ISBN-10:
0674244575
ISBN-13:
9780674244573
Pub. Date:
Publisher:
From Here to There: The Art and Science of Finding and Losing Our Way

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

by Michael Bond

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Overview

A wise and insightful exploration of human navigation, what it means to be lost, and how we find our way.

How is it that we can walk unfamiliar streets while maintaining a sense of direction? Come up with shortcuts on the fly, in places we’ve never traveled? The answer is the complex mental map in our brains. This feature of our cognition is easily taken for granted, but it’s also critical to our species’ evolutionary success. In From Here to There Michael Bond tells stories of the lost and found—Polynesian sailors, orienteering champions, early aviators—and surveys the science of human navigation.

Navigation skills are deeply embedded in our biology. The ability to find our way over large distances in prehistoric times gave Homo sapiens an advantage, allowing us to explore the farthest regions of the planet. Wayfinding also shaped vital cognitive functions outside the realm of navigation, including abstract thinking, imagination, and memory. Bond brings a reporter’s curiosity and nose for narrative to the latest research from psychologists, neuroscientists, animal behaviorists, and anthropologists. He also turns to the people who design and expertly maneuver the world we navigate: search-and-rescue volunteers, cartographers, ordnance mappers, urban planners, and more. The result is a global expedition that furthers our understanding of human orienting in the natural and built environments.

A beguiling mix of storytelling and science, From Here to There covers the full spectrum of human navigation and spatial understanding. In an age of GPS and Google Maps, Bond urges us to exercise our evolved navigation skills and reap the surprising cognitive rewards.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674244573
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 05/12/2020
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 423,596
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Michael Bond is a science writer and former Senior Editor at New Scientist. His work has appeared in Nature, Aeon, Discover, the New York Times, Foreign Policy, Financial Times, and elsewhere. His book The Power of Others: Peer Pressure, Groupthink, and How the People Around Us Shape Everything We Do won the British Psychology Society Science Book of the Year Award.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Introduction 1

1 The First Wayfinders 5

2 Right to Roam 21

3 Maps in the Mind 41

4 Thinking Space 73

5 From A to B and Back Again 95

6 You Go Your Way, I'll Go Mine 111

7 Natural Navigators 133

8 The Psychology of Lost 155

9 City Sense 183

10 Am I Here? 201

11 Epilogue: The End of the Road 217

Acknowledgements 227

Notes 229

Selected Bibliography 269

Index 271

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