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wayfinding and the brain

Who Navigates More Effectively: Men or Women? (Part 2 of 2)

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Alzheimer's Disease, cognitive maps, disorientation, gender differences in navigation, hippocampus, personal navigation, Wayfinding, wayfinding and the brain | 0 comments

Who Navigates More Effectively: Men or Women? (Part 2 of 2)

In the study referenced in the previous blog post (Who Navigates More Effectively: Men or Women? (Part 1 of 2)), medical doctor and PhD candidate, Carl Pintzka, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim used an MRI scanner to monitor brain activity when 18 men and 18 women used 3D goggles and a joystick to orient themselves in a large virtual maze. He found that men were more effective and, in a followup study, when women were given a single drop of the male hormone,...

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Who Navigates More Effectively: Men or Women? (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in gender differences in navigation, hippocampus, navigation, neuroscience, personal navigation, Wayfinding, wayfinding and the brain | 0 comments

Who Navigates More Effectively: Men or Women? (Part 1 of 2)

The 2015 wayfinding story that grabbed the most attention pertains to that old battle of the sexes (often taking place in the front seats of cars): who has the better sense of direction: men or women? Spoiler alert: in one Norwegian study, men did better at finding their way quickly in a virtual environment. The study was conducted by medical doctor and PhD candidate, Carl Pintzka, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. He used an MRI scanner to monitor brain...

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What Does a Mental Map Look Like in 3D?

Posted by on Feb 5, 2015 in cognitive maps, maps, wayfinding and the brain | 0 comments

What Does a Mental Map Look Like in 3D?

As we skillfully or fitfully make our way from here to there, most of us develop some sort of mental images of the routes we travel. While we may come to “know” certain routes after repeated use, we can’t always communicate them well. Verbal descriptions may be imprecise and drawings may be, well, sketchy. Enter Claire Sauvaget, a French digital artist, who has devised a new way to depict her pedestrian commute using 3D-printed models. While the aptly titled “Mental Map” is a work of...

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London Cabbies Describe Finding Their Way Along a Complex Route

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in cognitive maps, Directional Sense, Finding your way as you drive, hippocampus, navigation, Wayfinding, wayfinding and the brain | 0 comments

London Cabbies Describe Finding Their Way Along a Complex Route

Directionally challenged people have to work hard to learn even short routes between places they frequent. And this is a great accomplishment! Would-be and actual London taxi drivers are at the opposite end of the wayfinding spectrum, probably as a result of outstanding, inherent spatial abilities, and absolutely as a result of years of dedicated, focused, arduous work. This New York Times video shows images along a seven-mile route through London and the 41(!) turns required to get from one...

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“The Knowledge” – The Ultimate Test of London’s Detailed Geography

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in asking directions, cognitive maps, Directional Sense, Directionally challenged, Finding your way as you drive, navigation, personal navigation, Uncategorized, wayfinding and the brain | 0 comments

“The Knowledge” – The Ultimate Test of London’s Detailed Geography

If you’ve ever wondered whether there’s a wayfinding Olympics, take a look at this extraordinary New York Times article by Jody Rosen describing the years of detailed navigation & wayfinding study (and resulting sacrifices) undertaken by people seeking to be official London taxi drivers. “The Knowledge,” has been called the most difficult mental undertaking and test in the world: requiring students to memorize the city’s 25,000 streets and every business and landmark on them....

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Wayfinding Researchers Win the 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in cognitive maps, GPS, hippocampus, navigation, neuroscience, Wayfinding, wayfinding and the brain | 0 comments

Wayfinding Researchers Win the 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine

This is an exciting day in the world of wayfinding – for the directionally challenged and non-challenged alike! Three researchers, John O’Keefe, Edvard Moser, and May-Britt Moser were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering “an inner GPS, in the brain” responsible for helping all creatures navigate, including human beings. Read more about it and them in this New York Times article by Lawrence...

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