Lines and Boxes: The Geometry of Thought

  • Barbara TverskyEmail author
Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)


Lines simplify and abstract; they also focus attention, leading a body or a mind from place to place. The eye creates lines where there are none, connecting occluded fragments to perceive objects. The body creates lines in the world on paths, on bookshelves, and on streets. The hand creates lines on the page to represent things and ideas, organized and messy. The mind creates lines, moving from thought to thought.



I am grateful to Julie Heiser, Jeff Zacks, Masaki Suwa, Azadeh Jamalian, Juliet Chou, Andrea Kantrowitz, Valeria Giardino, Melissa Zrada, and Yang Liu for years of collaboration. The following grants facilitated the research and/or preparation of the manuscript: National Science Foundation CHS-1513841, HHC 0905417, IIS-0725223, IIS-0855995, and REC 0440103, and Office of Naval Research NOOO14-PP-1-O649, N000140110717, and N000140210534 and The Varieties of Understanding Project at Fordham University and The John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Varieties of Understanding Project, Fordham University, or The John Templeton Foundation.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Columbia UniversityNYUSA
  2. 2.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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