Map use and the Development of Spatial Cognition

Clare Davies*, David H. Uttal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


This chapter describes how using symbolic representations such as maps can play a role in the development of spatial cognition. It is suggested that the use of maps may influence how children come to think about space beyond their immediate experience. In addition, it discusses some of the ideas and evidence from a research program that has investigated the possibilities. Moreover, it explores the apparent antecedents, challenges, task dependencies, and cognitive processes that impact children's effective use of maps, and the implications of these for the understanding of spatial cognitive development as it relates to large-scale space. It is shown that exposure to survey representations such as maps induces spontaneous use in some types of spatial problem-solving by the age of 7- 10 years, at least for children living in a mid-western U.S. suburban area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Emerging Spatial Mind
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199848096
ISBN (Print)9780195189223
StatePublished - Mar 22 2012


  • Children
  • Maps
  • Problem-solving
  • Spatial cognition
  • Spatial cognitive development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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