August 21, 2009
People do walk in circles when lost
People really do walk in circles when they don't have visual cues to tell them where to head, scientists in Germany said.
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tubingen examined the routes of people who walked for several hours in Tunisia's Sahara desert and Germany's Bienwald forest.
Walking in circles is caused by small random errors in brain sensory signals, Max Planck researcher Marc Ernst said.
Even though people may be convinced that they are walking in a straight line, their perception is not always reliable, Ernst said.