Brain scans may help you make a career choice

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Last Updated 22 July 2010, 15:36 IST

Neuroscientists at the University of California are inching closer to a new brain-mapping method which they claim will help pinpoint a person’s talents just by looking at the landscape of his or her mind.

The so-called “psychometric assessments” could also show how good you are with your hands and whether you have any major “super talents”, the “Telegraph” reported.

Professor Richard Haier, a psychologist who led the research, said that science remained vague but eventually it could be used to guide your career choice.

“A person’s pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses is related to their brain structure, so there is a possibility that brain scans could provide unique information that would be helpful for vocational choice,” he said.

“Our current results form a basis to investigate this further.”

For the study, the researchers scanned the brains of more than 6,000 volunteers and compared the brain map with the results of battery of eight cognitive tests to see if there was a correlation between brain and aptitude.

They found that the amount of grey matter, parts of the brain used for computations, and white matter, the part used for communication, and where they were positioned seemed to indicate how good you are at a number of tasks including arithmetic, learning and remembering facts and figures.

The parts of the brain at the root of intelligence are called Brodmann areas and they are scattered around the organ.

According to the researchers, those with good speed of reasoning and memory from the tests were found to have large amounts of grey matter — special tissue packed with nerve cells — in the Brodmann areas.

In a further test, using MRI scans, the researchers correlated grey matter with independent ability factors — general intelligence, speed of reasoning, numerical, spatial, memory - and with individual test scores from a battery of cognitive tests completed by 40 individuals seeking vocational guidance.

(Published 22 July 2010, 15:36 IST)

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