Web Surfing Increases Brain Function9 years, 8 months ago
Posted on Oct 21, 2009, 6 a.m.
UCLA scientists discover that computer-savvy middle-aged and older adults who regularly search the Internet help stimulate, and possibly improve, brain function.
For computer-savvy middle-aged and older adults, searching the Internet triggers key centers in the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning, report Gary Small, from the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA, USA), and colleagues. In the first study of its kind to assess the impact of Internet searching on brain performance, the researchers studied 24 men and women, ages 55 to 78, half of whom routinely used the Internet. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers found that web surfing engages complicated brain activity, with the brain scans revealing immediate increased brain activity in regions controlling language, reading, memory, and vision. In-turn, because the increased brain activity is thought to help exercise and improve brain function, the team suggests a potential protective effect of Internet searching to preserve brain health and cognitive ability.
“Web can help elderly surfers slow dementia,” The Sunday Times (United Kingdom), October 18, 2009; http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article6879663.ece.