I used to drive my mother crazy when I was growing up because, way past when I should have known better, I’d refer to going ‘up’ to Washington, D.C., where I grew up, when in fact I was already to the north of it and technically would been traveling ‘down’. Once I started driving and reading maps I made drastic improvement.
Some of us always get lost while others know exactly where they are. The difference is in our brains, but science has shown that we can improve our navigational skills. If it makes you or your loved ones anxious that you have no sense of direction, there’s hope!
Recognition and spatial memory are very important in navigation. Other types of memory, located in the hippocampus, are also important, like grid and place cells that create a cellular map of the places you’ve been and how you got there. Using either the hippocampus or recognition and spatial memory, our brains try very hard to find our way. Some brains have more success than others.