Geometric minds skip school

Bruce Bower:

In a South American jungle, far from traffic circles, city squares and the Pentagon, beats the heart of geometry.
Villagers belonging to an Amazonian group called the Mundurucú intuitively grasp abstract geometric principles despite having no formal math education, say psychologist Véronique Izard of Université Paris Descartes and her colleagues.
Mundurucú adults and 7- to 13-year-olds demonstrate as firm an understanding of the properties of points, lines and surfaces as adults and school-age children in the United States and France, Izard’s team reports online May 23 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
U.S. children between ages 5 and 7 partially understand geometric space, but not to the same extent as older children and adults, the researchers find.