Juggling improves brain wiring

Juggling and other complex tasks can produce significant changes to the structure of the brain, say British scientists.

The scientists studied 24 healthy young volunteers – none of whom could juggle – who were given juggling training for six weeks and had brain scans before and after.

The scientists found a 5 per cent increase in white matter – the cabling network of the brain – in the rear of the brain, an area that contains nerves that react to us reaching and grasping for objects in our peripheral vision.

Previous research has shown changes in grey matter, but changes in white matter have not previously been demonstrated, said the journal Nature Neuroscience.

They said everyone shouldn’t go out and juggle, but added the research would help develop treatments for conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

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