Connecting internal and external representations: Spatial transformations of scientific visualizations [Book Review]

Foundations of Science 10 (1):89-106 (2005)
Many scientific discoveries have depended on external diagrams or visualizations. Many scientists also report to use an internal mental representation or mental imagery to help them solve problems and reason. How do scientists connect these internal and external representations? We examined working scientists as they worked on external scientific visualizations. We coded the number and type of spatial transformations (mental operations that scientists used on internal or external representations or images) and found that there were a very large number of comparisons, either between different visualizations or between a visualization and the scientists’ internal mental representation. We found that when scientists compared visualization to visualization, the comparisons were based primarily on features. However, when scientists compared a visualization to their mental representation, they were attempting to align the two representations. We suggest that this alignment process is how scientists connect internal and external representations.
Keywords diagramatic reasoning  graph comprehension  scientific reasoning  scientific visualization  spatial transformations
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10699-005-3007-4
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,201
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Jacques Hadamard (1949). The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 10 (2):288-289.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

44 ( #108,021 of 1,940,955 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #457,978 of 1,940,955 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.