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Internet Use Improves Brainpower

Better than reading a book

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[ Technology]

Searching online is better than reading books for increasing the brainpower of middle-aged and older adults, new research indicates.

A University of California Los Angles team of scientists found searching on the Internet stimulates parts of the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning.

The findings come from a study of 24 volunteers aged 55 to 76 who were asked to either search online or read while their brains were scanned using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Dr Gary Small
Dr. Gary Small

"The study results are encouraging, that emerging computerized technologies may have physiological effects and potential benefits for middle-aged and older adults," said principal investigator Dr Gary Small, a professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at University of California.

‘Internet searching engages complicated brain activity, which may help exercise and improve brain function."

The volunteers in the study were composed of two groups, half were experienced Internet users and the others were not.

All the study participants showed increased brain activity while reading a book, but Internet searches revealed a difference between the two groups. Those who were Internet savvy registered more brain activity, while those new to the Internet did not.

"Our most striking finding was that Internet searching appears to engage a greater extent of neural circuitry that is not activated during reading – but only in those with prior Internet experience," said Dr Small.

 

Internet Use Improves Brainpower
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  • http://bigparadox.wordpress.com/ Magnus Andersson

    The results of this particular study are not surprising.

    Reading can be quite a passive activity, you just read on and on. If you don’t understand something, maybe you will think a bit, maybe.

    Searching the net though is more engaging, especially if you are a bit used to it, because then you have already know that you need to think logically and strategically in order to get a good result, if what you search for is a bit difficult to find.

    I am quite good at searching and have a lot of practice. I even thought of starting a business offering companies to do searches for them. Searching is an art. Those not used to it does often not realize that.

    So,
    reading = little activity
    searching if not used to it = some activity
    searching and being used to it = a lot of activity

    Magnus

     

  • BobCrunch

    Websearching is mostly non-linear thinking whereas reading is more linear thinking.  Non-linear thinking is goal-seeking whereas linear thinking expands knowledge without necessarily having a specific goal in mind.  Both methods are effective in expanding knowledge.

     

  • Guest
    Fair enough, but this article contains a comma splice!  Evidently the grammar center of the brain isn’t being "activated" during internet searches…
  • http://www.divvaroom.com foudyl

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  • http://www.yain.com Edward Han

    Well, as I usually spend 10 hours or more with my computer using the Internet, I am happy to hear about this findings.

    If it is true then I will continue using it for long hours as my age is catching up with me. I do hope that it will help to increase my brainpower as well as improve my memory. My job needs me to recall lots of things so it will definitely helps if I can have a better memory with brainpower.

     

  • http://www.kombizz.photopoints.com/main/photos/photographer.aspx?ID=15096 kombizz

    It is an interesting article.

  • http://www.answerblip.com Facts

    Thanks for the information Mike. I enjoy reading your posts and am looking forward to the next one.

  • http://www.awakenacappella.com/lewisville-apartments/ lewis

    Thats great news for the younger generations. Our minds should be fine when we get older.

  • Guest

    These individuals spend so much time surfing the net at work, that for any workplace that offers Internet access, you can bet that 25% of the time your employees are not working. That’s 2 hours a day, every day.

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    The study results are encouraging, that emerging computerized technologies may have physiological effects and potential benefits for middle-aged and older adults,” said principal investigator Dr Gary Small, a professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at University of California.

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    I love reading paper book ! it’s better for the eyes than a screen i think ! Google want to make a big librari of all book in the world, we’ve got to be carefull, any other opinions about ebook ?

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    I think it would be always better to continue has to read on paper … books, because the screens are not good forcing for the eyes

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  • http://www.legalgist.com Phil

    While it may increase brain power, I am likewise convinced that it is creating a nation of nothing but ADD people. LOL.

    I do think it makes you more intelligent. No doubt about that.

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