Amazing lesson to learn from “The Cab Drivers of London”

Scientists in the early 2000s decided to study the London Black Cab drivers as they showed the world the capacity of brains to grow and adapt (known as Brain Plasticity). They achieved this complex feat by the rigorous training that is approximately two years long, which every London cab driver is required to complete.

Amazing lesson to learn from “The Cab Drivers of London”

The superpower of the Hippocampus (Maguire, 2000) was unlocked by the London Cab Drivers as their hippocampal volume was higher in those who had higher experience being a cab driver. The process of becoming a London cab driver is no easy task. An applicant needs to study the roads, navigation routes, etc. extensively, and then pass an extremely stringent test at the end of their training. If an applicant completes the training, they obtain the license of a London black cab driver. On average this training takes about 2-4 years. This training makes a London cab driver an ideal participant to study for spatial navigation. 

We must understand the function of the hippocampus to explore how it gives London Cab Drivers amazing skills. The hippocampus is the part of the brain associated with learning and memory. The posterior hippocampi is involved in the cognitive (functions that help people carry out simple to complex tasks) and spatial processing (the ability to take and organise information and create meaningful patterns out of them). 

In simpler words, the scientists are saying that the London cab drivers trained so extensively that the hippocampal region of their brain expanded due to their environmental demands. This concept of brain expansion is known as brain plasticity, and it’s a marvelous aspect of the human brain. 

Many such studies have been conducted on the London black cab drivers because they inspire us by showing us that there is a possibility for our brains to grow, learn and change. This aspect of the brain brought about a dramatic shift in how brain growth was perceived, which wasn’t previously thought even to be possible.