Dementia Afloat

Continuing the boat theme in my last blogpost, I thought I would mention Sea Hero Quest

Becoming disoriented is one of the earliest signs of dementia apparently. Neuro-scientists from University College London and the University of East Anglia, seeking to devise a test to detect the early indications of Alzheimer's, invented a game called Sea Hero Quest in which players endeavour to navigate their way at sea.

Millions have played it and it transpires that one outcome of the research linked to the game is that men are reputedly better at navigating the oceans than women!

All that effort when they could just have given me a call. Certainly I can vouch for Mister E's innate ability to find his way across hundreds of miles of empty ocean.

However, had the game been called Road Hero, I wonder if the results would have been the same. Even with a SatNav in his car, my husband has a curious inability to find his way from A to B. Fortunately, as he has always struggled in this respect, dementia is certainly not the cause.

Apparently researchers  claim that the difference between men's and women's ability to navigate is attributable to inequalities between the sexes rather than a gender-based predisposition. Consequently the difference in capacity is more striking in countries where sex-discrimination is rife.

All of which is very interesting but I doubt somehow if, male or female, there's any overwhelming interest in heading off on a long voyage into the unknown if you think you might be on the verge of serious mental decline. If you do, then your other half or even crew (if you are so lucky) is surely not going to let you remain at the helm to just keep going round in circles. Mister E and I, of course, will have plenty of opportunities to test our mental alacrity and navigational skills when, all being well, we finally launch the restoration project into the water next Spring.



  1. I think I created a few NEW connections in my neurons while driving on the left side of the road in Scotland for 3 weeks! My brother did the navigating and struggled although he "likes maps"!

    1. I have to confess that hiring a left hand car abroad always results in me aimlesssly attempting to open the car door rather than change gear; hopefully you hired an automatic and at least avoided that faux pas!

  2. Interesting research! For us, I am (far!) better at navigating with a map than Dave is so if he's driving and I've got the atlas, we usually get where we're going ok. (Vice versa leads to serious grumps!) However I have absolutely no sense of direction so once we start wandering around a new town, Dave will be able to get us back to our vehicle whereas, without my map, I'm soon ridiculously lost

    1. Interesting how we quickly learn each other's strengths and weaknesses with/without a map when one of us thinks we are lost. In our case I'm the one with the directional nose on the road or about town but he's a whizz on the open sea or in the countryside.


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