internet searching and brain function

This study is making the rounds as evidence that there are new ways of thinking for those experienced on the web:

UCLA scientists have found that for computer-savvy middle-aged and older adults, searching the Internet triggers key centers in the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning. The findings demonstrate that Web search activity may help stimulate and possibly improve brain function.

I’m not hoping that anytime soon the inexperienced will stop pooh-poohing the web as evidence of a lost attention span, but it’s a start. Change is hard to accept because it’s hard to see as it happens, but I think we are developing new ways of thinking/reading/analyzing information.

Of course, the study was for middle-aged+ users, and the intended results seem to be more about how to keep our minds active and healthy as we age, but the evidence of brain stimulation and improved brain function (or the possibility for it) will surely be studied on a broader range of ages. Interesting stuff for educators.

You can download UCLA’s image of the brains here.

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Categories: digital literacy, online learning

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