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Why People Get LostThe Psychology and Neuroscience of Spatial Cognition$
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Paul Dudchenko

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199210862

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199210862.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 July 2021

Human navigation

Human navigation

(p.65) Chapter 4 Human navigation
Why People Get Lost

Paul A. Dudchenko

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the evidence on the human capacity for finding one's way. Early studies suggested that, when blindfolded, people veer. Such veering ultimately may lead to walking in circles, one of the traditional definitions of being lost. Humans also are limited in terms of their ability to walk accurately to a previously seen location after a short delay. In reproducing routes or completing the last leg of a triangular route, people show considerable error. Given these limits, it's unsurprising that the use of visual landmarks is the preferred as most accurate means of navigation. An alternative means of orientation, the use of a magnetic sense, has found little experimental support. There is evidence, however, that sense of direction varies between individuals, and can affect spatial learning. One re-conceptualisation of navigation is that spatial updating occurs egocentrically, as opposed to within an allocentric cognitive map.

Keywords:   veering, triangle completion, magnetic sense, vector navigation, spatial learning

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