Smarter or Dumber?

You’re recall Nicholas Carr’s very controversial article in the Atlantic over the summer that suggested that on-line searching was making us stupid. Today, CNN.com reports on a study which purports to show the opposite! Dr. Gary Small used fMRI showed that:

Members of the technologically advanced group had more than twice the neural activation than their less experienced counterparts while searching online. Activity occurred in the region of the brain that controls decision-making and complex reasoning

Meanwhile cross town rival…

Liz Zelinski, a professor of gerontology and psychology at the University of Southern California, said the findings about the brain activity differences aren’t surprising and offered this analogy: “If you wanted to study how hard people can exercise, and you take people that already exercise and people that don’t exercise, aren’t they going to be different to start out?”

Don’t you think fMRI is getting a bit oversold these days?

Jim