Maguire 2000

This is a breif summary of the Maguire study on the hippocampi of a taxi driver

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Maguire
Aim
To investigate wheter changes could be detected in the brains of london
taxi drivers and to futuher investigate the fuctions of the hippocampus
in spatial memory
PPTS
Two groups
16 taxi drivers done the knowledge
16 non-taxi drivers control group
Mean age 44
Excluded if:
Left-handed
Female
Health issues
Method
Natural or quasi experiment IV = ptts
Ptts brains were scanned using and MRI
The methods used for this analysis, where:
VBM compares density of different areas of the brain
Pixe countung from photographic slices (1.5mm) through the
hippocampul region and give the total hippocampul volume
The person who anaylsed the data was completely unaware of the
data from VBM and the ptts
Results
VBM (3D)
Right + left hippocampi of taxi driver's brains had significantly
increased grey matter comapred to the controll Ppts
Pixel counting (2D)
Differences in spefic regions
Control ptts anterior right hippocampi was larger on the right
and body of the hippocampus
Taxi drivers posterior hippocampus was larger than control
group
Postitive correlations between time ptts been driving a taxi and
volume of right posterior hippocampus
Negative correlatioon between length of time spent driving and
volume of the anterior hippocampus

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Maguire
Evaluation
Reliability
o MRI scans = quantative data relating to volume and size
o Allows to carry statistical anaylisis
o Many controls Natched for age, sex and handedness
o Researcher oblivious to ptts and data from VBM
Ecological validity
o Scanned in MRI not norm enviroment
o No demand characteristics
Not easily replicated
o Expensive equipment
Ethics
o No helath risks
o All gave constent
Generalisability
o All male
o All right handed
o Not easy to apply to everyone
Value
o Proves plasciticity…read more

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