Web Use Gives Brain a Boost
For middle-aged, regular Internet surfing is better than reading a book: study
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Oct 14, 2008 3:56 PM CDT
Reading a book doesn't provide the same brain activity as online surfing, which requires making complex decisions.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Sudoku not your thing? Web surfing may help boost brain power and prevent brain shrinkage in middle-aged and older people in a way that reading books cannot, the BBC reports. By studying the brain scans of volunteers aged 55 to 76, researchers found that experienced internet users show enhanced activity in the decision-making and complex reasoning regions of their brains when searching online.

"Internet searching engages complicated brain activity" because it forces users to make decisions while surfing, a researcher says. But virgin webbies have to grasp the strategies needed to carry out a search before reaping its benefits. Despite the study, there is still "very little real evidence" for the "use it or lose it" brain argument, an Alzheimer's Society researcher says.