Thursday, January 08, 2015
Japanese can See Inside Things
Ball and Torrence (1978) found that east Asians were more able to create visualisations of the internal dynamic working of things. Subjects from ten countries East and West were given the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, where they are asked to make pictures out of lines and circles. These were graded according to a number of criterion, and the ability to create Internal visualization, such as that shown in the slide by Evelien Rogie. In a recent experiment on my students I tested whether they were able to distinguish between rotated and flipped rotated figures. This ability appeared to correlate, weakly, with private shame - the tendency to be ashamed of something because one does not like how it looks to oneself. Internal visualisation, like the ability to spot flipped, mirror image shapes, requires that one takes a perspect from, to use Noh performer Zeami's phrase, an sight apart from sight (riken no ken 離見の見). Zeami claimed that the practice of Noh forms allows their practioners to see themselves fro the point of view of the audience. Many of the tests of visual ability are alas however, verbal report tests (such as the VVIQ) to which traditional, self-effancing Japanese with excellent visualising skills may underplay their performance. http://flic.kr/p/qFAUg5
This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.