GPS and Alzheimer's

 

My wife has a problem with spatial navigation -- she gets lost readily. I've just bought her a Garmin automotive GPS for our car, hoping that might help. Anyhow, I was just doing some background reading, and I ran across an article that I thought might interest you all. It's about a conjectured link between use of GPS devices and loss of cognitive function in old age.

The article is here: http://www.dailytech.com/Study+GPS+Units+Cause+Memory+and+Sp...

Here is the lead paragraph:
"McGill University researchers conducted a series of three studies which magnify the effects GPS systems have on the human brain, and found that avid GPS users have a higher risk of suffering from problems with memory and spatial orientation."

--
---- Greg

Interesting

I have long held the belief that the more we rely on electronics to do our thinking for us, the less we retain in our own brains. I know I am getting older and as I age I no longer can remember as well as I once did, but I also know that instead of committing something to memory, I rely on a piece of electronic circuitry to remember it for me. Paper maps were a pain to use but in using those maps it seems to me that we would actually commit the turns and routes on the map to memory. I will be interested to learn what other folks have to say about this.

--
With God, all things are possible. ——State motto of the Great State of Ohio

And now class...

maddog67 wrote:

Paper maps were a pain to use but in using those maps it seems to me that we would actually commit the turns and routes on the map to memory. I will be interested to learn what other folks have to say about this.

Yeah, paper maps (for the few of us old enough to appreciate them) did a few things depending on the kind of map, besides teaching us how to refold the bloody things.

For state / national maps, ones mind, if paying attention was filled with the rough characteristics of where things were geographically located amongst themselves. So direction like N, S, E and West became second nature. And if one had the fortune to learn about the celestial sky, one could navigate at night as easily as during the day. Some of the old maps had topographical lines on them so you could have a view about what was on the other side of the hill, mountain, gully or whatever.

The county / city maps usually had sufficient detail one could get a good mental picture of the layout. Many county / city maps had a theme to then. Some areas had mens or women's names a general area, others had states or towns and some described a destination but I've never figured out where Route 66 went mrgreen

Now me, for the most part, the GPS is more of an aid as I do my damndist cnot to look at the visual, but commit what roads intercept with others. So I form a picture of roads in my head. And this works well where the majority of roads are in a gridded structure. A lot of the west coast has roads that tend to run parallel and pirpendicular to each other.

Many of the roads around the rest of the country seem to follow property lines which meander around like a spaghetti noodle with unpredictable twists and turns. But with practice, I can give accurate directions from point to point describing major landmarks along the way.

The funny thing is, once learned, when you return many years later, for the most part, things don't tend to change all thAt much.

So I tend to think it's all a function of how you choose to utilize or otherwise allow the technology to subsume you.

So who's dependant upon whom.

--
Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

NSEW

BarneyBadass wrote:

So direction like N, S, E and West became second nature.

I no longer use N/S/E/W, since I live on an island, Oahu, where everything is oriented along the coastline, and the main points of reference are the ocean and the mountains -- makai and mauka.

In shopping for a GPS device, I initially had it in mind to supplement the standard street maps with topographical information, so the device would help do what I do to orient myself here -- look around to see which direction the mountains are. However, so far as I can tell, anything the device knows about topography is not displayed in the normal course of driving from place to place.

--
---- Greg

Orienting to Topography

Interesting post regarding navigation on Oahu with reference to topography.

I experienced a similar revelation in that I was doing navigation based on reference to mountains/coast direction, without even being conscious of it.

I grew up in central North Carolina where I never even had a conscious thought of going inland or toward the coast while driving.

When Navy duty took me out to California I found myself screwing up in navigation driving for a period of time because out there, the coast on on the left and mountains on the right... (ummm if you looking North). After a while my unconscious "compass" adapted.

After adapting to the left coast, when I came back to the right coast, I again found myself going through an adaptation period of the mountains on the left and coast on the right...

GPS & Memory

To start off let me say that I had a head injury at work several years ago.(3rd Degree concussion) It affected my short term memory.
Befor I had my accident if I was going on a trip I only had to look at the map once or twice and never had a problem with directions after that.
Since I had the accident I would forget some of the directions and would have to check the map more often. This is not easy if you are driving. For me the GPS is a God send. I don't have to worry if I made a wrong turn. Of course being 73 yrs old doesn't help. So I agree with the original statement that electronics makes thing too easy and doesn't make us use our minds, but some times it is not a option.

--
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things!

Topography.

There are some units that will display a pseudo topo view when in 3D mode, these units use the gmapdem file (3597 is one). You have to be zoomed out quite a way for the full effect. This is one reason why I like the auto zoom feature on long interstate drags but I wish it would kick in at a somewhat lower speed the 60mph. Recently I had the opportunity to view a simulated trip from Milan to Paris on a Nuvi with this feature and the route across the Alps was quite impressive.

topo view

dougcutler wrote:

There are some units that will display a pseudo topo view when in 3D mode, ...

That's very interesting. Do you have to buy additional topographical info to see that?

--
---- Greg

3D Terrain View

Is available on certain units only and cannot be bought as an accessory.

Cheers smile

https://support.garmin.com/support/searchSupport/case.faces?caseId={69477cf0-cabc-11e0-cf56-000000000000}

https://support.garmin.com/support/searchSupport/case.faces?caseId={2a5c7c30-abc7-11df-55a0-000000000000}

3D Buildings and 3D Terrain map layers are only available on the nuvi 3400, 3500, 3507, and 3508 series devices.

--
Nüvi 255WT with nüMaps Lifetime North America born on 602117815 / Nüvi 3597LMTHD born on 805972514 / I love Friday’s except when I’m on holidays ~ canuk

other models with 3D terrain

canuk wrote:

3D Buildings and 3D Terrain map layers are only available on the nuvi 3400, 3500, 3507, and 3508 series devices.

Thanks. Some googling brings up other models that have this.

Quote:

gmapdem.img is a Digital Elevation Model that produces 3d shaded terrain on high end Nuvi models like the 3597 and 3790 if they are in 3D mode. (thanks to t923347) You will not see the 3D effect if the device is not in 3D mode or in a flat area. However, if you are in an area with mountains and you zoom it, the effect will appear.

http://www.poi-factory.com/node/37552

--
---- Greg

umm

ok

--
[URL=http://www.speedtest.net][IMG]http://www.speedtest.net/result/693683800.png[/IMG][/URL]

Include the Nuvicam in the list.

I was in Best Buy this afternoon to check out the Nuvicam and it does indeed support the gmapdem file.

Same here.

I also kept referring to north, south, east and west incorrectly since I was often on the East coast and rarely on the West. It was odd how my mind was programmed

dandeman wrote:

When Navy duty took me out to California I found myself screwing up in navigation driving for a period of time because out there, the coast on on the left and mountains on the right... (ummm if you looking North). After a while my unconscious "compass" adapted.

After adapting to the left coast, when I came back to the right coast, I again found myself going through an adaptation period of the mountains on the left and coast on the right...

--
******************Garmin Nüvi 1300T****************Member 6523*******************

I can still rely on maps as

I can still rely on maps as it was something I did as a child and within my training for cadets (survival, orienteering competitions and finally flying school).

I still enjoy reviewing maps and remembering.

GPS for older drivers

I too think we have use-it-or-lose it brain mapping skills. Not that they can't be relearned if they start to fade if we still have basic cognitive skills.

When I got my first Garmin GPS years ago and had it on all the time, my ability to locate familiar places began to deteriorate. Or maybe it was my confidence or perceived ability to locate places while driving that was starting to slip. I started using GPS only when going somewhere I couldn't locate without it and did better at remembering.

Of course this is only anecdotal evidence and proves nothing, but other people have reported the same thing.

I also agree that as we age and have more trouble with this stuff, GPS can become more necessary.

But the danger of being too reliant so that we take guidance literally or misunderstand it is there.

I recall a case a few miles from where I lived a few years ago where an older woman using GPS died when, following the instructions to turn right but not seeing that she needed to go another 100 yards to reach the intersection, turned instead on train tracks, got stuck on the tracks, panicked and didn't exit the car, and her car was struck by a train. She had lived within a mile of this intersection and used it frequently for many years.

Moral of the story: at some point you can lose the judgment to drive safely even if you still have some degree of motor skill, and in that case, GPS may make things worse because they keep a driver on the road who should be off.

--
JMoo On

GPS for older drivers

I recall a case a few miles from where I lived a few years ago where an older woman using GPS died when, following the instructions to turn right but not seeing that she needed to go another 100 yards to reach the intersection, turned instead on train tracks, got stuck on the tracks, panicked and didn't exit the car, and her car was struck by a train. She had lived within a mile of this intersection and used it frequently for many years.

Moral of the story: at some point you can lose the judgment to drive safely even if you still have some degree of motor skill, and in that case, GPS may make things worse because they keep a driver on the road who should be off.[/quote]

I agree, You still have to use common sense, Just because I have to use my GPS on long trips (as I posted before, I had a head injury that screwed up my short term memory) I still know if a GPS tells me to turn into a building or into a road with closed signs not to do something like that

--
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things!

A year ago this past September...

dougcutler wrote:

There are some units that will display a pseudo topo view when in 3D mode, these units use the gmapdem file (3597 is one). You have to be zoomed out quite a way for the full effect. This is one reason why I like the auto zoom feature on long interstate drags but I wish it would kick in at a somewhat lower speed the 60mph. Recently I had the opportunity to view a simulated trip from Milan to Paris on a Nuvi with this feature and the route across the Alps was quite impressive.

...my wife and I took a trip out west. It was quite interesting as we drove across the Going-To-The-Sun road in Glacier National Park. It was great watching the mountains rise and fall as we drove across the road. I have a 3590 and it is an excellent unit. I would love to have a 3790 but my wife won't let be spring for it at the moment. Oh well! rolleyes

--
With God, all things are possible. ——State motto of the Great State of Ohio

@maddog67

Actually, the 3590 (introduced Jan. 2012) is a more up-to-date unit than the 3790 (April 2010). Keep your 3590. Maybe you meant the 3597 as that is the model referred to by dougcutter.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon