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People lost in the woods or in the field, you start to zigzag and walk in circles, and then returning on their tracks. This behavior is usually associated with human exposure to the Goblin, fairy, or similar otherworldly forces. The place where this happened (or is constantly happening), is called the "anomalous zone".

But what can explain this behavior? This is one of the issues "orientation at movement" which is investigated by scientists in the study of the so-called "locomotory", that is, any movements of the body, and there is no definitive answer.

People who are invited to run in a straight line, watching while one or more targets in front and on the sides, as a rule, deviate from the original straight to the left, and the best explanation is a greater concentration of visual attention on the left part of the field of vision, which in turn, caused by a well-known fact of asymmetry of the cerebral hemispheres (the visual centre in the left hemisphere).

In all of these studies were also conducted learning walk in a straight line, for example, in the experiments of American scientists Klatsky Roberta and John Reaser. But these experiments were conducted only over short distances or under very specific conditions, so the scientists were able to detect only that in this walk the people blindfolded will sooner or later have to deviate from a straight line.

Scientists from the Institute of biological Cybernetics. Max Planck, calling upon the French and canadian colleagues, has mobilized two small groups of volunteers, one of which (consisting of 3 people) were asked to walk for 2-3 hours straight in a sandy desert (Tunisia) and the other (6 students) — 4 hours in a dense forest near tübingen. And in the most different conditions — day, night, when the sun, in the moonlight and in cloudy weather, blindfolded and without a bandage.

The only thing common in all these travels, was a technical novelty: each volunteer had a backpack GPS device, through which his route on the ground could be traced back long enough and exactly. The stories that lost people begin to walk in a circle, first received empirical confirmation. The experiment showed that people walking in the night without the moon or by the day under cloudy clouds sky, as well as just with a blindfold on, that is, without visual cues, in 100 m and 150 m beginning to stray from the straight and Dodge left, then right, and the thing really describe the circles, sometimes very small radius up to 20 meters and less, and then return to his own tracks and cross them without even noticing it.

The above mentioned Robert Klatzky suggested, it's all about "lateral preference" — one foot in humans is usually stronger or even a little longer than the other, so they fold, who's left, who right. But this is contradicted by the fact that in the experiments of the scientists of Tubingen volunteers circled to the right and left in the most random way. Moreover, when the experimenters specifically gave his my walking shoes where one heel was significantly higher than the other, the situation has not changed — the directions of the circles when they appeared, were still completely random.

Head of research Ian Suman explains your results a gradual accumulation of noise in the sensorimotor system of the body. This means the following: in the process of walking the human body and then changes its position, and the most random, and signals of it arrive in the brain, forming interference (noise) in his program "go straight". The fact that such "noises" are indeed confirmed in experiments by French researchers. They found that even when walking in place, but with a blindfold, to keep his body focused all the time — straight-forward — almost impossible — it's definitely a little more or a little less turns on its axis to the right and left, and completely randomly, without any dependence on "lateral preference". These micropowered the body immediately registered the vestibular apparatus, which delivers to the brain the appropriate signals.

(Excerpts from an article by Raphael Nudelman. Magazine "Knowledge is power" №3 March 2010, page 110)

Whenever new data becomes available the article will be updated.

Translated by «Yandex.Translator»

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