Your G-P-S could be bad for your brain! If you depend too heavily on your Global Positioning System your brain function could deteriorate turning you into a G-P-S Zombie!
Recently, researchers from McGill University in Canada did a series of studies to find out the effect G-P-S navigation has on our brains. What they found is that people who use them have decreased activity in the hippocampus. That’s the area of the brain responsible for memory and the ability to use what you know about your environment to create shortcuts or find new routes.
So what? Well, if you don’t USE your hippocampus you lose your hippocampus. Veronique Bohbot is a neuroscientist at McGill University. She says using the G-P-S too much causes that area of the brain to atrophy, which increases you risk for memory problems, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
And it works both ways. Using your G-P-S messes up your hippocampus, but NOT using it makes it stronger. A study from the University of London found that long-time taxi drivers had unusually large hippocampuses. Dr. Bohbot says you can save yourself from early onset dementia by using your G-P-S SPARINGLY. She recommends getting directions TO a new place but finding your own way BACK.