London's cabbies are the best trained in the world. They train themselves in 'The Knowledge'. This means knowing every street and district throughout London and the best routes at different times of day - many square miles. Riding motor scooters they drive around endlessly day and night, sometimes for months, in an effort to pass their exam and receive a cabbie's license.
In 2000, researchers at the University College of London published an intriguing brain imaging study involving these trainees. They sought to discover what happens to the brains of cabbies as they go through this training. What they found out was dramatic and surprising. Researchers found a difference in the size and shape of crucial brain structures in cabbies relative to a control group.
In particular the hippocampus, a brain structure critically involved in memory and navigation, was larger than those who were in the control group.
This was an early look into the brain's incredible ability to change to meet the demands placed on it, and to respond with increased capacity for tasks that exercise it.
Ten years later we now know that given the right exercise the brain reshapes itself - known as neuroplasticity, and its consequences are now only beginning to be appreciated. The emerging science points to the fact that brain training can dramatically change and remodel the brain. This results in people living more effective and productive life. Brain Training Matters!