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The purpose of the article is to investigate the structural changes in the human brain caused by a learning environment. The study took place in London, where taxi drivers, judged as average people with average Intelligent Quotients (IQs), took part. From the results of the study, the researchers identified that the human brain takes certain structural changes if a learning experience proves successful. However, for people that fail to go through a learning experience successfully, there are no structural changes to the brain.
The study used a longitudinal research approach to collect data to make final conclusions and suggestions. In the study, 79 male taxi drivers participated. The investigation started after their initial registration to start the training and after they graduated to become fully qualified taxi drivers. According to previous research studies, in the process of learning about the streets of London, taxi drivers documented a higher growth in the Gray Matter (GM) compared to other individuals. As a result, this particular study was to check if the previous findings were true and to what extent. The test showed that more than 50% of the taxi driver trainees failed to qualify.
Not all the 79 subjects investigated at the start of the training went on to pass eligibility. Instead, 39 qualified while the rest dropped out at some point of the training. MRI Scanning and Cognitive tests were applied to make sure that all the participants were in perfect health. In addition, the scans were put in store for future reference to identify the difference between the scans at the end of the learning process.
Results and Findings
According to the study results, it was identified that trainees that failed to go through the training successfully did not experience brain structural changes. For example, the hippocampal plasticity changes in the brain were observed in the drivers after three to four years experience as taxi drivers. Acquiring the knowledge about London had an impact on the posterior hippocampus. On the other hand, the hippocampus creates a unique space for storing memories about the streets of London and navigating through them.
With the demands of the spatial memory in the brain, the posterior hippocampus and the anterior hippocampus develop a diverging nature to accommodate the memory.
Brain structural changes in adulthood occur under specific conditions. For example, concomitant structural changes in the brain develop with the growing need for the brain to learn and acquire new knowledge. In addition, adults also experience an improvement in memory with increasing demand for the memory spatial. However, the availability of extra memory domain in a part of the brain costs other areas of the brain to suffer from a deficiency. As a result, performance levels in one part of the brain grow while in another part, the performance shrinks.
Personal Take on the Research Study
I make a positive review of the study and its outcome. With the follow-up of the trainees that made it through the training, I observe that the survey used the right data and information to come up with a conclusion. However, it has a limitation because it does not highlight factors that cause other trainees to fail. From the study findings, I have gained an insight concerning why some people excel in one aspect yet fail in another. To my understanding, as these individuals seek to perfect one area, they cause a deficiency in another aspect of the brain because creating a positive development in a part of the brain causes a deficiency in another. As a result, the structure of the brains turns out as unbalanced.