Thursday thought: March 23 – Sat-navs rot your brain

So the latest research has found that driving with a sat-nav on causes reduced brain activity. Well I am all sure we are surprised at that.

Apparently, in tests, the spikes in activity in the hippocampus, the area of the brain area linked to memory and navigation and the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in planning and decision-making, typical when people were making decisions about what road to take, were absent when people just followed the directions of their sat-nav.

I rarely use a sat-nav, for various reasons. The main one is that I don’t trust it – or rather I don’t trust me! So I say that I don’t trust the technology but then I am happy to get on a plane that is probably running on auto-pilot. Seems as though I am being a hypocrite. But no – it’s more that I don’t trust myself to set it properly. This  dates from my first attempt to use one that kept on defaulting to Glasgow and another time, towing a trailer, when it took me to the centre of Leicester, rather than round it, and then decided it was my destination and left me stranded.

But, possibly because of this, I worry about blindly following the instructions barked at me, and then having no idea of where I am. I grew up with maps and I would rather have an atlas beside me, and a list of the main roads or town I have to go through so I always know where I am.

It can be an issue when I am giving talks and trying to find a village hall but I prefer to use my ‘common sense’ or internal compass.

I can see the attraction of just following a voice that tells you what to do. I can see why people use them but it is just another example of us being removed from reality. And when it is recommended to do puzzles to keep our brains active we then all drive round with our brains switched off. That can’t be good.

Is it to do with the seeming obsession many people have for looking at little screens? I am really worried about the obsession with smart phones. Isn’t it better to see life in the real rather than through an iphone? It all reminds me of an episode of Star Trek; The Next Generation (The Game) when an addictive computer game was brought on board that turned the crew into zombies, unable to do anything meaningful. At the time (1991) it seemed far fetched but, alas, it seemed to have been prophetic.





3 Comments on “Thursday thought: March 23 – Sat-navs rot your brain”

  1. derrickjknight
    March 23, 2017 at 10:19 am #

    That continual defaulting strikes a chord. On a trip to Nottingham from our home in the New Forest we found ourselves continually being directed to my old home in Notting Hill. Mind you, that did test brain power 🙂

  2. thebikinggardener
    March 23, 2017 at 10:55 am #

    I bet it did! 🙂

  3. sueturner31
    March 23, 2017 at 4:22 pm #

    I’m with you on this, I gave up driving a few years age, not through age but my health. So now I rely on hubby for trips etc. I always do the map reading and he calls me his ‘sat nav’ dolly. Only a couple of years ago coming home from N Wales he decided to use a sat nav. Ignoring me we got hopelessly lost and it’s a trip we do regularly. I rest my case……

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sweetgum and Pines

gardening in the North Carolina piedmont

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews


un altro blog sul giardinaggio...


four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!


Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I'm Leah, a freelance Photographer born and raised in Macon, GA, USA. I spent 8 years in the wild west and this is my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming. Welcome to Uprooted Magnolia.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

We are working to save garden plants for people to use and enjoy today and tomorrow


An English persons experience of living and gardening in Ireland

%d bloggers like this: