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SCIENCE FILE | SCIENCE IN BRIEF

You Talking to Me? Study of Cabbies Shows Brain Growth

March 16, 2000|From Times staff and wire reports

The portion of the brain responsible for mapping and navigating is significantly larger in taxi drivers, according to a study appearing Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers led by Eleanor Maguire of University College London used magnetic resonance imaging and found that the brain region called the posterior hippocampus was larger in 44 male taxi drivers than in 50 males who did not drive taxis. The finding confirms the idea that the human brain responds even in adulthood to repeated mental challenges. No word on why the male brain prefers not to ask for directions.

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