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Notre carte intérieure est orientée vers le nord

How Our Brains Navigate the City

Sat-navs leave us in dark

Which Direction Now? Just Ask the North-Facing Map in Your Head

You’re driving from work to pick up your kids at school. The drive is familiar; you’ve done it almost every day for years. But how do you know in which direction the school is from your home? Landmarks? The sun? Animal instinct?  Now, a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science, yields an alternative answer that surprised even its authors, Julia Frankenstein, Betty J. Mohler, Heinrich H.H. Bülthoff, and Tobias Meilinger, who collaborated at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, in Tübingen, Germany. “Our memory for our city of residence shows a map-like character,” says Meilinger, a research scientist at the institute. “And that map seems to be oriented towards the north.” Frankenstein adds: “At least in western societies, where maps are north-oriented, and people usually use maps and are able to read them, they can -and will- rely on their memory of city maps for certain spatial tasks.”... More>