Birds do it, bees do it, and yes, we do it too

In order to survive, we have to navigate our way around the world. But while some insects use basic instincts to forage for food and find their way back to the nest, scientists suspect people create mental maps in order to find our way.

But not all of us have the same abilities. From a Calgary mother who can’t find her way across town to Inuit hunters who navigate across a winter landscape with no landmarks, scientists are studying the range of wayfinding abilities – and what’s at stake when we trade our mental maps for technology.

McMaster’s Sue Becker, professor of psychology, neuroscience & behaviour, will appear in this upcoming episode of CBC Television’s The Nature of Things. The show will air Thursday, December 5 at 8 p.m.