Michał Pierzchalski, PhD, Department of Informatics, NCU: “Searching for neuro-dynamical principles of spatial cognitive development”
Playing with blocks stimulates the development of spatial skills, motor skills, imagination, social skills, languages, early reading skills and helps children to understand mathematical concepts. Spatial skills have proven to be not only essential for the child’s development, but also strong predictors of future achievements in STEM disciplines. In addition, spatial skills are malleable and can be trained by people of all ages. Usually the lessons with blocks take the form of free play in kindergartens without formal academic mathematical goals. A better understanding of children’s skills development in building different constructions of blocks could help to organize the manipulation of objects in plays in order to stimulate spatial skills and increase the effectiveness of mathematical education. We believe that on the basis of the results of computational simulations we will be able to verify the research hypothesis and thus we will find a clue about neuro-dynamic principles underlying the development of this type of skills. The results of our work may lead to more naturalistic therapies based on an understanding of how our cognitive functions are closely related to the physical states of the body.