Improve your sense of direction

AUTOMATED VOICE: Continue on North Calvert Street for half a mile.

LIMBONG: Because without it, not only would I be lost, I’d also feel lost, and I know I’m not the only one.

MARY HEGARTY: One of the things we measure in our lab is whether people feel anxious if they suddenly find themselves lost or realize they’ve lost track of where they are.

LIMBONG: That’s Mary Hegarty, a cognitive psychologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She leads the spatial thinking lab there, where they study how we see and interpret ourselves and other objects in space. And one of the things they study there is this thing called spatial anxiety.

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