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How the Internet Could Protect Your Memory


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Our brains need to interact with other brains.

Those who said they didn’t use the Internet or email did worse on the test over time, while those who did actually improved — the effect remained after the researchers took into account age and socioeconomic status. Even those subjects who had relatively low cognitive function at the beginning of the study — meaning they might already be experiencing age-related problems — performed better on the recall tests if they used the Internet than if they didn’t. The authors write that it is “the first major study to show that being digitally literate can improve memory” and that countries that promote digital literacy “may expect lower incidence rates for dementia over the coming decades.”

Mr. Xavier told Op-Talk that using the Internet and email might be beneficial because “our brains need to learn new things and interact with other brains.” He explained, “our ‘memory’ is not inside, it is between us, in our day-by-day life when we talk and see each other.” And Internet use may be one way to maintain connections and forge new ones: “Digital literacy is about contact, new horizons, inclusion and humanization, so we start to be an active part of society again.” 

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