New research published in Science illustrates that information sought on Google isn't stored in your brain for the long-term.
To be more precise, information stored in your brain after a Google search doesn't create a strong engram - a picture made from connected synapses - that's easily recalled. While prioritizing information to be stored, it's possible that the brain consciously recognizes that the information is quickly available externally, and need not be placed on top of the information heap in your memory.
While that may or may not be true, it does have resounding implications for students and employees. Now more than ever, when the answer to any question is unknown, the response is: "Google it!" No longer a mere noun, "Google" is now an adverb meaning "to search among prioritized responses on the internet." While teachers and researchers have qualms about how search responses are 'prioritized,' the issue in this study is how well the information is retained. As it turns out, it's NOT retained for long.
This creates a potential repetitive task where there was none: searching for the same information over and over again, wasting employee time and employer resources. FastCompany recommends using "proven" online games to improve memory and recall; meditation; and deleting your browser cache. This is, in our opinion, the cognitive equivalent of recommending gardening and shopping for weight loss.
Instead, spending seven minutes at the start of the day on exercise, and quick one-minute "interventions" before tasks requiring high levels of attention and focus trains the brain to become more adept at recall....AND in making connections between concepts.
Since quick recall and efficient working memory is necessary to bridge the gap between data, and form valuable connections, it's simply not enough to play video games - or spend MORE time staring at the screen - to improve cognition.
Want to see how well your working memory operates? Try the standard 'n-Back' test:
(if the Flash program above doesn't work, try this link.)