Our research has shown that children who learn to draw objects realistically are also able to look at a complex visual image and mentally break it up into smaller parts. We refer to this as “local” processing. We now want to find out whether drawing skills are also associated with the ability to look at a complex visual image and grasp its overall structure. We refer to this as “global” processing.
To answer this question, we will ask children ages 6-12 to do three things. First, we ask children to draw a picture of their own hand. Next, we examine local processing by showing children a geometric pattern and asking them to copy the pattern using a set of colored blocks. Local processing allows children to segment the original pattern into its smaller parts. Finally, we examine global processing by showing children a series of figures on a computer screen, some of which are “possible” objects, and some of which are “impossible” objects. We ask children to classify each object as possible or impossible. Global processing allows children to grasp the overall structure of the figure and judge whether it is possible or impossible. We will compare children’s drawings with their performance on local and global processing tasks to see if these skills are related to one another.
This research will help us understand the perceptual skills that underlie and support the ability to draw from observation.
Learn about other research related to Human Biology.
This research is conducted by the Arts & Mind Lab at Boston College