Doing online research, learning how to use a tablet, creating a social media account to keep in touch with loved ones, and hosting a video call all stimulate our neurons in a variety of ways. Read on to learn how using information and communications technology can support your brain health.
1. How staying connected can help your brain
A growing number of studies show an association between the use of new technologies and digital tools and good mental and cognitive health in adults and seniors.
Notably, researchers have found that older people who use computers could be almost half as likely to have cognitive disorders as those who do not.
As long as you use them in moderation, digital tools and new technologies can be very stimulating for the brain. This is because you have to pay attention and understand and memorize processes so that you can apply them.
2. A world of knowledge is just a click away
With an internet connection and a search engine, you can easily learn about fascinating topics, keep up to date with current events, deepen your general knowledge, and tune in to live concerts and events from all over the world.
Searching for information online engages several of the brain’s executive functions:
- Planning, which comes into play when you decide how you’ll go about your research
- Judgment, which allows you to choose one website over another based on its relevance to your search topic
- Self-control, which helps you resist the many distractions that could pull you off track
The act of broadening and deepening your knowledge engages your attention and stimulates different types of memory, such as semantic memory (your personal reservoir of general knowledge) and episodic memory (which helps you recall recent events). You’re never too old to learn something new!
3. From social networks to neural networks
In this day and age, there’s no shortage of ways to connect virtually with your loved ones, from text messages and emails to social media and video calls.
Social interaction can be very beneficial to the brain and helps to prevent isolation.
According to the scientific literature, rich and varied social interactions may have a protective effect against cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.