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Study Shows Internet Activity Can Strengthen the Aging Brain


It may be time for older folks to stop telling us the computer is rotting our brains. A new study on Internet use and the human brain shows Google searches and spending time online may help stimulate and improve the minds of middle-aged and older Americans.

Researchers at UCLA studied 24 healthy volunteers ages 55 to 76. Half were experienced Googlers, and the others had no Internet savvy. They performed Internet searches and book-reading tasks while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging scans, which recorded the brain-circuitry changes they were experiencing.

All of the volunteers showed significant brain activity during the reading portion, which stimulated brain regions that control language, reading, memory and visual abilities. When they tested web use only those who had previous Internet experience registered extensive activity.

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