Changes in London taxi drivers' brains driven by acquiring 'the Knowledge', study shows - you can teach and old dog new tricks

Research has found that people who have attempted the four year "Knwoledge" course - on the layout and landmarks of London, had significant differences in the posterior hippocampus - those trainees that qualified as taxi drivers had a greater volume of grey matter in the region than they had before they started their training. 

On the memory tasks, both qualified and non-qualified trainees were significantly better at memory tasks involving London landmarks than the control group. However, the qualified trainees - but not the trainees who failed to qualify - were worse at the other tasks, such as recalling complex visual information, than the controls.

The conclusion is that the brain remains "plastic" into adulthood and it is possible to develop its structure and for adults to acquire new skills.

http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/News/Media-office/Press-releases/2011/WTVM053658.htm