MAY 01, 2017 7:34 AM PDT

What Using GPS Means for Your Brain

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


Do you have a helper sit in the passenger seat of your car and read a traditional map to find your way from point A to point B, or do you rely on a GPS navigation system to guide you to your destination?

New studies have shown that relying on a map uses more brain activity than listening to a GPS does, and when using GPS, the brain goes into much more of an 'autopilot' mode.

While using maps, the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex are far more active than they are when using GPS. In fact, these two important regions of the brain went totally inactive when the person only needed to listen to a GPS to find their way around.

This seems obvious however, as mapping your location on your own and then using landmarks and other hints to guide yourself from one place to another requires paying more attention to signs and your surroundings, yielding more brain activity, while GPS basically does everything for you and all you need to do is listen to it.

This would suggest that there's far less thinking and remembering going on when the GPS does all the work for you, and also hints some potentially concerning implications to our reliance on technology.

If GPS systems ever went evil like SkyNet, we might just find ourselves driving off of cliffs because the GPS said so...

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 25, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 25, 2020
Staying Fit While Avoiding COVID-19
For those used to working out at a gym, the current circumstances requiring us all to remain isolated as much as possibl ...
APR 01, 2020
Health & Medicine
APR 01, 2020
Saliva Test can Measure THC Levels in Impaired Drivers
Now that cannabis products are legal in many states across the U.S., law officials need a quick and reliable way to test ...
APR 15, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
APR 15, 2020
Pandemic Maths: Why Time Doesn't Matter in Understanding Infection Trajectory
There's no doubt that a lot of our current attention goes to the COVID-19 infection cases, as media outlets publish ...
APR 21, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 21, 2020
Did This Interstellar Comet Reveal Vital Clues About its Origins?
Oumuamua received tons of attention from astronomers once it was confirmed to be an interstellar object of unknown origi ...
APR 28, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 28, 2020
Young Orangutans Must Learn a Lot Before Adulthood
Orangutans watch over their children for longer periods than any other primate besides humans. On average, most organs t ...
MAY 03, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 03, 2020
These Contractors Will Develop Lunar Landers for NASA's Artemis Mission
NASA seems to be moving quickly to get the ball rolling for its lunar-centric initiative dubbed Artemis. The program aim ...
Loading Comments...