Saturday, January 21, 2006

Geometry is Innate

It seems that geometry is innate according to a MSNBC. The study worked with the Munduruk├║ people from a remote region of the Amazon who lack vocabulary for geometric terms. Nonetheless they scored well on a variety of nonverbal tests. Judging by the pictures they were testing for the ability to identify connectedness, similarity and congruence. They also displayed an ability to use maps even though they are not a map-making culture.

It's curious to note that the people of this culture weave baskets that appear to involve interesting geometry and whose design look anything but 'innate'. And though 'remote' they also wear glasses and Western style clothing. So clearly they do transmit 'geometric' culture, even if it's nonverbal, and they have had non-trivial contact with cultures that do have a strong geometric vocabulary.



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