A study at UCLA showed that simply using search engines such as Google triggered key centers in the brains of middle-aged and older adults, areas that control complex reasoning and decision-making, according to a press release. Researchers involved said the results suggest that searching might help stimulate and possibly improve the function of the brain.
“Internet searching engages complicated brain activity, which may help exercise and improve brain function”*
Study volunteers were between the ages of 55 and 76; half of them had search experience and half of them did not. Gender, age and education level were kept similar between the two groups, which performed web searches and book-reading tasks.
While all the participants showed significant brain activity during the book-reading task, internet searches were another matter. All the participants showed the same brain activity as in the book-reading task, but those familiar with online searches also showed activity “in the frontal, temporal and cingulate areas of the brain, which control decision-making and complex reasoning,” the study revealed.
“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.”*
“What does this mean? In addition to helping seniors keep up with ever-developing technology, being actively engaged with the internet can help stimulate brain activity as we age.”
*Dr. Gary Small, a professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.
Before you get too excited and spend all day on Google, read this: