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MRI challenges Myers-Briggs

MRI challenges Myers-Briggs

Good news radiologists! There’s a new place to set up that MRI machine: the guidance counselor’s office. Researchers are starting to use MRI to document an individual’s ability to perform on vocational guidance tests.

In a study published in BMC Research Notes, 40 individuals took eight vocational guidance tests measuring general intelligence and speed of reasoning, and how they did on numerical, spatial, and memory tasks. Those same individuals underwent MRI scanning.

The researchers found the structure of the brain can denote cognitive abilities beyond general intelligence. In essence, MRI can also determine an individual’s ability to perform on those tests.

That information is valuable for vocational guidance, said Richard Haier, Ph.D., and lead author of the study. 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.

“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,” he said.


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