How internet affetcs our brain work 1

The fact that the Internet affects the brain is granted, of which no one has to convince us. Research scientists are trying to replace loose speculation on proven theories.

Internet user’s mind – remembers quickly and quickly forgets

The survey done by team of scientists led by Betsy Sparrow at Columbia University were designed to examine how Internet use affects the performance of our memory.

"Since there are search engines, we change the way we remember things” - explains Sparrow, a professor of psychology.“Our brains base memory on the internet in the same manner in which it is based on the memory of a friend, family member or a co-worker .Thanks to remembering not the detail, but the information about where we can find it, we are able to remember more.”

Research conducted by Sparrow proves that we quickly forget the information, which we are sure that it is easy to find it on the internet. According to this theory, network has become a kind of external memory - memories are stored outside of our memory, but we know where and how to access them. A team led by Betsy Sparrow conducted four studies:

  • Participants of the study were asked a series of difficult questions concerning various curiosities (the trivia). The study proved that with more demanding questions, respondents did not think about the subject and did not seek the necessary knowledge in memory, but instinctively wanted to use search engines as an information source.
  • Questions-curiosities were converted into assertions. Some study participants, after hearing trivia question, were informed that questions will be written down and later available, the second part of the group - that they will be erased. People from the first group remembered much less than those of the second group.
  • This study was a more detailed version of the second test. Participants were informed that question will be either stored, the location of the saved version will be given, or that it will be removed. The level of memorization confirmed the previous results.
  • In the last study, after participant was familiarized with trivia question, he was informed, in which of several directories the curiosity will be saved. According to the results, it turned out to be that much easier to remember where to find the message, even if we do not remember exactly, what messages we are looking for.

Betty Sparrow is confident that the results will have a major impact on education. “Perhaps those who are engaged in learning [...] will increasingly focus on the mechanisms of thinking and less on the mechanisms of memory. And perhaps those who are learning will be less burdened with remembering facts, and more closely involved in attempts to understand various phenomena.“