Forget interviews, tests and career advisers, a brain scan may soon be the best way to discover your ideal job.

Neuroscientists are getting closer to being able to pinpoint your talents just by looking at the landscape of your mind.  They are slowly mapping the brain so they can match particular areas to particular skills and knowledge.


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

The latest research by the University of California, 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.

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.

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.”

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.

They found that, in general, there were patterns of grey matter that correlated to actual ability and intelligence, Prof Haier said.

The researchers discovered that men and women – although scoring the same results in IQ and other tests – had different brain make-ups which suggests that intelligence was not always linked to physical size of different parts of the mind.

The research was published in the journal BMC Research Notes.

Via Science Daily