How internet affects our brain work 3 - does the internet make us smarter

Does the internet make us smarter?

In February 2009, at the University of California, led by Small, multi-stage research was conducted to look at how the internet changes the brain. It was discovered that people using the network and search engines have frontal parts of the brain active, responsible, among others for making decisions and solving problems. These structures are much more dormant in people who do not use the Internet. This second group was sent home with instructions to spend one hour a day for five days on searching for information on the Internet. It turned out, that after such a short period relevant parts of the brain were activated. This indicates the instant ability to adapt.

Based on the results of the research, Small came to the conclusion that surfing the web can be used as a stimulant for the brain in the elderly. It has a big advantage over the plain reading of the text, because it involves many more cognitive functions: “The results are very encouraging, new technologies may have a beneficial psychological effect on older people. Searching for information on the Internet involves complex brain functions that will help to practice and develop it .“.

The technology destroys and builds

Internet influence on our psyche is evaluated differently. Different researcher, presents different opinion. Nicholas Carr believes that the network kills creativity. It reloads us with information, so we are unable to remember anything. Additionally, it make potential of the mind focus on making quick, short-term decisions - it has its source in combined structure of internet hyperlinks, encouraging the continuous, rapid movement from site to site. Such changes in the brain, according to Carr, make the surfer struggle with reading books. We are no longer able to focus on one topic. The changes caused by technology need not be negative. May as well be neutral or positive. The first group could even include laterality of the brain. It was created when man started using tools and one of his hands has become dominant, that is the one in which he usually held the tool. Under this influence, the opposite hemisphere of the brain controlling the limb, developed areas responsible for motor activity.

In turn, a positive change can be what Green and Bavelier found in a series of experiments carried out in 2003 on people who play computer games. It turned out that they cope much better with all tasks involving a visual identification. The results were so promising that scientists even consider the use of games in the therapy of certain impairments of brain function and vision.

A reasonable approach to technology

Already mentioned in experiment with the Internet Small, aptly sums up the approach to the problem of human impact of technology on our brains: “We tend to simplify, when arguing about whether the technology makes us smarter, or more stupid. The brain is a complex, technology it is complicated, the content, timing and other factors are important here. We can argue about anything, having such a small amount of data. Do not come to anything certain, the problem requires more research. We are talking about technologies that are part of our lives, we must therefore be approached in a scientific manner and does not prejudge in advance whether something is good or bad. We need to understand the technology and apply it in such a way that it will make us perfect. „