Is Google Boggling Our Brains?

A recent study has concluded that advent of Google has led to the Internet becoming our main source of memory, ahead of our brains. Researchers at Harvard University found that we have now become experts in knowing where to find information, even though we cannot recall what that information is.

The study, which also involved the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Columbia University, involved getting participants to take part in a trivia quiz and then assessing whether they recognised computer-related words more quickly than other words.

Another test looked into how well people remember where to seek out information online and if participants could remember pieces of information that they would have typically searched for.

Betsy Sparrow, the lead researcher in the study, stated that it is “hard to remember how we found information before the Internet became a ubiquitous presence in our lives”.

The study is not the first to address the issue of how the Internet is changing the way we think. American technologist Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: How the Internet is Rewiring Our Brains talked of how we are no longer capable of long-term concentration because of how the web has changed our thinking patterns.

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