How Using The Internet Is Changing Our Brains

CC image used courtesy of Reigh LeBlanc on flickr

CC image used courtesy of Reigh LeBlanc on flickr

As with most things, the benefits from computers and technology is all about balance.

From an article in The Independent – What the web is teaching our brains, a list of activities and the benefits each provides.

  • Internet research: Boosts the ability to integrate and process information as well as enhancing decision-making skills.
  • General browsing: Encourages the use of continuous partial attention and multi-tasking, which can impair cognition and cause irritability
  • Playing computer games: May improve multi-tasking skills, memory and peripheral vision. Can lead to antisocial behaviour.
  • Building a blog or website: Building a blog or your own website improves frontal lobe function, reasoning and memory.
  • Sorting email: Boosts information-processing functions in the brain’s frontal lobe. Can also cause stress.
  • Using emoticons: Exercises brain centres linked to emotion and social connection; particularly beneficial to those who use computers for long periods.
  • Tweeting and chatrooms: Enhances peripheral attention, helps to boost self-esteem and protects the hippocampus.

The article includes more information on the “why” or how it works, and of course some negative aspects of internet & technology usage too.

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2 comments for “How Using The Internet Is Changing Our Brains

  1. January 4, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Thanks for the great blog post. I found it useful and it backs up a theory of mine about multitasking. As a librarian at a small college library with only a few staff members, a certain level of multitasking is often a necessary part of the job. But what is good multitasking and bad multitasking, or should I say, what should be avoided and when is multitasking needed or acceptable? I have just started a blog series you may be interested titled “The Small College Librarian” and multitasking is one area I plan to address. The URL to the first post is at http://thisthatotherthing.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/the-small-college-librarian-%E2%80%93-part-1-%E2%80%93-introduction/

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