Google Is Like a ‘Mental Prosthetic’

Research suggests we’re less likely to memorize much from the “influx of information,” simply because it’s so readily available online.

“Thinking with computers is a natural extension of that. In the same way you depend on a friend, now you depend on Google,” Daniel Wegner at Harvard, told TechNewsWorld.

Instead, the brain will more often remember where the information can be retrieved, rather than what the information actually is.

“We’re a lot smarter now, and that’s why we use it. We’ve become somewhat addicted because it really extends mental capacities. It’s kind of like a mental prosthetic device that’s better than what you’ve had before,” Wegner said.

According to Paul Reber, professor and director of brain, behavior and cognition at Northwestern University, our brain is wisely strategizing.

“There’s no evidence we are forgetting things more rapidly now than before the Internet. It seems likely that with a much larger amount of information generally around, we are probably trying to remember more. In addition to studying what we forget, it would be important to look at how much we remember,” Reber said.

 

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Google Is Like a ‘Mental Prosthetic’

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