You have completed 0% of this survey
Caution: JavaScript execution is disabled in your browser or for this website. You may not be able to answer all questions in this survey. Please, verify your browser parameters.

McMaster University Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior Debriefing Information Page 

Impact of GPS dependency on wayfinding abilities in young adults  

Principal Investigator: Dr. Judith Shedden  ( P.I. Contact Number: 905-525- 9140 ext. 24345

Student Investigator: Yasaman Jabbari ( Researcher Contact Number: 905-525- 9140 ext. 24344

The goal of the study you participated in today is to investigate the impact of GPS use on spatial memory of young adults by running a series of online questionnaires and a navigation task. It is informative to know how GPS dependency and individual differences in working memory, anxiety and depression interact with our navigation abilities. Spatial memory relies heavily on the hippocampus for memory retrieval and integration. Hippocampal dysfunction is associated with high levels anxiety and depression, as well as deficits in working memory. Moreover, several studies have found relationships between long-term GPS use and poor performance in route learning tasks. Accordingly, this study aims to explore potential interactions between anxiety and depression levels, performance on navigation tasks and GPS dependency. 

Independent variables:  Online questionnaires (e.g. GPS dependency, driving experience, mood characteristics, and memory).  Navigation task test trials: same or different viewpoint as learning trials. 

Dependent variables:  Scores on online questionnaires. Accuracy scores in navigation experiment. Correlations between questionnaire scores and navigation scores.

Suggested articles to read:

  • Dahmani, L., Bohbot, V.D. (2020). Habitual use of GPS negatively impacts spatial memory during self-guided navigation. Scientific Reports, 10, 6310
  • Ruginski, I. T., Creem-Regehr, S. H., Stefanucci, J. K., & Cashdan, E. (2019). GPS use negatively affects environmental learning through spatial transformation abilities. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 64, 12–20

Counselling and Wellness Resources

McMaster Student Wellness Centre

  • Provide virtual and online support, in-person appointments are available if required
  • Counselling services are provided online
  • To book any kind of appointment, call reception at 905-525-9140 ext. 27700


Student Assistance Plan

  • A free, confidential, accessible serviced for McMaster students, their roommates, and immediate family members
  • Provides 24/7 support; intake services are available from 8am-8pm EST daily
  • Provides psychological counselling (via Zoom) and academic-life services (both provided through scheduled 50-minute sessions over phone, text, or secure video)



  • Free, confidential helpful that provides professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions, and well-being
  • Available 24/7/365 for post-secondary students in Ontario
  • 1-866-5454 or 211



  • Managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Targeted towards adults and youth to manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, and stress or worry 


LGBT Youthline

  • Call or text peer support services for (and by) 2STLGBQIA+ youth (16-29 years)
  • 4:00pm – 9:30pm EST, available through:
    • (+webchat)
    • Email:
    • Call: 1-800-268-9688
    • Text: 647-694-4275



  • An online peer support community for those who are 16+ living in Ontario
  • Anonymous service, users can access online forums to chat with peers with similar lived experiences


Barrett Centre for Crisis Support

  • Crisis support for “individuals who are experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis and who do not require a hospital stay”
  • Offers telephone crisis assessment and support, in-person crisis counselling, short-term crisis destabilization bed stay, group counselling, and peer support drop-in group
  • Support centre is not associated with the police