Where a person grows up can influence their navigational skills

(ORDO NEWS) — What is the difference between the topographic skills of one person, say, from Chicago, and another who grew up in the countryside? Why do city streets have an influence on the human brain? We answer.

People who grew up outside the city, but, let’s say, near forests, thickets, jungles, and so on, are better oriented in an unknown area, unlike city dwellers.

This is evidenced by the work in the journal Nature. It is assumed that the ability to navigate in an intricate and unusual natural environment from childhood strengthens the “muscles” of the brain responsible for spatial skills.

Where a person grows up can influence their navigational skills 2

Topographic orientation

Not the most obvious material for study fell into the hands of the researchers: the data of about 400 thousand people from 38 countries who played a certain number of hours in the Sea Hero Quest game. The video game was originally developed with neuroscientists.

There, players were required, while in a boat, to move around a fictional world and find hard-to-reach and unknown locations.

On average, the researchers found that people with geolocation outside of urban areas performed better on the game’s proposed tasks of moving around in an unknown area.

It turned out that there were also groups of successful players among urban residents: those who lived in cities with a simple layout, such as Chicago, coped worse than players, for example, from London, whose map is very complex and ambiguous.

Nevertheless, the researchers note, it is impossible to declare 100% fidelity of the conclusions drawn. However, the connection between the place of growing up and navigational skills is obvious.

“With successful orientation from childhood in the complex constructions of a particular place of residence, the cognitive processes in the human brain will function much better over the years,” explains the lead author of the study Cutro ..


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