Study: Google & Web Search Make You Smarter

Proving what many of us in the search industry have long suspected, a report today on CNN says searching the web makes you smarter.

Dr. Gary Small, a professor at UCLA, studied the brain activity of two groups of elder adults — one with “Web savvy” and one without. The study used MRI technology to measure brain activity when the groups were asked to engage with a page from a book and an Internet search page.

The results?

When using a web search engine, the web savvy group showed more than twice the brain activity than the technologically challenged group, and that activity happened in the areas of the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning.

Says Dr. Small:

“There’s so much interest in exercising our minds as we age. One result of this study is that these technologies are not all bad. They may be good in keeping our brains active.”

Unfortunately for the major search engines, Dr. Small didn’t say if one search engine is better for the brain than another.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Search & Society: General


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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