"Cognitive offloading": Is the Internet affecting human memory?

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"Cognitive offloading": Is the Internet affecting human memory?

A team of researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz and University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign studied the effect of Internet usage on our memory. According to them, we have come to rely heavily on the Internet to access information and to aid our memory. Terming this as “cognitive offloading,” they found that taking aid of sources outside the human memory is affecting our thought processes for recall, learning, and problem solving. In an experiment, they divided participants into two groups and asked them to answer some difficult trivia. While one group had to answer using their memory, the other used the Internet. Further experiments on the same groups revealed that the group that used the Internet was more likely to turn to the Internet for answers rather than attempting to answer from memory. Thus, the reliance on external agents to support our memory is marked by repetitive behavior. Whether this pattern has a far reaching impact on our memory is as yet unknown and is being explored by the researchers.

Read more in Science Daily.   

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Published on: Aug 17, 2016


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