Maguire Core Study

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Maguire et al.
The hippocampus (pl) - part of the brain which focuses on spatial orientation and navigation
Humans have two hippocampi- left and right
The posterior hippocampus grows when necessary
`The Knowledge'
Before the use of SatNav's, London taxi drivers simply had to remember all the routes in
London city
They went through a lot of training and weren't able to become a taxi driver unless they
remembered these routes
They had to remember 320 routes and 25,000 roads
They trained for hundreds of hours on a small motorbike
They practiced spatial navigation intensively everyday
To investigate whether taxi drivers would have different hippocampi to non taxi drivers
Quasi experiment - comparing people's data
Matched pairs design - matched the ages of participants
Correlational data - investigated the relationship between the hippocampus volume and
the length of time as a taxi driver
Whether the participant was a taxi driver or not
The volume of the hippocampi from the MRI scan
A group of non taxi drivers were used to compare the results of the MRI scan.
The expert carrying out the analysis of the MRI scans didn't know whether the MRI was that
of a taxi driver or not.

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16 right handed male taxi drivers between the ages of 33 and 61 (self-selected sample)
16 right handed male aged matched non taxi drivers (opportunity sample)
Data from the MRI (3D image)scan was analysed using VBM (voxel based morphometry) of
pixel counting (Pixel counting works by counting the pixels within a 2D image) method (used
to measure the density of grey matter in the brain)
investigated a relationship between the brain scans and the length of time the taxi drivers
had been licensed…read more


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