Foundations Of Cognitive Science

Visuospatial Perception

This is one component of cognitive functioning that refers to our ability to process and interpret visual information about where objects are in space. This is an important aspect of cognitive functioning because it is responsible for a wide range of activities of daily living.

For instance, it underlies our ability to move around in an environment and orient ourselves appropriately. Visuospatial perception is also involved in our ability to accurately reach for objects in our visual field and our ability to shift our gaze to different points in space. Modern embodied cognitive science places visuospatial perception -- in the form of active perception, or perception and action -- at the centre of a theory of cognitive science (Noë, 2004, 2009).

The association areas of the visual cortex are separated into two major component pathways, and are believed to mediate different aspects of visual cognition (Kolb 7 Whishaw, 1985; Pinel, 1993). In humans, the parieto-occipital region is believed to process visuospatial and visual motion types of information. Conversely, the inferotemporal region of the brain is believed to mediate our ability to process visual information about the form and color of objects.


  1. Kolb, B., & Whishaw, I. (1985). Fundamentals of human neuropsychology (2nd ed.). New York: W.H. Freeman.
  2. Pinel, J. (1993). Biopsychology (2nd ed.). Toronto: Allyn & Bacon.
  3. Noë, A. (2004). Action In Perception. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
  4. Noë, A. (2009). Out of Our Heads (1st ed.). New York: Hill and Wang.

(Revised February 2010)