to play any role in my mechanism of thought," - the terms "mechanism of thought" being a nice spatial concept itself. On a more ordinary plane, people with good spatial abilities tend to excel in careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In the article, Newcombe discusses some of the ways in which spatial abilities can be nurtured and supported, also touching on the concepts of learning styles, gender differences in spatial skills, and the question of nature vs. nurture.
It occurs to me, coincidentally, that spatial abilities are often very strong in people with autism spectrum disorders. Temple Grandin wrote "Thinking in pictures" where she described entire movies of mechanical action playing in her head before she sets anything down on paper as a design.