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How our brains operate like GPS

You may think that navigating your way around a city is as easy as seeing where you are, and then stepping in a certain direction.

But a new study has revealed that in order to find your way around, your brain must perform complex calculations that work in a similar way to GPS.

The findings could shed light on why people with Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders often find it difficult to navigate unaided.

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You may think that navigating is as easy as seeing where you are, and then stepping in a certain direction. But a new study has revealed that in order to find your way around, your brain must perform complex calculations that work in a similar way to GPS (stock image)

You may think that navigating is as easy as seeing where you are, and then stepping in a certain direction. But a new study has revealed that in order to find your way around, your brain must perform complex calculations that work in a similar way to GPS (stock image)

BRAIN GPS 

The researchers wanted to get a clearer picture of how a person makes the transition from seeing a scene, and then translating the image into a plan for navigation.

They discovered that a region of the brain called the parietal cortex helps make that happen, by integrating information from various senses and helping a person understand what action to take as a result.

The response gets recorded as a memory with help from other parts of the brain, creating a 'map' of the location that a person can recall to help get around from place to place.

This means that in the future a person can link that same view to the brain's map and know what action to take.

Researchers from Florida State University have discovered new insights into how the brain is organized to help a person navigate through life.

Dr Aaron Wilber, lead author of the study, said: 'We have not had a clear understanding of what happens when you step out of a subway tunnel, take in your surroundings and have that moment where you instantly know where you are.

'Now we're getting closer to understanding that.'

Dr Wilber wanted to get a clearer picture of how a person makes the transition from seeing a scene, and then translating the image into a plan for navigation.

He discovered that a region of the brain called the parietal cortex helps make that happen, by integrating information from various senses and helping a person understand what action to take as a result.

The response gets recorded as a memory with help from other parts of the brain, creating a 'map' of the location that a person can recall to help get around from place to place.

This means that in the future a person can link that same view to the brain's map and know what action to take.

The researchers discovered how the parietal cortex allows us

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