Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Playing Piano and Building in Our Minds

See movement's echo, below. The first panel on the left shows the fMRI activation of musicians playing the piano. On the right, musicians remembering their playing.

Our memory and imagery for movements help us remember how to build models from memory, throw together a familiar meal, type without looking and sink the perfect hook shot. But that's not all, when we recall with our hands, we also recall spatial relationships and the feeling of dynamic forces. And this can help with solving real physical problems.

From Jon Clements' video analyses of expert engineers solving a novel problem:

"If I have a longer rod (moves hands apart), and I put a twist on it (moves hands as if twisting a rod), it seems to me– again, physical intuition—that it will twist more. I’m…imagining holding something with a certain twistyness to it, a-and twisting it…"

It's not really the words that are illuminating, here.

Imagery of Playing Piano and fMRI
Dynamic Imagery and Engineering

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