Cab Drivers Experience Neurogenesis in Posterior Hippocampi, but Lose Performance For Other Tasks

Three to four years later, however, the researchers found an increase in gray matter in the posterior hippocampi, or the back part of the hippocampus, among the 39 trainees who ultimately qualified as taxi drivers. This change was not observed in the non-taxi drivers or trainees who had failed the exams. [...]

Qualified taxi drivers showed better memory performance for London-based information during the follow-up testing than controls or those who failed the test; however, they displayed “surprisingly poorer learning and memory for certain types of new visual information,” compared with controls, the researchers write online today in the journal Current Biology, “suggesting there might be a price to pay for the acquisition of their spatial knowledge.” (via.)