Exploring small city maps

Experimental Brain Research - 2012-11-01Christova P, Scoppa M, Peponis J, Georgopoulos AP10.1007/s00221-012-3252-z
The exploration of city maps has exploded recently due to the wide availability, increasing use of, and reliance on small positioning and navigational devices for personal use. In this study, subjects explored small, 3-mile diameter circular maps exemplifying five different types of street networks common in the United States, in order to locate a hypothetical city hall. Chosen locations indicated that subjects are able to identify more accessible sites. Monitoring eye position revealed that women explored maps faster, using more widely dispersed but more narrowly focused gaze clusters than men. The type of street network influenced the time spent by the eyes in a locale and differentially affected the size of gaze clusters between women and men, underscoring the complex interactions of gender-specific strategies with street network types.