• Question: Could you research help us improve our navigation skills and reduce the chances of getting lost?

    Asked by rcook18 to Tom on 14 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Tom Hartley

      Tom Hartley answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      I think it could. There are signs in our results that different people find their way around in different ways (using different parts of the brain). So we might need to learn to use different strategies according to how our brains are “wired up” to get the best results. The situation is changing a little at the moment as we have new technology (GPS) that is helping us know where we are and navigate. Maybe we can help shape the way this technology works to make it easier to use for a wider range of people. For example, it would be much better for most people if GPS maps rotated to face the direction the person was heading. I think navigation is a vitally important skill for survival. The brain mechanisms are highly specialized and evolved a long time ago to keep our distant ancestors alive. It’s important we don’t become overreliant on technology.