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Dr Maguire said: "It has long been thought that if there's damage to the brain there's only a limited amount of plasticity in an adult that can help them recover.

"Now direct things in the environment, like navigation, appear to show changes in the brain. So we could in the future see some rehabilitation programmes that use that kind of knowledge."

Dr Maguire's research is published in the US scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


The Knowledge According To The Taxi Directory

The earliest Taxis or Hackney Carriages as they are known, have been working the streets of London since the early 17th century providing the people of London with a renowned taxi service, commonly known as the London Black Cab, recognized as being the best taxis in the world. What makes these taxi drivers the best is known in the taxi trade as The Knowledge. A test designed to ensure every licensed taxi driver in the United Kingdom is competent at this trade and that they offer the highest service levels possible.

Driving a Taxi in the UK is not just a matter of picking up your keys and jumping in your cab, there are a few things you need to do before you can get you license to drive. Firstly you have to be police checked to make sure you have a clean driving license and no criminal record. You must also undertake a medical examination to ensure you’re a fit and healthy person to drive a taxi. Then you are tested on your knowledge of the area you intent to work in. All Local Authorities are responsible for granting taxi drivers licenses they require Hackney Carriage drivers to sit an exam and answer questions such as road locations, routes between given points and places of interest and importance such as hospitals, police stations pubs and clubs etc. All designed to ensure any licensed taxi driver knows his or her area and competent proper person to do so.

The standards of such examinations are set by each local authorities licensing department. Probably the most difficult of all is over seen by the Public Carriage Office in London. To drive one of the world famous Black Cabs or Hackney Carriages as they are also known you have to pass the worlds most intensive taxi training course known as the Knowledge the test itself dates back to 1865 and has changed little since. It requires a driver to have a detailed knowledge of central London within a radius of six miles of Charing Cross Station. There are some 25000 roads and streets 320 runs or routes across town as well as places of interest, tourist attractions and important landmarks to learn. Quite a task for anyone but for the knowledge boys whose ambition it is to drive a London Taxi, a goal that takes on average 40 months to achieve.

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