The biological GPS

The biological GPS

We use basic strategies to guide us in space… and we do the same when navigating websites. When it comes to navigation performance, there are many theories stating what is right and what is wrong. But before we make any decisions regarding navigation performance in digital interfaces, it is important to understand how our brain works when the issue at hand is spatial localization.   We have a complex cognitive system which employs 3 basic strategies to guide us in space   Human beings possess the ability to situate themselves in space. It works like a biological positioning device – a GPS (Global Positioning System) – except it features a capital advantage: our ability does not stop working in case part of the direction system fails because of the several tasks it performs. We possess a complex cognitive system which employs three basic strategies to guide us in space: orientation, trajectory integration and course follow-up. They may be used at the same time or not. Orientation “Look over there. Do you see that gray building with blue windows? Go that way; the Post Office is on the ground floor“. According to neurologists, “orientation” is the strategy people use to guide themselves via an easily noticeable point of reference. Trajectory Integration “Do you remember how you got here? Then go back to the bakery and turn right. Walk two blocks to the Post Office“. In the strategy called “trajectory integration“, the brain recreates individual stretches of the way in a cumulative progress report which takes into consideration the recollection of our own movements. In trajectory integration, the cognitive memory is the one utilized the least....