7.19.2006

Instant Messaging Trains the Brain
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Younger people who have grown up with instant messaging might have faster brains than those who grew up with only email, according to social scientists. Younger people appear to be ableto handle a multitude of simultaneous IM discussions while email users have a more "store and forward" mentality and can handle maybe just one IM discussion at a time.

As a result, the younger users probably have faster and more dexterous brains. What a social scientist (from Microsoft) here asserts may be born out through a research study involving IM, cognitive tests and email.

What if heavy IM users have better scores on measures of attention and memory? You could make the case that the social nature of the communication fosters the growth of neurons. On the other hand, IM use can lead to impersonal comunications and the choice to stay impersonal behind a construct of avatars and user names...and reduce face to face communications. Is it part of evolution? Or is it something different.

some background material... by Martha Irvine of the Associated Press



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