Documenting the Coming Singularity

Friday, October 17, 2008

Surfing the Web Stimulates Older Brains

Blogger's Note: An encouragement for older folk to surf!

WebMD Health News - October 14, 2008, by Julie Edgar

Web-Savvy Baby Boomers, Seniors Plumb More Regions of the Brain During Internet Searches

Googling is good for Grandpa and Grandma, says a new study by researchers at UCLA.

The study, which looked at brain activity during web searches, resulted in a fascinating finding: Middle-aged to older adults who know their way around the Internet had more stimulation of decision-making and complex reasoning areas of the brain than peers who were new to web surfing.

What’s more, reading didn’t stimulate the same number of brain areas as Internet searching.

The UCLA study, funded by the Parvin Foundation, involved 24 adults from 55 to 78 years old, half of whom had experience searching the web from once a day to many times a day. The other half reported using the Internet never to once a month. The participants didn't have any neurological conditions such as dementia and were similar in age and educational level.

In order to measure brain activity during reading and web searches, the 24 adults underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans while separately performing both activities, either a new Internet search or reading text on a computer screen that was formatted to look like a book.

While reading stimulated the same areas of the brain in both groups, those who regularly searched the Internet showed twice the increase in brain activity when performing the new Internet search than their counterparts, especially in the areas of the brain that control decision making and complex reasoning.

Read source>>

Technological Singularity and Futurism is updated often; the easiest way to get your regular dose is by subscribing to our news feed. Stay on top of all our updates by subscribing now via RSS or Email.