Human Four-Dimensional Spatial Judgments of Hyper-Volume

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The dimensionality limitation of human spatial representations has been a long-lasting, unsolved issue in psychology, mathematics, and philosophy. The present study examined the possibility of human four-dimensional spatial representations using a spatial judgment task on hyper-volume, a novel property unique to higher dimensional space. Observers studied visual simulations of random wireframe hyper-tetrahedrons (4-simplexes) rotating around the y-z plane and judged their hyper-volume by adjusting the size of a 4-D block. Multiple regression analyses showed a significant correlation between the responses and the actual hyper-volume but not the definition-based, lower-dimensional cues such as the mean 3-D volume, providing empirical evidence of human 4-D spatial representations that can support judgments of certain novel, high-dimensional properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-113
Number of pages23
JournalSpatial Cognition and Computation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • dimensionality
  • hyper-volume
  • imagery
  • spatial representation
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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