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Computers: A brain’s friend or Foe?

By Destination Santé and The Africa Report
Posted on Thursday, 27 October 2011 15:07

Although they may be very convenient, search engines could be having a harmful effect on the way we learn.

According to some American researchers, using the internet can make people fail to remember certain information.

They argue that the relatively easy access to information is leading populations into a kind of intellectual laziness because curiosities can now be satisfied in just a few clicks of the computer mouse.

Most people now, as against a decade ago, use Information Technology (IT) as a memory resource and a means of storing data.

Research conducted included a series of tests to investigate the relationship between human memory and the way IT resources are exploited in recent times.

The first and rather unsurprising result saw respondents seeking answers from the Internet as a reflex whenever they were asked questions they could not answer at the expense of books or written publications.

While respondents failed to memorise information that remained easily accessible on their computers, they memorised the same information in cases where they believed it would be difficult to find later.

Another striking fact is that while the participants did not remember the information itself they did remember how they had found it.

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