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Maguire

Maguire 

Aim: To investigate whether hippocampi were larger in taxi drivers due to navigational experiences compared to non-taxi drivers 

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Participants

Participants 

  • 16 male licensed male taxi drivers
  • all passed 'the knowledge'
  • Right handed
  • ages between 32-62 / mean age 44
  • all licensed for atleast 16 months (mean 14.2 years)
  • healthy medical, neurological and psychiatric profiles
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Method

Method 

  • Quasi 
  • IV = taxi driver or non taxi driver
  • data collected via 2 different types of MRI scans:

1. Voxel based morphology

2. Pixel counting 

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Results

VBM Results: 

  • Taxi drivers = Increased grey matter volume in hippocampi
  • Control group = greater grey matter volume in anterior of hippocampi 

Pixel Counting

  • No difference in overall volume of hippocampi between groups
  • Confimed regional difference

Correlations 

  • Signioficant positive correlation between volume of right prosterior hippocampi and time spent as taxi driver
  • Negative correlation of size of anterior hippocampi and time spent as taxi driver
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Conclusions

Conclusions 

  • Hippocampi shows plasticity = volume increased with navigation experience


  • Correlational results = hippocampi size increased after the knowledge not before, as an increase in time spent as a taxi driver = greater volume of right propsterior hippocampus
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Evaluation

Evalutaion

Strength

  • VBM = precise and objective measurements 
  • Pixel counting = elimated possibility of researcher bias and demand charcateristics

Weaknesses 

  • No cause and effect established (no measure of taxi drivers before they became taxi drivers)

Uses 

  • Important implications for rehabilitation of people with neurological damage.
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