Surfing Seniors

Googling is good for grandma and grandpa! Studies show that middle-aged to older adults who browse the Internet on a regular basis, had twice the increase in stimulation on the decision-making and complex reasoning areas of the brain. Opposed to those who rarely search the Internet.

The study, conducted by researchers at UCLA, analyzed the brain activity of middle-aged to older adults during Internet browsing. The research indicates that browsing the Web engages the neural network and circuitry of the brain on a larger scale than reading does – but only in those with previous Internet experience. The most active regions during the search activity involved the frontal lobes, temporal lobes and cingulate areas, says the researchers, which are involved in complex reasoning and decision-making.

People who continue to participate in mind-stimulating activities, such as browsing the Internet, or even crossword and Soduku puzzles, show better ability at maintaining cognitive functions and overall improvements in brain health.

As people age, cognitive functions normally slow down as the brain deteriorates. A reduction in neural network activity, and increased plaque deposits can also be noticed. Web surfing enhances the functioning of middle-aged to older brains, and delays the slowing down of brain activity associated with advancing age. Also, seniors who become proficient at and use a computer appear to have fewer depressive symptoms than older adults who aren’t so technologically advanced.

The more experience the subject had in searching, the greater engaged a person’s brain was. It thus appeared that computerized technologies have physiological effects that benefit the well being of seniors. The more you surf, the more your brain is stimulated, and the more you slow down the brains’ process of aging. Happy Googling!