Thursday, October 16, 2008

Surfing the Internet Boosts (Aging) Brains

I found this NYTimes article fascinating because it confirms a feeling that I've had that my own cognitive skills have been significantly boosted by my increased use of the Web. As the article points out, research seems to show increased blood flow in certain areas of the brain when experienced "Googlers" when searching the web.  The conclusion is that this is  because of the decision making and complex reasoning that takes place when figuring out what to do with the information they receive.

This definitely resonated with me, and I wonder if we might not extrapolate further:  that the sense many of us who are active Web 2.0 participants have that our learning has been "transformed" might actually have a physiological basis--a kind of brain rush. More than just doing Google searches, we are figuring out how to share our knowledge with others through a variety of tools that require more than a cursory understanding to use them effectively. Perhaps this is why we are so anxious for others to experience what we have--to be in this highly-engaged learning mode. Like many others, I would say that I've never felt more productive in my life as I have being engaged in the conversations of Web 2.0.
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