, brain and motor movements (hands and legs) all need to be co-ordinated and not everyone is particularly good at this. Many sports like golf, billiards, football and archery all work on the premise that we are able to calculate a trajectory with our brain, taking into account also other elements like wind and the weight of the item to be ‘shot’ and then give the correct impulse to our limbs to actually carry out the exact movement with the right amount of force required to get as close as possible to the target.
Anecdotally it is said that males are better than females at spatial abilities, however there are also studies that contradict this. Whichever gender you are, it’s important to keep training your abilities in order to be able to get better and better at them. This is especially true if you have or are aspiring to jobs that are also particularly taxing on cognitive abilities like architects, engineers, drivers, pilots and surgeons.