Follow the GPS—And Learn Nothing

Follow the GPS—And Learn Nothing

Think the best advice is to follow the GPS? Wrong: You don’t learn how to navigate by just blindly following instructions—and that can dull your wits, or even lead to disaster. Remember the couple who were stranded in an Oregon national park last year after following their GPS straight into a pile of snow?

British researchers monitored the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex activity of volunteers while they drove through London. Apparently, navigating and driving through the streets puts a very high demand on your hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, the parts of your brain that use and strengthen working and reference memory.

Unfortunately, the opposite is true when you navigate using GPS. You pretty much disengage your hippocampus and prefrontal cortex and don’t really get to know your surroundings—and you’re doing one more digital activity that distances you from engagement in real life. So, expand your neural network by opening an atlas, get an online map and study the roadways and routes available. Then, head out for an adventure. If you make a wrong turn, don’t fret. Heck, if you Google “GPS wrong directions” you get millions of online complaints! We bet you can do better than that relying on your brain and eyes.

More On

Boost Brain Power to Prevent Memory Loss

article

Boost Brain Power to Prevent Memory Loss
You can maintain—even improve—your brain power when you hit your prime (45 years and older). We have 3 tips to buoy your brain and prevent memory loss...
Reading Something Aloud Can Help You Remember It

article

Reading Something Aloud Can Help You Remember It
Good news! If you talk to yourself to help you remember things: A study shows that speaking—or singing and dancing—out loud can help improve long-term...
Flex Your Memory

article

Flex Your Memory
Have you ever driven to the store, only to forget to buy one or more of the items you needed? You could make a list ahead of time, or you could use a ...
Prevent Dementia at Any Age

article

Prevent Dementia at Any Age
Forgot something? You’re not alone. One in eight baby boomers has memory lapses, at least once in a while, a recent survey says. And whether you’ve fo...
Can Laughter Help Trigger Memories?

article

Can Laughter Help Trigger Memories?
A doctor, wearing a long white lab coat and a stethoscope around his neck, walks into a bar with a very large, blue parrot on his shoulder. “Wow!” sa...