People who grew up in the countryside do have a better sense of direction than those raised in grid-like cities
The scientists from France and London tested nearly 400,000 people from 38 countries on their spatial navigation, using a video game called Sea Hero Quest. The mobile game, designed to help research into dementia, involves directing a virtual boat around certain routes that players have had to memorise. The authors found that individuals who grew up in more structured, grid-like cities, such as Chicago, performed better on game levels with a similar grid-like layout. However, those who grew up outside of cities (or in cities with less grid-like and more sprawling and complex layouts) were better at navigating such routes. Researchers say the ability to follow more disorderly routes (like roads in Prague or London) is a sign of better spatial navigation.