From Here to There: The Art and Science of Finding and Losing Our Way

Michael Bond. Harvard Univ., $29.95 (282p) ISBN 978-0-674-24457-3
Science writer Bond (The Power of Others) covers the subject of navigation in this fascinating study. Among other topics, he explains why people don’t get lost more often, how brains makes “cognitive maps,” and how an “understanding of the world around us affects our psychology and behavior.” The ability to navigate was essential to the survival of early humans, Bond notes: it allowed Homo sapiens to “cultivate extensive social networks” by traveling to other small groups. Bond offers lessons in brain physiology, explanations of how memories aid navigation, and an examination of the evidence that there’s a difference between men’s and women’s navigational skills. But it’s Bond’s real-life examples—reindeer herders in northwestern Siberia and the unsettling story of a skilled hiker lost on the Appalachian Trail, among others—that most illuminate his points. Readers will also encounter a grim look at what dementia and Alzheimer’s patients experience (“how distressing it must be to wake and recognize nothing”) and learn that scientists are still undecided if overreliance on GPS is related to cognitive decline. Adventure-loving readers will be richly rewarded. (May)
Reviewed on : 01/16/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-6620-0815-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-6620-0819-1
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-674-26041-2
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