Research Topic

Multidisciplinary Approaches to Understanding Early Development of Spatial Skills: Advances in Linguistic, Behavioral, and Neuroimaging studies

About this Research Topic

Spatial skills are a group of core cognitive abilities that includes spatial visualization (the ability to imagine and mentally transform spatial information), form perception (the ability to copy and distinguish shapes from other shapes, including symbols), and visual-spatial working memory (the ability to hold the locations of different objects, landmarks, etc.). Young children regularly engage their spatial skills as they play with blocks, puzzles, and videogames. Infants and toddlers also hear many spatial words when talking with their parents, and the frequency of hearing spatial words is a predictor of the development of spatial skills. Furthermore, mounting empirical evidence has suggested that spatial skills predict success in children’s long-term development in the field of STEM. Additionally, in 2012, Uttal and Cohen even regard spatial skills as a STEM "gateway".

Despite the evidence, however, the importance of spatial skills is often overlooked as a critical feature of early childhood education. For instance, in the US, spatial skills have received minimal attention in the Pre-K and Kindergarten standards. This public neglect of spatial development creates an additional barrier to children's early STEM learning. Therefore, there is growing advocacy for more attention to spatial skills from early in education. Further, there is much evidence to suggest that it is easy to foster early spatial learning as a core component of early preschool programs. Thus, research on the early development of spatial skills is urgently needed.

This Frontiers Research Topic aims at understanding how spatial skills develope in the early years (Age 0-8) from the perspectives of linguistics, behavioral science, and neuroscience. We wish to collect a set of cutting-edge studies to reflect the latest developments and advances in this rapidly emerging field. We welcome contributions from researchers in linguistics, psychology, education, neuroscience and related fields, whose work scrutinizes the development of spatial skills in the early years. Empirical studies, meta-analysis, literature review, and commentaries are all welcome. Specifically, we would like to include the following studies in this collection:
• Linguistic Approach to Studying Early Spatial Development
• Behavioral Approach to Studying Early Spatial Development
• Neuroimaging Approach to Studying Early Spatial Development

Image by F1 Digitals from Pixabay


Keywords: early development, spatial skills, linguistic studies, behavioral studies, neuroimaging studies, multidisciplinary approaches


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Spatial skills are a group of core cognitive abilities that includes spatial visualization (the ability to imagine and mentally transform spatial information), form perception (the ability to copy and distinguish shapes from other shapes, including symbols), and visual-spatial working memory (the ability to hold the locations of different objects, landmarks, etc.). Young children regularly engage their spatial skills as they play with blocks, puzzles, and videogames. Infants and toddlers also hear many spatial words when talking with their parents, and the frequency of hearing spatial words is a predictor of the development of spatial skills. Furthermore, mounting empirical evidence has suggested that spatial skills predict success in children’s long-term development in the field of STEM. Additionally, in 2012, Uttal and Cohen even regard spatial skills as a STEM "gateway".

Despite the evidence, however, the importance of spatial skills is often overlooked as a critical feature of early childhood education. For instance, in the US, spatial skills have received minimal attention in the Pre-K and Kindergarten standards. This public neglect of spatial development creates an additional barrier to children's early STEM learning. Therefore, there is growing advocacy for more attention to spatial skills from early in education. Further, there is much evidence to suggest that it is easy to foster early spatial learning as a core component of early preschool programs. Thus, research on the early development of spatial skills is urgently needed.

This Frontiers Research Topic aims at understanding how spatial skills develope in the early years (Age 0-8) from the perspectives of linguistics, behavioral science, and neuroscience. We wish to collect a set of cutting-edge studies to reflect the latest developments and advances in this rapidly emerging field. We welcome contributions from researchers in linguistics, psychology, education, neuroscience and related fields, whose work scrutinizes the development of spatial skills in the early years. Empirical studies, meta-analysis, literature review, and commentaries are all welcome. Specifically, we would like to include the following studies in this collection:
• Linguistic Approach to Studying Early Spatial Development
• Behavioral Approach to Studying Early Spatial Development
• Neuroimaging Approach to Studying Early Spatial Development

Image by F1 Digitals from Pixabay


Keywords: early development, spatial skills, linguistic studies, behavioral studies, neuroimaging studies, multidisciplinary approaches


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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