Where am I?” A snapshot of the developmental topographical disorientation among young Italian adults

It is now online the Article Where am I?” A snapshot of the developmental topographical disorientation among young Italian adults

by Laura Piccardi, Massimiliano Palmiero, Vincenza Cofini, Paola Verde, Maddalena Boccia, Liana Palermo, Cecilia Guariglia and Raffaella Nori published in PlosOne. It is an open access publication accessible to readers anywhere in the world.

Authors intend to investigate the occurrence of the Developmental Topographical Disorientation (DTD) in 1,698 young Italian participants. The sample is deliberately composed of individuals aged between 18 and 35 years to exclude people who could manifest the loss of the ability to navigate as a result of an onset of cognitive decline. The sample was collected between 2016 and 2019 using the Qualtrics platform, by which the Familiarity and Spatial Cognitive Style Scale and anamnestic interview were administered. The data showed that DTD is present in 3% of the sample and that the sense of direction is closely related to town knowledge, navigational strategies adopted, and gender. In general, males use more complex navigational strategies than females, although DTD is more prevalent in males than in females, in line with the already described single cases. Finally, the paper discusses which protective factors can reduce DTD and which intervention measures should be implemented to prevent the spread of navigational disorders, which severely impact individuals’ autonomy and social relationships.

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