Tuesday, January 13, 2009

UCLA research - postive impact on elderly of searching the web

Here's yet another research project that explores the positive aspects of internet searching in the elderly brain.

This time the researchers at UCLA selected healthy individuals between the ages of 55 and 76. Half had experience searching the internet. Participants underwent MRI scans as they read and also as they searched the web.

Of course, we'd expect to see greater brain activity in searching the web over reading. "When you read you are taking the information in and processing it, that's all. When you do an interactive activity you take it in, process it, and think about how you can use it".

There was another key finding
in particular research. The study showed a two-fold increase in brain activity among the websavvy compared with those having little internet experience.

Two of my thoughts:

1. I'd really like to see some longitudinal studies to follow a group of subjects, such as these, as they age. Does anyone know of such studies in progress?
2. All of us with aging parents should try to get our parents engaged in using a computer for research, blogging and communication. For those of you who have succeeded in getting your parents online, can you share your approach? Some of our parents don't even have access to a computer. One lady that I admire a lot is Claire who has a great blog (at age 84). http://claireskvetches.blogspot.com/

Here's the full article: