Cultural and Ecological Factors of Perception of Perspective in the Indigenous People of the Tundra



The paper presents results of an expedition to the Russian tundra aimed at studying cross-cultural features of perception of perspective and spatial concepts in Nenets dealing with reindeer herding. Both adult Nenets and children experienced difficulties with depicting volumetric features of objects on the flat. Adults' pictures of objects situated at different distances bore the signs of inverse perspective; however, in selecting perspective models they preferred linear perspective images. Reindeer herdsmen displayed a high level of topological and a low level of projective and coordinate spatial concepts in comparison with control results in urban children. The comparison of results in literate and illiterate herdsmen, as well as in younger and older children, showed that the ecological factor of open space in tundra has a stronger influence on spatial perception than the level of education.

General Information

Keywords: ecological factors of spatial perception; linear and inverse perspective; topological, projective and coordinate spatial concepts

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Goncharov O.A., Tyapovkin Y.N. Cultural and Ecological Factors of Perception of Perspective in the Indigenous People of the Tundra. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2007. Vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 2–10. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2007030401. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Oleg A. Goncharov, Doctor of Psychology, assistant professor, Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, International University of Nature, Society and Man «Dubna», Professor of the Faculty of Practical Psychology of the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences. Member of the editorial board of the Psychological Journal of the University of Dubna, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Yuri N. Tyapovkin, Head of Psychological Laboratory, Syktyvkar State University, Syktyvkar, Russia, e-mail:



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