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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Structure and Dynamics

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Multiple disciplines offer diverse intellectual tool-kits that can be brought to bear on studies in any one. In this concluding article, I use elements of physics and cognitive psychology to analyze the material reported in this collection. In the case of the articles on navigation at sea (Genz, Feinberg and Pyrek), the physics of ocean waves, climate, and the motion of stars can illuminate the reports of interlocutors. The sensitivity of long wavelength swells to the presence of land seems widespread and is in accordance with known wave behavior and reports. In addition, wave phenomena may be related to local bathymetry and point to further lines of inquiry. Likewise, wind-compass and star directions can be directly compared with climate data and known star motions. The four articles on language and spatial orientation predominantly on land (Montague, Feinberg, Schneider and Van Der Ryn), are examined via the question: Does social cognition follow spatial cognition? As has been reported elsewhere, the findings support the affirmative.

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