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Visual-Spatial Skills

We live in a colorful three-dimensional world. We must analyze the shapes and colors of everything we see, be able to identify an object’s position relative to other objects (below, above, to the right, to the left), and estimate the distance between ourselves and the objects that surround us.

Analyzing visual information is necessary for proper functioning in our everyday environment.

Our visual system precedes this capability for visual analysis and understanding. Two distinct parts of the brain are engaged in this process, each with its own purpose:


  • Analysis of the shape of objects
  • Analysis of the object’s spatial properties (size, location, orientation)


The effective functioning of these two areas enables the brain to transform all the information perceived by the eyes into a unique visual scene.

Using mental imagery

Mental imagery is the ability to mentally represent things, pictures, sounds, smells, sensations, etc. It is very useful when carrying out a complex task, as it enables the brain to imagine a chain of actions, and check that nothing has been left aside or underestimated. This is exactly what happens when someone plays a game of chess for instance, as the brain must imagine the moves of the pieces to determine the best course of action, before acting on it.


Using mental imagery, an individual can also mentally transform an object and turn it around in their “mind’s eye”: for instance, if you want to move a piece of furniture, before actually moving it, you can imagine how it is going to look in various positions and locations.

Our programs can help your clients with visual-spatial skills

If you are a healthcare professional working with patients who have cognitive impairments, take a quick and free look at our online cognitive rehabilitation tool. You can also download our worksheets!

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Interested in trying our digital tools?

Pulling from our decades of experience in Cognitive Therapeutics, we aim to help you enrich your practice through the use of digital and paper tools.