All mapped out? Using satnav 'switches off' parts of the brain, study suggests

All mapped out? Using satnav 'switches off' parts of the brain, study suggests

All mapped out? Using satnav 'switches off' parts of the brain, study suggests 150 150 icnagency

By: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent |

All mapped out? Using satnav 'switches off' parts of the brain, study suggests

| Neuroscience | The Guardian

Brain activity linked to simulating possible journeys appears to be absent when a person is following directions rather than independently planning a route

The British man whose BMW was left teetering on a Yorkshire cliff edge was an early victim of the phenomenon. Then came the Japanese tourists who drove directly into the ocean in a bid to reach an Australian island and the 67-year old Belgian woman who made the epic journey to Brussels via Zagreb, only wondering if she’d gone off course when the street signs switched to Croatian.

There were already clues that GPS navigation could cause drivers to disengage their common sense. Now scientists have revealed exactly what happens in the brain when people switch from using traditional maps to satnav.

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