People who grew up in the countryside do have a better sense of direction than those raised in grid-like cities

Experts tested people's spatial navigation using Sea Hero Quest, a mobile game It involves directing a tiny boat around routes that players have had to memorise People from the countryside were better on average at following complex routes

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.