Using GPS devices may switch off your brain's GPS

If you’ve ever thought of your smartphone as your second brain, your analogy may not be far off. A new study shows that when we follow navigational instructions, such as those given by GPS devices, the parts of our actual brains that normally perform navigation remain quiet.

The findings show that “you delegate the task of navigation to your GPS, and you merely follow the directions, which is yet a demanding task, but perhaps not as demanding as actual route planning,” said the study’s first author, Amir-Homayoun Javadi, a neuroscientist at the University of Kent in the U.K.

This might mean that, over time, humans will get worse and worse at using their brains for pathfinding, Javadi told Live Science.