I recently picked up a Rubik's Cube, intending to refine my ability to mentally work with three-dimensional representations.

But it seems there are two ways of solving the Cube: just play and play and seek patterns on your own, or memorize some algorithms which teach you to efficiently solve the puzzle.

Neither seems satisfactory, since both only incidentally will provide practice on 3D visualization, but without any guidance to focus my effort more forcefully on that aspect.

Specifically, I'm trying to improve my 3D visualization skill via the Rubik's Cube. I believe that would be the same cognitive skill that is tested as the Vandenberg and Kuse Mental Rotations Test, although if there are distinctions, I'd be happy to learn about them.

If there's research that indicates other ways spatial reasoning can be practiced and improved, I'd appreciate that as well.

Does anyone have any recommendations, or pointers offsite?

  • $\begingroup$ I might just be tired, but I'm having a hard time understanding your question. Are you asking about the contribution of the Rubik's Cube to 3D visualisation abilities? Are you asking about whether 3D visualisation can be practiced? Are you asking how you personally can improve your 3D visualisation? $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Jun 25, 2018 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ The last of those three, although anything on the others would be welcome. My primary goal is to build up the skill. I called it 3D visualization, although I just did a little searching and see that "spatial reasoning" may be another term. I score very well on spatial reasoning tests, but that doesn't seem to be translating well to thinking about the colors of cubes on faces I can't see. But I'd also be in the other two. Obviously, if it can't be practiced, my initial goal would be impossible, and I'd like to find out why. $\endgroup$
    – MrRedwood
    Jun 26, 2018 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ Could you please edit your question with the clarifications you made in your comment? $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Jul 8, 2018 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ Done. Thanks for your sustained attention. I'm a teacher and this has got me thinking: there are a number of things that we know how to test, but which we don't explicitly teach. Many professions (such as dentists and surgeons, as well as bus or truck drivers) rely heavily on spatial visualization, as the current example. $\endgroup$
    – MrRedwood
    Jul 9, 2018 at 4:28


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