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Study: Internet usage helps your brain

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PostSubject: Study: Internet usage helps your brain   Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:30 am



For middle-aged and older people at least, using the internet helps boost brain power, research suggests. A University of California Los Angeles team found searching the web stimulated centres in the brain that controlled decision-making and complex reasoning. The researchers say this might even help to counteract the age-related physiological changes that cause the brain to slow down. As the brain ages, a number of changes occur, including shrinkage and reductions in cell activity, which can affect performance. It has long been thought that activities which keep the brain active, such as crossword puzzles, may help minimise that impact - and the latest study suggests that surfing the web can be added to the list.

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. The researchers said that, compared to simple reading, the internet’s wealth of choices required people to make decisions about what to click on in order to get the relevant information. Now you have a great reason to waste even more time browsing online!
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