Why do London taxi drivers have larger hippocampus?
Taxi drivers given brain scans by scientists at University College London had a larger hippocampus compared with other people. This is a part of the brain associated with navigation in birds and animals. The scientists also found part of the hippocampus grew larger as the taxi drivers spent more time in the job.
What does the study with London taxi drivers tell us about the hippocampus and plasticity?
In her earliest studies, Maguire discovered that London taxi drivers had more gray matter in their posterior hippocampi than people who were similar in age, education and intelligence, but who did not drive taxis. In other words, taxi drivers had plumper memory centers than their peers.
Do cab drivers have bigger hippocampus?
The part of the brain that navigates spatial intelligence is called the hippocampus, a pair of two chestnut sized masses toward the back of your head. The researchers found that London cab drivers have uniquely bigger hippocampi than almost anyone else.
How many streets do taxi drivers in London have to memorize?
And a cab driver in London is required to know the quickest way off by heart. That is because they know the center of the British capital; they’ll have committed 320 runs across 25,000 streets, encompassing at least 20,000 landmarks, to memory.
How much do London cabbies make?
There are no official statistics, but drivers themselves will tell you that London cabbies can earn around £65,000 per year, about $100,000, while maintaining an enviably flexible schedule.
Do London cabbies still do the Knowledge?
Before you can drive one of these, you have to learn every street in London. Created in 1865 for horse-drawn carriages, the Knowledge has survived the automobile and London’s explosive growth into a global city. These days, though, technology is presenting the Knowledge with new challenges.
What did research with London taxi drivers show about the brain related to expertise?
Licensed London taxi drivers show that humans have a remarkable capacity to acquire and use knowledge of a large complex city to navigate within it. Gray matter volume differences in the hippocampus relative to controls have been reported to accompany this expertise.
Do London black cab drivers still have to do the knowledge?
Anyone who wants to drive an iconic London cab must memorize them all: the Knowledge of London. The Knowledge was introduced as a requirement for taxi drivers in 1865.
Do London taxi drivers still do the knowledge?
“The knowledge has existed for ~160 years and has never used any form of technology. It is a legal requirement for London taxi cab drivers to learn it” (Stok, 1999), which is tacit knowledge of London streets and associated places of interest.
Is the hippocampus larger in taxi drivers than in control subjects?
A more anterior hippocampal region was larger in control subjects than in taxi drivers. Hippocampal volume correlated with the amount of time spent as a taxi driver (positively in the posterior and negatively in the anterior hippocampus).
What part of the brain does being a taxi driver affect?
We found that length of time spent as a taxi driver correlated positively with volume in only one brain region, the right posterior hippocampus (Fig. (Fig.33a). Correction for age was made by including it as a confounding covariate.
Does stress affect the pattern of hippocampal gray matter in taxi drivers?
This suggests that spatial knowledge, and not stress, driving, or self-motion, is associated with the pattern of hippocampal gray matter volume in taxi drivers. We then tested for functional differences between the groups and found that the ability to acquire new visuo-spatial information was worse in taxi drivers than in bus drivers.
Does professional dependence on navigational skills in licensed London taxi drivers matter?
The converging results from these two independent analysis techniques indicate that the professional dependence on navigational skills in licensed London taxi drivers is associated with a relative redistribution of gray matter in the hippocampus.