People in Japan are nodding their heads in agreement over the four-panel comic, which perfectly reveals the different brain processes that make all the difference.
If you’ve ever had to navigate on a road trip to a faraway destination, or even just set out on a short walk around a new neighbourhood, you probably have an idea of whether or not you’re blessed with a great sense of direction.
Japanese artist and Twitter user @yuuya_ponta admits to being one of the unlucky ones who gets lost wherever she goes, an expression that’s succinctly expressed in Japanese as “hokouonchi”, which uses kanji characters that literally translate to “tone-deaf direction”.
As a way of explaining this predicament to others in an easy-to-understand manner, @yuuya_ponta recently used her artistic talents to create a four-panel comic reveling the different brain processes that take place in individuals with a good sense of direction and those who don’t.
▼ Let’s take a look at the person who has no trouble navigating their way around a new environment.
The first panel at the top of the image above shows a person with a good sense of direction standing at the front of a supermarket. What’s actually inside this person’s head is revealed in the detailed, map-like image beneath it.
According to @yuuya_ponta, there’s an inbuilt compass inside these types of people, who are able to form a mental image of their environment on a grander scale, which takes in the surrounding buildings and the route they’ve used to arrive at their destination. Because of this, they’re able to connect their current location with previous ones leading up to it.
▼ Now let’s look at a person who doesn’t have a good sense of direction…
The first panel is almost identical to the initial one in the previous image, showing a person standing outside a supermarket. Inside this person’s head, however, is a much simpler image, which contains only the supermarket store sign. Unlike someone with a sense of direction, this person is unable to perceive the surrounding environment, nor the route taken to get there, which means the supermarket appears on its own without any context, creating a problem when it comes time to return to where they’ve come from.
Since posting her comic online, @yuuya_ponta has received roughly 60,000 likes and retweets.
方向音痴の話が話題なので方向音痴とそうじゃない人の景色を観た時の脳内の違いを図にしました。 ちなみに私は体内コンパスと左右感覚が死んでるタイプの方向音痴です。 https://t.co/gYr3ayE5WC—
💮ぽぽぽぽーん💮 (@yuuya_ponta) April 06, 2017
People have been leaving comments like:
“This is me exactly! I have no internal compass and never know which direction I should be heading.”
“I’m able to create a visual image of a map in my head like that…the only thing is, the map is always wrong!”
“I’m always trying to explain why I have no sense of direction – now I can just show them this!”
“This explains the difference perfectly!”
“I wouldn’t be able to survive without car navigation systems and Google Maps. Even then, if I have to guide someone around I get really stressed out.”
In showing the difference between those with a sense of direction and those without, @yuuya_ponta also has a handy tip for those who get stressed when it comes to finding their way about town. She says it’s always best to go through the route using street view on Google Maps before heading out so you can match up left and right turns with location markers like shops and intersections. While this is something many of us are likely to do anyway, it’s a helpful tip to avoid running late for an appointment, especially in ever-punctual Japan!