Gray Matter Can Inform Career Choices, Says New Study

Researchers are reporting that brain scans using fMRI machines can identify networks of brain cells that correlate with various cognitive abilities, such as, having a good memory and speed of information processing. As LiveScience reports:

The results show people's cognitive strengths and weaknesses are linked to differences in the volume of gray matter in certain parts of the brain.

As such the findings offer "the possibility that brain scans could be used in the future to develop a profile of a person's gray matter in different areas of the brain," Richard Haier of the University of California, School of Medicine (Emeritus), Irvine, told LiveScience. "And this profile could be used to help people decide what kinds of vocations they might be good at just like test scores are used." ...

Brain scans could be used to complement the aptitude tests to give a more reliable idea of a person's ideal career.

"Nobody is suggesting brain scans would predict this so well you wouldn't need to talk to anybody, although this is a science-fiction possibility – but whether society would accept this is dubious," Haier said.

Considering that this research is very, very preliminary, no one would use it for career guidance now, but why "dubious" about its acceptance in the long run? It's just more information that might help people make better choices.

Go here for the full study.

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  • ||

    OK that certainly makes a lot of sense wow.

    www.privacy-tools.be.tc

  • ¢||

    That's not nearly enough worried caveats for a hypothesis as tendentious as "People think with their brains."

  • Old Mexican||

    It's just more information that might help people make better choices.

    Better choices about what? A "Career"?

    "And this profile could be used to help people decide what kinds of vocations they might be good at just like test scores are used."

    Because test scores are SO GOOD at "helping" people choose a career - like maybe 18th Century English Poetry major, or Social Studies.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Good points. I'm sure you'd rapidly discover that what many people were "suited for" doesn't actually align with any job or career.

  • ||

    "Oh, right. I was supposed to assign you a job. Let me just get your career chip installed. Hold out your palm. What are you scared of? It's just like getting your hand pierced."

  • ||

    I'm so happy that show is back.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I discovered my ideal career in another thread:
    "...(he) is constantly accompanied by a fast-talking, self-described billionaire adviser who wears a Hawaiian shirt caked with dried crud."
    I didn't even know such opportunities existed.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    And it's perfect, because all I have to do is start describing myself as a billionaire and find someone to advise.

  • ||

    mental hospitals would be a good place to start.

  • Citizen Nothing, Billionaire||

    You need some advice, L_I_T?

  • Brett L||

    I read that as a person who advises billionaires, not a billionaire who gives advise.

  • Citizen Nothing, Billionaire||

    Even better

  • Brett L||

    Although hopefully billionaires either advise or give advice and not "give advise". Damn you preview, damn you to Hell.

  • Koba II||

    Son: Oh, Father, I don't want to grow up to be king; I just want to study The Dance!

    Father: No, Son.

  • ||

    But she's got huge.....tracts of land.

  • Tunnelsnake Freddie||

    Hey, I passed my G.O.A.T. and was assigned as a hairdresser. Who know I'd end up in the Muddy Runner?

  • Obumer||

    As such the findings offer "the possibility that brain scans could be used in the future to develop a profile of a person's gray matter in different areas of the brain," Richard Haier of the University of California, School of Medicine (Emeritus), Irvine, told LiveScience. "And this profile could be used to help people decide what kinds of vocations they might be good at just like test scores are used." ...

    You mean I could use it to find out which "Atlases" are "Shrugging" or slacking off and not contributing their fair share to the community? Hmm, good to know.

  • Abdul||

    Back in the '70's, there was a big trend with using psychological tests to qualify job applicants. My dad told me that to get jobs in sales, engineering, finance, he had to take IQ tests, Rosharchs, the MMPI, etc.

    Turns out, none of that is really a great predictor of job performance. I'm kinda doubting this will be too.

  • ||

    In the early '70s, my dad was recruited by the CIA after his stint in the Marines, and they gave him a polygraph, where they asked various questions. When they got to "would you sacrifice your family for your country?" he said "hell no" and that was the end of that.

  • ||

    that's a bullshit question anyway. No one enters into a scenario where the only two conclusions are "death of a family" and "death of everyone else in the country". I know what they're getting at, but its a stupid question.

  • ||

    It was something more along the lines of "if foreign agents blackmailed/kidnapped your family, would you reveal secrets?", but I can't remember the exact details and was trying to be succinct. Of course, either way it's retarded.

  • Citizen Nothing, Billionaire||

    Gordian knot: I think the country wanted Epi's family dead.

  • Warty||

    If I could go back in time to kill someone, Epi's dad wouldn't be a bad choice.

  • ||

    Could you kill my mom instead? She's very annoying. That's why I like to spend so much time in with your mom.

  • Warty||

    She's not so annoying as long as you keep her mouth full. I thought you knew this.

  • ||

    I do, but the rotted and missing teeth always scratch me. But she told me you like that, and ask her to bite hard enough to draw blood.

  • Citizen Nothing, Billionaire||

    Newbies ALWAYS try to kill Epi's dad.

  • ||

    Can't you just kill Epi and leave the family out of it? It's not like his dad had a choice in ingesting all those hallucinogens the military ordered him to take.

  • ||

    If you kill me, I will become more powerful than could possibly imagine. On the other hand, if you kill my parents, I will be born to space iguanas instead, so it's all a wash.

  • ||

    Is space iguana some kind of euphemism?

  • Citizen Nothing, Billionaire||

    Excuse me. I need to be born to space iguanas.

  • Citizen Nothing, Billionaire||

    Or, space iguana THIS!

  • zoltan||

    If you kill me, I will become more powerful than could possibly imagine.

    Okay, TAO just said on the mosque thread "If you strike Sarah Palin down, she will become more powerful than you could possible imagine."

    Is this a new internet meme I am embarrasingly unfamiliar with?

  • Citizen Nothing, Billionaire||

    Oh, zoltan.
    Prepare to be schooled.

  • ||

    Wow, z. You really are a girl, aren't you? Star Wars, dudette.

  • Citizen Nothing, Billionaire||

    See?

  • ||

    Hey, I wasn't trying to be mean. I like women. It's just nice to have confirmation that we're not talking to a screen name tranny.

  • Warty||

    So, wait, there are at least three women here now? Holy shit.

  • ||

    Ladies love us, girls adore us. I mean even the ones who've never seen us like the way that we rhyme at a show. The reason why? Man, I don't know. So let's go, cuz.

  • Neu Mejican||

    a screen name tranny.

    Wait, Zoltan is a boy's name?

    But more to the point: http://gadgets.boingboing.net/.....zolta.html

  • josey||

    Easily the best reference of the week.

  • josey||

    ^^ that was for SF, by the way ^^

  • ||

    Future aptitude test: Sir you have alot of pre-frontal gray matter density. Have you ever considered a career in theoretical physics?

    Testee: No, I want to be a ditch digger

  • ||

    Maybe there will be a market for implants if you look weak in one area, but need to pass the aptitude test to get into the field you want...

  • ||

    So...somebody with severely atrophied gray matter would be advised to pursue a career in Congress, huh?

  • Dan Lavatan||

    Systems analyst. Systems analyst.

    Systems analyst.

    All right!

  • ||

    There are aptitude tests, and aptitude tests. I took one that was actually very good (and so have several members of my family) - Johnson O'Connor, in DFW.

    It actually links up what you're good at/like to do with actual careers (not to be confused with college majors).

  • Cy Entz||

    Hey, with this and DNA we've got you pretty well pegged.

  • ||

    Hmmmm, interesting potential. I wonder if such a technology could discriminate between reason and rationalization based on brain function.

    I would bet hard cash that a progressive brain "looks" fundamentally different than a libertarian one when examining problems. That would be a fascinating study.

  • The Ghost ofRichard Herrnstein||

    Racist!

  • .||

    Yeah, in a libertarian brain you'd be able to see activity.

  • JEP||

    Oh snap!

  • Neu Mejican||

    I would take that bet and give you 5 to 1 odds.

  • ||

    Some areas can be grown, such as the hippocampus in London taxi drivers.

    Maybe they can use this technique to identify training techniques to enhance each area so you could actually do something about the deficiencies..

  • Yonemoto||

    Can't help but post the obligatory:

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/09/fmrisalmon/

  • Mike Laursen||

    In related news, the study also found that high school guidance councilors have underdeveloped gray matter in all areas of their brains.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The future envisioned here is very, very, very, very, very far off. We will be able to predict major functional deficits from structure soon, perhaps, but the kind of subtle ability differentiation being discussed here is WAY off.

  • Citizen Nothing, Billionaire||

    You ever thought of taking on an adviser, Neu?

  • Neu Mejican||

    I don't think your skill set is suited to that job, sorry.

    Who advises the advisers?

  • sarahsmith||

    Fantastic point.The results show people's cognitive strengths and weaknesses are linked to differences in the volume of gray matter in certain parts of the brain.
    ---------------------------------------
    Careers

  • ||

    ilike this post

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