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orientationorientation (fr.); Orientierung (ger.)

  • The action or process of ascertaining the one's position relative to the points of the compass, or other specified points; the faculty of doing this; awareness of one's bearings or relative position. Also: the action of taking up a particular position or bearing; (Zool.) the faculty by which birds and other animals find their way back to a place after going or being taken to a place distant from it (as in homing pigeons and migratory birds). (OED 2012)
    Orientation ist es, durch welche der ganze menschliche Körper zum Seh- und Tastorgane wird, und der Muskelsinn, so fern er im Dienste der Raumsinne thätig ist, wird orientirender Sinn
    Tourtual, C.T. (1827). Die Sinne des Menschen in den wechselseitigen Beziehungen ihres physischen und organischen Lebens: 243.

    sens de l’orientation

    Viguier, C. (1882). Le sens de l’orientation et ses organes chez les animaux et chez l’homme. Rev. Philos. 14, 1-36.

    Wallace’s ingenious theory of accounting for orientation by what he calls ‘brain registration’, will not explain what has been described; but that the mysterious homing faculty is […] analogous to the migratory instinct.

    Anonymus (1883). The modified instincts of a blind cat. Amer. Nat. 17, 220-222: 222.