Rewiriting Our Mental Image of the City

Kevin Lynch be damned, a new study by a team of German psychologists reaches some surprising conclusions regarding the ways in which our brains navigate the city.

Eric Jaffe writes about a recently published study in the journal Psychological Science by a team of psychologists at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany, led by Julia Frankenstein. "Their results suggest that our mental maps rely less on local reference points or memory-based maps and more on geographical orientation."

Somewhat tweaking the hypothesis of Kevin Lynch's foundational text 'The Image of the City', "it's almost as if people use their experience to situate themselves in a city, then consult the north-pointing map of that same city in their minds to find their way..."

Which leaves one to wonder if the results are duplicatable in Southern Hemisphere.

Full Story: How Our Brains Navigate the City

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from six cities with red or blue trim.
$55.00