I wonder about everything, and search for patterns and relationships restlessly.
Here are a few ideas I am curious about …

Do Earth’s magnetic reversals correlate with Ice Ages or other climate changes in the geological record? Do Ice Ages correlate with any other cyclic or recurrent Earth processes/events? If so, are there any causal relationships among them?

How does the age of a language correlate with its structure and features like recursion? Are older languages more complex or more simple? Do they have more words or fewer than younger languages? Where do sign languages fall in such a spectrum? Does language age and/or structure correlate with cultural expressions of navigational thinking modes (route/landmark, or map, or configurational) like city/village/town design? Are configurational map makers more or less fluent in their own language than route/landmark navigators? Do they learn other languages more or less easily than other navigational types?
Does spatial thinking correlate with language ability in any other ways?

[Two books – The Math Gene by Keith Devlin and Talking Hands by Margalit Fox – and a New Yorker article about the Brazilian Pirahà tribe, along with my studies in urban design and readings in spatial cognition regarding navigation are mashed together in this line of questioning.]

Are there different ‘buffers’ for short term memory that correlate with perceptual modes like auditory and visual? If so, can they be used simultaneously? If they can, who uses them? Do people with well-developed spatial cognitive and navigational abilities (map or configurational) co-process more often than people with more basic skills (route/landmark)?

[I am curious about this because I have noticed that when I have many different numbers to remember I mentally ‘take a picture’ of some, and repeat others aloud. This seems to help me remember all of them and keep them straight.]

Do spatial thinking skills correlate with pattern recognition?

Some people with autism have a marked empathy for animals and a gift for communicating with them. What is the nature of this ability? Are animal whisperers conversant in or plugged into animal communication modes? Are these modes vestigial in humans? Does language overprint them, so that they only surface when language (or other) skills are absent/impaired? If these other modes exist in humans, are they and understandings derived from them what we label ESP?

[These ideas derive in part from the book Amazon Dreaming by Bill Keats, the film documentary Temple Grandin, and my own experiences with dogs ]

I pose these questions here as speculations and flights of fancy. Some of them may develop as time and interest permit, and rigorous research and critique allow. Those that do are likely subjects for future MUSE issues – stay tuned!
If you know of any work that bears on these questions please do let me know.


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