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Will an MRI Help Career Choice?

Will an MRI Help Career Choice?When searching for career guidance, maybe we should forget the Myers Briggs, the MMPI or other tests of general aptitude and mental prowess.

Researchers are now asking whether performance on such tests is based on differences in brain structure, and if so, can brain scans be helpful in choosing a career?

In a first step, researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Research Notes have investigated how well eight tests used in vocational guidance correlate to gray matter in areas throughout the brain.

Richard Haier from the University of California worked with a team of researchers to investigate the neurological basis for performance on each of the tests.

He said, “Individual differences in cognitive abilities provide information that is valuable for vocational guidance. There is some debate, however, as to whether results on individual tests of specific abilities may be more helpful than results on tests of broader factors, like general intelligence.

“We compared brain networks identified using scores on broad cognitive ability tests to those identified by using specific cognitive tests to determine whether these relatively broad and narrow approaches yield similar results.”

Using MRI, the researchers correlated gray 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, the grey matter correlates for the broad and narrow test types were different.

Speaking about the results, Haier said, “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.

“Our current results form a basis to investigate this further.”

Source: BioMed Central

Will an MRI Help Career Choice?

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Will an MRI Help Career Choice?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 18, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/07/23/will-an-mri-help-career-choice/15952.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.