Neuroplasticity Although localization of function does occur… • The specific location of that function is not fixed for all individuals. • It can change according to environmental demands
Rosenzweig and Bennett (1972) Findings • Rats in the stimulating environment had an increased thickness in the cortex. • The frontal lobe (thinking, planning g, decision making) was heavier in the rats that had been in the stimulating environment. • Having toys created the best conditions for developing cerebral thickness.
Rosenzweig and Bennett (1972) Issues • These findings can be generalized to human only to some extent. • it is difficult to decide what is considered to be anenriched environmental for a specific person. • Rats were sacrificed?
Maguire et al. (2000) • Aim: To investigate whether or not the hippocampus plays a role in human spatial memory
Maguire et al. (2000) Method: • London taxi drivers with a range of age and experience were the participants because their work requires the extensive use of spatial navigational skills • Matched pairs design: participants were age and gender matched with a control group • Two different types of MRI scanning were used to assess how the brains of the taxi drivers differed from the control group • Quasi experiment
Maguire et al. (2000) • showed significantly more grey matter in both left and right hippocampi of the taxi drivers compared to the control group
Maguire et al. (2000) Evaluation: • No researcher bias • No ethical implications • Only observed males • Only observed 16 matched pairs • Nature vs. Nurture debate: did the driving influence the change in the hippocampus, or did their larger than average hippocampus lead them to become taxi drivers?