Why go­ing Gps-free trains your brain

Mem­o­ris­ing a run can boost your grey mat­ter

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue -

US­ING YOUR PHONE or GPS to find your way on a run could rob your brain of a work­out. Pro­fes­sor Eleanor Maguire, a neu­ro­sci­en­tist at Univer­sity Col­lege London, re­cently showed that two ar­eas of the brain – the ret­ro­s­ple­nial cor­tex and the hip­pocam­pus – help us cre­ate a cog­ni­tive map when we’re ori­ent­ing our­selves. This de­vel­ops a more neu­ron-dense hip­pocam­pus (as­so­ci­ated with mem­ory, per­cep­tion and imag­i­na­tion). Us­ing GPS de­nies the brain a broader spa­tial con­text from which it can learn, says Ju­lia Franken­stein, a psy­chol­o­gist at the Univer­sity of Mannheim, Ger­many. ‘It’s likely that the more we rely on tech­nol­ogy, the less we build up our own cog­ni­tive maps.’

MEM­ORY STICKS Find your way around and you’ll be on the road to a sharper mind.

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