Surfing the Web is Good For Your Brain

Gary Small and colleagues at UCLA have found that surfing the web may actually be good for your brain:

Each volunteer underwent a brain scan while performing web searches and book-reading tasks.

Both types of task produced evidence of significant activity in regions of the brain controlling language, reading, memory and visual abilities.

However, the web search task produced significant additional activity in separate areas of the brain which control decision-making and complex reasoning - but only in those who were experienced web users.


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Huh, so it's just the surfing and not that reading that makes it better? I agree with gtron about the internet is making communication, verbal anyway, less and less desirable. Isn't it sad that people prefer to use their cell phones to text than talk?
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nice one terry!
also, just because it increases neural activity doesn't equate with good for you - the increased stress, over prolonged periods, repeated daily, could ultimately lead to anxiety, undue concern with irrelevant issues and objects, and ultimately enhance ADD symptoms by creating a 'need' for more info... just because the brain is more 'calm' during a read doesn't mean that a reader is worse off for it - in fact, more relaxed, more thoroughly engaged... it's apples and oranges, and drawing conclusions from these findings is pseudoscience.
I truly beleive that I have gotten less intellectually sharp in the last few years, and not more, as a result of web habits. It's funny that the web increases the opportunity for communication, but the form of communication is far less efficient - any time I have tried to discuss anything online (like the ideas behind something abstract that lead to me having a different opinion than you) I end up NOT finding common ground. when you are face to face, it's easier to accept a different opinion. Online, you just hit send and set of on your continued ego trip thru the cybersphere - I ain't no luddite, but this isn't a better way. just watch to see who blasts me for these comments as proof!
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Actually "the deluge of information" is healthy for the brain. Although information overload (in any context - school, work, reading, problem solving, etc) may make us mentally exhausted, it does improve thinking ability over time, similar to normal exercise. This is why people can use puzzle games and such to keep mentally spry.
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