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Wayfinding

Sharks Find Their Way Using Smell

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in animal navigation, navigation, tracking, Wayfinding | 0 comments

Sharks Find Their Way Using Smell

Scientists are closer to solving one of the mysteries of how living creatures who can’t rely on GPS and wayfinding skills (unlike you, dear reader) find their way around. Take sharks, for example. Experts knew that sharks are guided by the earth’s magnetic field as they move in the ocean, but were curious about other factors, including smell, that might also influence navigation. A team of five investigators tracked leopard sharks, “a Pacific coastal species that makes foraging trips out...

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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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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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A Real Wayfinding Wiz at the Gas Station

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in asking directions, Directionally challenged, giving directions, Wayfinding | 0 comments

A Real Wayfinding Wiz at the Gas Station

There are many anecdotes about people who can’t find their way anywhere (and even some books for and about them!), but here’s a story about a real wayfinding wiz: someone who knows exactly where he (and you) are and who can give accurate, useful, device-free directions about how to find just about any destination. See this story by Cheryl Truman of the Lexington Herald-Leader about Ken Brookins, a worker at a Shell station in Lexington, KY: http://bit.ly/1E1gpW6 Important for the...

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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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