Your spatial navigation ability links with the entropy of your city street networks

I already mentioned the importance of space-time decisions, Individual differences in information seeking, the importance of anology (for AI), The importance of spatial thinking and the Active Inference principle (the brain is an “inference engine” that seeks to minimize “prediction error.”)

It all comes togethers in a great article in Nature: “Entropy of city street networks linked to future spatial navigation ability“, also available in a BioRxiv preprint.

Conclusions of the research:

Exploring population-level cognitive performance in 38 countries reveals that people are better at navigating in environments topologically similar to where they grew up.
This association is independent of age, gender, video games skill and education. Participants who grew up in less entropic cities show better performance at less entropic game levels, while participants who grew up in more entropic cities are better at navigating more complex game levels.
Similarly, participants who grew up in cities generally perform better in game levels in smaller spaces than they do in game levels in larger spaces, while participants who grew up outside cities are better in larger game levels than in game levels in smaller spaces.
These results support the idea that humans develop navigation strategies aligned with the type of environment they are exposed to, which become sub-optimal in other environments. It indicates that the environment one grew up in is associated with cognitive ability, and that this association is stable across the life-span. […]

a Screenshots from the game Sea Hero Quest (SHQ).  
b  Nine examples of trajectory heatmaps out of the 75 SHQ levels. 
c – e Heatmaps of the trajectories of all participants in level 42 and level 68 of SHQ.
 d – f Examples of trajectories in level 42 and 68 of SHQ. 
g – h – Association between Environment and SHQ Wayfinding Performance stratified by age, gender, and education.

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