A new study finds that people who grew up in cities have worse navigation skills than people who grew up in more rural environments.†
Did you grow up in the countryside? Then you can probably find your way around much better than your urban counterpart. The environment you grew up in has a huge impact on the development of your navigation skills, according to a new study from University College London, University of Lyon and University of East Anglia. Scientists published their research in nature†
For the study, data on more than 390,000 participants from 38 different countries (including the Netherlands) were analyzed. These people have contributed to science in a very nice way. through the game sea hero quest to play. In this game, you are in a boat and navigate through the water to reach the various checkpoints, which are marked on the map. Players who grew up in rural or suburban areas found more effective checkpoints than players who lived in the city as children. Where the participants lived at the time of the study was found to have no effect on their performance.
But the cities are very different from each other. This is also clearly reflected in the research. For example, people from cities like Prague seem to score significantly better than participants who grew up in Chicago, for example. The big difference here lies in the way the city is planned.
Chicago consists almost entirely of straight lines; You can drive for miles and hardly have to touch the steering wheel. Since the city consists of such straight lines, it is very predictable to expect. The more predictable where he grew up, the less likely he was to travel on average. 2000-year-old Prague is a different story. In this historical city there is much less structure in construction. As a result, for example, there are many roads that run diagonally and the place is built unexpectedly.
The contrast between city dwellers and rural dwellers is stark – and this is very clear. But this difference also varies a lot between countries. In the United States, for example, the difference is six times what it is in Romania. This is because American cities often consist of straight lines, while this was much less in Romania.
Growing up in the countryside or in a complex city is better for your navigation skills, according to researchers because the intricate design of roads and paths forces you to pay attention. You have to know in which direction you are walking and you have to remember more streets and landmarks, researcher Antoine Cotro from the University of Lyon wrote in a press release. This also applies to your mobility skills; With training comes mastery.
Sources: Nature, phys.org
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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