Some interesting things in there - starting with the fact that they used London's Soho, an area which most orienteers would consider pretty technically straightforward (a race was run there on the Sunday the year I ran the London City Race weekend), as their study area. Also interesting was the suggestion that navigation aptitude peaked around age 19 - which certainly runs counter to the image that juniors tend to have in orienteering.
Hmm yeah TT won't drive anywhere without the GPS telling her where to go and even has trouble around our own suburb even though she's lived here 4+ years. I figured it was a product of the younger generation. I on the other hand may look up the route online beforehand to show the shortest route or just to get me into the finer area near the end of the leg that I may not be familiar with (though I'm more likely to look at the street directory) but then I'll just go and try to remember it.
Navigation aptitude peaked around age 19... the full quote from the article is "Navigation aptitude appears to peak around age 19, and after that, most people slowly stop using spatial memory strategies to find their way, relying on habit instead."
They seem to be talking about something quite specific there which may very well peak around age 19 and other factors in orienteering are what push peak orienteering nav ability back.
e.g. error recovery strategy.
[Jeff: I sent you email, not about this thread.]
"Navigation aptitude peaked around age 19" sounds like they're not taking into account the effects of practice and experience, both of which are important in orienteering. Also, they're talking about habit - i.e. it's not a new navigational situation for most journeys (unlike in orienteering).
“When we get lost, it activates the hippocampus, it gets us completely out of the habit mode. Getting lost is good!” Done safely, getting lost could be a good thing.
Orienteering well isn't as good for your brain as orienteering badly :D