read get smarterReading this story will make you significantly smarter. We’re not joking — it’s a matter of science.

A study just released by a UCLA neuroscientist found people who surf the Internet at least once a day have better cognitive functioning than those who log on once a month or less. And not just slightly better, either — we’re talking twice the amount. The reason? Internet use actually stimulates the brain’s decision-making and complex reasoning areas, the scientist believes.

“Perhaps not since early man first discovered how to use a tool has the human brain been affected so quickly and so dramatically,” the report, set to be published in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, explains.

The study looked specifically at adults between the ages of 55 and 78. The participants all had similar education levels, differing only in their amounts of Internet usage. And though some of the non-Net users may have been regular bibliophiles, the research indicated that offline reading didn’t stimulate the same parts of the brain.

“Our most striking finding was that Internet searching appears to engage a greater extent of neural circuitry that is not activated during reading — but only in those with prior Internet experience,” the scientist suggested.

So, congratulations: By reading this story, you’ve just given yourself some much-needed neurological stimulation. Keep it up, and before you know it, you just might be a genius.

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