"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 Small, who is also the director of UCLA's Memory and Aging Research Center.Take that, whippersnappers.
In fact, researchers found that during Web searching, volunteers with prior experience registered a twofold increase in brain activation when compared with those with little Internet experience. The tiniest measurable unit of brain activity registered by the fMRI is called a voxel. Scientists discovered that during Internet searching, those with prior experience sparked 21,782 voxels, compared with only 8,646 voxels for those with less experience.
Compared with simple reading, the Internet's wealth of choices requires that people make decisions about what to click on in order to pursue more information, an activity that engages important cognitive circuits in the brain.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Secret of my success
A first-of-its-kind study at UCLA finds that computer-savvy middle-aged adults who search the internet are actually stimulating and improving their brain function.