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Author Topic: What is "sense of direction"?  (Read 4197 times)

Herman Melville

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What is "sense of direction"?
« on: 06/08/2009 14:04:51 »
Is it a mixture of memory and intuition, or what? Why do some people have a hopeless sense of direction and other people seem to have their own brain-based sat-nav?


 

Offline Chemistry4me

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What is "sense of direction"?
« Reply #1 on: 07/08/2009 08:23:00 »
I think it is all about how good you are at making casual observations of your surroundings, the scenery, and almost subconsciously remember how many left or right turns you've made. I would compare it to solving a jig-saw puzzle, some people are just good and otheres are not, so these people cannot mentally visualise what they see and do, so they end up hopelessly lost. ??? Just my opinion though... 
 

Offline Variola

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What is "sense of direction"?
« Reply #2 on: 07/08/2009 08:32:30 »
I think it is all about how good you are at making casual observations of your surroundings, the scenery, and almost subconsciously remember how many left or right turns you've made. I would compare it to solving a jig-saw puzzle, some people are just good and otheres are not, so these people cannot mentally visualise what they see and do, so they end up hopelessly lost. ??? Just my opinion though... 

Thats a good post,I can resonate with that. I have no sense of direction whatsoever, it's a standing joke in amongst my friends that I could get lost coming out my own front door! I am also hopeless when it comes to noticing my surroundings, I am often wrapped up in my own little world, particularly when driving. My best friend has walked past me in the street and I haven't noticed! The only time I really pay attention to my surroundings is if it is in the countryside, and even then its from a point of enjoying the scenery rather than making mental notes.
The flip side of it is, I am very observant when it comes to people,and often pick up on things that others don't.Thats speaking from a different skill to being generally observant, but I still find it comically paradoxical.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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What is "sense of direction"?
« Reply #3 on: 07/08/2009 09:10:55 »
If all roads were straight and all corners right angles i don't think i'd have a problem, but that is obviously not the case, which is why i have a gps :)
 

Offline Mazurka

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What is "sense of direction"?
« Reply #4 on: 10/08/2009 11:23:19 »
I would agree with that - if you are blindfolded (or in heavy fog/ cloud) and try and walk in a straight line you will be suprised at how quick you will deviate off.  This leads me to think that there is no intrinsic or sub conscious sense of direction.

Some people are just quicker at picking up on the visual clues and putting them into their "mental maps".

It will be interesting to see what happens when GPS starts to fail due to age/ underinvestment, which may be as soon as next year...

 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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What is "sense of direction"?
« Reply #5 on: 11/08/2009 09:49:38 »
They'll just put more up
 

Offline Don_1

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What is "sense of direction"?
« Reply #6 on: 11/08/2009 11:16:05 »
I have a good sense of direction, being as I go all over the place for one thing or another, I do find I can remember details of how to get from A to B even if I have not done the journey for a very long time.

BUT, (stressed for a purpose) I have never been able to get the hang of Milton Keynes, it seems to me that all roads look much the same. I recall a time when after much larking around, I finally found the place I was looking for and said to a fella working there 'Its taken me ages to find this **** place, I hate Milton Keynes.' His reply was, 'Think yourself lucky you don't live here, some people leave home for work and can't find their way back!'

I put it down to the similarity between roads.
 

Offline RD

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What is "sense of direction"?
« Reply #7 on: 14/08/2009 04:25:00 »
Magnetic compass in brain ?

Quote
Magnetite biomineralization in the human brain

JOSEPH L. KIRSCHVINK, ATSUKO KOBAYASHI-KIRSCHVINK, AND BARBARA J. WOODFORD*
Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, The California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125
Communicated by Leon T. Silver, May 7, 1992

ABSTRACT Although the mineral magnetite (Fe3O4) is precipitated biochemically by bacteria, protists, and a variety of animals, it has not been documented previously in human tissue. Using an ultrasensitive superconducting magnetometer in a clean-lab environment, we have detected the presence of ferromagnetic material in a variety of tissues from the human brain. Magnetic particle extracts from solubilized brain tissues examined with high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and elemental analyses identify minerals in the magnetitemaghemite family, with many of the crystal morphologies and structures resembling strongly those precipitated by magnetotactic bacteria and fish.
http://www.pnas.org/content/89/16/7683.full.pdf
« Last Edit: 14/08/2009 20:15:08 by RD »
 

Offline Variola

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What is "sense of direction"?
« Reply #8 on: 14/08/2009 12:35:27 »
I have a good sense of direction, being as I go all over the place for one thing or another, I do find I can remember details of how to get from A to B even if I have not done the journey for a very long time.

BUT, (stressed for a purpose) I have never been able to get the hang of Milton Keynes, it seems to me that all roads look much the same. I recall a time when after much larking around, I finally found the place I was looking for and said to a fella working there 'Its taken me ages to find this **** place, I hate Milton Keynes.' His reply was, 'Think yourself lucky you don't live here, some people leave home for work and can't find their way back!'

I put it down to the similarity between roads.

Yup the lack of traffic lights and the grid system makes MK one big hell hole of roundabouts! Without the sat nav I wouldn't stand a chance round there. Its seems to be really stretched out with no real purpose as to why too.
 

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What is "sense of direction"?
« Reply #8 on: 14/08/2009 12:35:27 »

 

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