Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Orienteering: spatial navigation strategies and cognitive processes

Pio Alfredo Di Tore, Felice Corona, Maurizio Sibilio



This work argues how the cognitive processes involved in the orienteering peculiar activities (map  reading, path finding, spatial thinking) are also involved in the management of intersubjective relationship. In essence, the skills involved in reading maps and in developing strategies for spatial navigation are skills that allow us to see the world from different points of view, abandoning the egocentric perspective. To get out from egocentrism means being able to see the reality  from several points of view, however other than our own. In this perspective, the work develops describing orienteering as a sport, and facing a review of scientific literature on the cognitive processes involved in spatial navigation and management of spatial reference systems, in light of the contribution made to this specific field studies from neuroscience. The work thus illustrates the spatial theory of empathy and concludes with a proposal for the spread of orienteering as an effective teaching practice in inclusion-oriented education contexts and as a powerful learning resource for Special Educational Needs.


orienteering, spatial reference frames, spatial navigation, special educational needs


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