NIH Study: Why Some People Are Lousy Searchers

September 29, 2015

Every once in a while a landmark US government funded study answers a perplexing question. Navigate to “Intelligent People’s Brains Wired Differently to Those with Fewer Intellectual Abilities, Says Study.”

The study “proved” that people with well connected brains may do better in life that folks with poorly connected gray matter.

Unbelievable. I thought that user friendly interfaces would allow anyone to get smart via Bing, Google, and Yandex queries.

According to the write up:

The researchers found that “positive” abilities, such as good vocabulary, memory, life satisfaction, income and years of education, were linked significantly with a greater connectivity between regions of the brain associated with higher cognition.

How much did this study cost? I learned:

The scientists were part of the $30m (£20m) Human Connectome Project funded by the US National Institutes of Health to study the neural pathways of the brain.

The net net is that if a person has a lousy vocabulary, poor memory, low income, and other low output characteristics, the unfortunate person may not be a great online searcher.

What happens when the online search systems cater to the folks with lower brain connectivity?

We may need another government study to answer this question. In the meantime, oh, I can’t remember.

Stephen E Arnold, September 29, 2015


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