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
DEC 29, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why is the Sun's Outer Atmosphere Hotter than its Surface?
DEC 29, 2020
Why is the Sun's Outer Atmosphere Hotter than its Surface?
The fact that the Sun's distant atmosphere is significantly hotter than its surface has been a topic of confusion in ...
FEB 20, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
FEB 20, 2021
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
NASA scientists have confirmed that their car-sized Perseverance Mars rover is 'healthy' following its arrival o ...
MAR 26, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Iconic Bald Eagles are Thriving
MAR 26, 2021
Iconic Bald Eagles are Thriving
Once dangerously on the brink of extinction, bald eagle populations are thriving throughout the lower 48 states of the U ...
MAR 26, 2021
Plants & Animals
Studies Confirm that Bottlenose Dolphins Vocalize to Synchronize Behaviors
MAR 26, 2021
Studies Confirm that Bottlenose Dolphins Vocalize to Synchronize Behaviors
The ability to communicate with one another to coordinate behaviors contributes to the success of social mammals, like b ...
APR 21, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Earth-like Planet Discovered Orbiting Red Dwarf Star
APR 21, 2021
Earth-like Planet Discovered Orbiting Red Dwarf Star
Researchers from Spain have discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting the star, GJ-740, a red dwarf star located 36 light ...
JUN 28, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Yeast Engineered to Produce Biofuel from Previously Unusable Biomass
JUN 28, 2021
Yeast Engineered to Produce Biofuel from Previously Unusable Biomass
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a way to expand biofuel production with geneticall ...
Loading Comments...