Complex tasks such as juggling produce significant changes to the structure of the brain, according to scientists at Oxford University.
In the journal, Nature Neuroscience, the scientists say they saw a 5% increase in white matter – the cabling network of the brain.
The people who took part in the study were trained for six weeks and had brain scans before and after.
Long term it could aid treatments for diseases like multiple sclerosis.
The team from Oxford’s Department of Clinical Neurology used a diffusion MRI which is able to measure the movement of water molecules in the tissues of the brain. …
At the six week point, a 5% increase in white matter was shown in a rear section of the brain called the intraparietal sulcus for the jugglers.
This area has been shown to contain nerves that react to us reaching and grasping for objects in our peripheral vision.
There was a great variation in the ability of the volunteers to juggle but all of them showed changes in white matter.