Video gaming, but not reliance on GPS, is associated with spatial navigation performance

Emre Yavuz, Chuanxiuyue He, Christoffer J. Gahnstrom, Sarah Goodroe, Antoine Coutrot, Michael Hornberger, Mary Hegarty, Hugo J. Spiers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent evidence suggests that greater reliance on GPS-assisted devices is associated with poorer navigation ability. Studies have also shown that video gaming may be associated with navigation ability. We investigated the effect of video game experience and reliance on GPS on navigation ability using the mobile app Sea Hero Quest, which has been shown to predict real-world wayfinding performance. We tested a group of US-based participants' wayfinding performance (n = 822, 367 men, 455 women, mean age = 26.3 years, range = 18–52 years) and asked them a series of questions relating to reliance on GPS and video game experience. A multiple linear regression model found no significant association between reliance on GPS and wayfinding performance. There was a significant association between weekly hours of video gaming and wayfinding performance. These findings provide a platform for future intervention-based research studies investigating whether daily activities may causally enhance or disrupt specific cognitive abilities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102296
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Early online date22 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Apr 2024

Cite this