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Roque, C.S. (1983). Pontius, A. (New York). ‘Geometric figure-rotation task and face representation in dyslexia: role of spatial relations and orientation’. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 53, pp. 607-614 (1981).. J. Anal. Psychol., 28(3):276.

(1983). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 28(3):276

Pontius, A. (New York). ‘Geometric figure-rotation task and face representation in dyslexia: role of spatial relations and orientation’. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 53, pp. 607-614 (1981).

Review by:
Craig San Roque

Edited by:
Andrew Samuels

Dyslexic children have trouble deciphering certain shapes, lines and angles, not only in writing but also in other graphic representations. Pontius's research shows that they also have trouble seeing and drawing certain lines and angles of the human face. The complexity of her research cannot be condensed here, but her concluding statement which links to her second paper (see below) is: these dyslexic children have significantly more difficulty than normal readers in the accurate representation of those diagonally oriented lines that are the appendage parts of an overall configuration and are asymmetrical and obliquely oriented.

Pontius introduces the concept of what she calls ‘Neolithic face’ patterns. A significant proportion of her dyslexic children as well as several preliterate populations draw specifically distorted (neolithic) human faces. These are characterised by a continuation of the forehead into the nose without any indication of a narrowing, indentation or discontinuity at the bridge (root) of the nose, i.e. area between the eyes. (This is related to the diagonal lines of appendage parts of an overall configuration i.e., the face).

Readers interested in dyslexia, neurology and spatial or ‘shape thinking’ may find her research interesting. The question is, does this research have any specific relation to Jungian psychology? I make some suggestions about this in the following review.

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