How the Brain Uses Geometric Relationships for Orientation (video) University of Pennsylvania Share Print E-Mail Loading video... Caption The brain has a complex system for keeping track of which direction you are facing as you move about; remembering how to get from one place to another would otherwise be impossible. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have now shown how the brain anchors this mental compass. Their findings provide a neurological basis for something that psychologists have long observed about navigational behavior: people use geometrical relationships to orient themselves. Their experiment involved participants remembering the location of items in a virtual park; its architecture and design was critical. Because the environment's four museums were visually distinct but all had the same internal layout, the researchers could compare the brain activity of participants when they remembered the orientation of different sets of objects Those comparisons revealed what visual cues people were using to orient themselves within the virtual park. Raw video also available. Embed: http://youtu.be/5rXoMwWbgXk. Credit University of Pennsylvania Usage Restrictions None Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.