Navigation and Training your Brain || Why getting lost helps

This capability of our brain to store such memories, everything from childhood friends to shopping list, it gives us the ability to learn from past experiences. So that particular memory is a piece of information that is stored in your brain.

But, the time of storage seems so often have an effect on the quality of how the information is recalled.

According to scientist the information can be stored in different areas. Depending what it is. So, a specific memory is split up into different regions.

If it is a particular landmark, you recall on that favorite run I asked you to recall… maybe that was what came up in your minds eye. A tree where you park your car, or a building that is your finish line. Well this involves sight, so that visual trave is stored in a region that involves sight perception

Navigation is based on this. Visual clues send or release a trigger and set a series of thoughts of a route that you once ran. Those triggers allow you to judge when what turn needs to be taken. This happens through a electrical discharge which releases neurons. Now just bear with me here for a second.. those neurons release chemicals and these chemicals well it depends how many or how much has been released, when, what duration of activation.

Researches have looked at this, and the way I understood this is that there are people who have something called topographical disorientation. Basically, it means you cant navigate. Means some people have difficulty in learning new things, yes, but that’s now what I am referring to here.

There is something else that I found, and it is Retrograde topographical disorientation. Means this person will not be able to recognize previously known scenes. Rooms, or streets they lived in.

For most runners however you don’t suffer from this. And you have the ability to find your way around terrain. No not referring to Bear Grylls type of adventure but rather your running route. The one you thought of in the beginning of the show… where are you now aas you recall it? Still at the same part or you mentally moved along the route? Ok, this navigation relies on so called myriad skills, and of course knowledge by learning to put information gathered together. Information such as hills, pavements, landmarks and street layouts.

What surprised me most was that apparently, well maybe you know this… Brain imaging studies have identified hippocampal activation in London taxi drivers as they employ learned maps of the city to navigate and these experiments have distinguished the activation of the hippocampus in wayfinding by survey navigation as they are in complex maze learning in rats.

These studies suggest the human hippocampus is preferentially involved in survey navigation. However, more detailed examination of the role of the hippocampus in survey navigation has revealed that the hippocampus is primarily engaged during the building and updating of cognitive maps rather than the expression of well-learned maps Also, in an investigation of hippocampal activation over the detailed course of navigating a well-learned environment in humans, the hippocampus was not continuously engaged, but rather is engaged only briefly during the planning of routes to a new destination or altering an already specified route.

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