PJ Media

Is Googling good for the brain?

A a href=”http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2008/11/30/MN5C147QAB.DTL”new study /athinks it may be (via a href=”http://nalert.blogspot.com/2008/11/internet-searching-stimulates-brain.html”Newsalert/a):br /br /blockquoteCan Googling delay the onset of dementia?br /br /A new UCLA study, part of the growing research into the effects of technology on the brain, shows that searching the Internet may keep older brains agile – it’s like taking your brain for a walk.br /br /It’s too early to conclude that technology will help vanquish Alzheimer’s disease, but “our study shows that when your brain is on Google, your neural circuitry changes extensively,” said psychiatrist Gary Small, director of UCLA’s Memory Aging Research Center….br /br /The MRI results showed that both text reading and Internet searching stimulated the regions of the brain controlling language, reading, memory and vision. But the Internet search lit up more areas of the brain, additionally activating the regions controlling complex reasoning and decision making. The increased brain activity, which is probably due to the many rapid choices such searches involve, suggests that subjects had a richer sensory experience and heightened attention./blockquotebr /br /We hear so much bad press about the internet, it’s nice to hear something positive. However, I must say, in my experience, the more time I spend on the internet, the more adept I get at it, but the less adept I get at other parts of my life. Mainly, because I am thinking about something I read or thinking about something I want to read or find and I don’t focus on what I am doing in my non-virtual life. In other words, my memory seems fine on the internet but off of it, I notice I misplace things, can’t remember what I was doing, or have a harder time focusing on non-computer-related tasks.br /br /What do you think, does your internet time help or hurt your memory?