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Who knew? Brain function improves when you search the Web

What a relief. Looks like all my time spent chasing around the Internet is well-spent in terms of brain fitness (my biceps and quads -- that's another story...).Looks like our brains benefit, but apparently only if we are experienced at Yahoo'ing and Google'ing. Novices must first become 'experienced'.

So those of you out there selling games and cognitive fitness technologies for seniors -- and you know who you are, this should cause you to pause when picking pricing strategies -- like the browser wars, it may be tough to compete with -- free. But before you drop your prices,let's remember that this was:

  • A very small study. There were only 24 people in this study. The study compared reading to novice web searching to experienced and found that experienced searching generated the most brain activity.
  • No comparison to other intensive brain activity. For example, what about reading compared to crossword puzzles? And comparing inexperienced to experienced puzzle doers?
  • No analysis of finding versus giving up. It sounds good -- experienced web searchers get a boost in neural activity. Does it dissipate if they can't find what they're looking for (which is the way many of my searches terminate? I'm just asking...

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