London taxi drivers’ brains grow to navigate London’s streets

taxis

Memorizing 25,000 city streets balloons the hippocampus.

Streets in Manhattan are arranged in a user-friendly grid.  Twenty dministrative districts, or arrondissements, form a clockwise spiral around the Seine in Paris. London is a different story. A map of its streets looks more like a tangle of yarn that a preschooler glued to construction paper than a metropolis designed with architectural foresight. Yet London’s taxi drivers navigate the smoggy snarl with ease, instantaneously calculating the swiftest route between any two points.

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