Googling Is Good For Your Brain

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Searching, finding, and then reading this article will make you smarter. That’s not because I’m a member of MENSA and about to share unique insights into the string theory of theoretical physics. Rather, researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) released a study suggesting that searching online could be beneficial for the brain.

The UCLA team put 24 volunteers in MRI machines to measure their brain activity while conducting online searches. This way they found that searching the Web with search engines such as Google or Yahoo, stimulates centers in the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning. Also, the researchers say that searching the Web could help counter the brain slowing down, as we get older.

Better than reading

Even though reading is said to help our brain, the UCLA study revealed that searching the Web could be more beneficial for our brains, especially if you for experienced Web users. For newcomers, the brain activity of searching the Web is similar to searching the Web.

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In the illustration above you can see the brain activity while reading (left) stimulates less areas of the brain than searching for things online (right).

The UCLA researchers said that in comparison with reading, the multitude of choices on the Internet require people to make quick decisions about what to click on so that they can get the information they were looking for, this way further stimulating the brain.

However, the study was done on people aged 55 to 78 years old, so the results are less relevant for the younger generation who is growing up with the Internet and search engines.

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