Twitter turns you into a twit but Facebook makes you clever, says expert
AVOID Twitter and YouTube but sign on to Facebook if you want to get smart, a scientist has claimed.
Evidence shows technology which requires a short attention span - such as Twitter and short YouTube clips - is bad for our brains.
But Facebook, which requires us to use more memory and information and makes us feel part of a social group, helps train our brains.
Scientists say working memory - remembering things and using information - is the real foundation of learning, not IQ.
The good news is that while the children of the wealthy tend to have higher IQs, working memory is spread across both rich and poor.
Dr Tracy Alloway, an expert in working memory, said: "It doesn't matter if your mother left school at 15 or got a PhD, it's a level playing field. Not only does working memory have a profound impact on every aspect of our working lives but now there is exciting evidence that we can train it and improve it."
Dr Alloway, of Stirling University, will tell the British Science Association festival this week that our ability to remember and manipulate information is much more important to success and happiness than IQ.
She says brain-training can help students improve their grades from C to B and increase their IQ by 10 points.
But the "tyranny of technology", with aides like speed dial so we don't have to remember phone numbers, is making us dumber.
And despite Twitter proving popular with smart celebrities such as QI host Stephen Fry, Dr Alloway claims it is bad for us.
She added: "Twitter can cause harm because it produces a stream of information every second with no opportunity to process or manipulate that information."
Research has shown that every hour of TV watched increases the risk of attention deficiency syndrome by 10 per cent.
Poor working memory has been linked to aggression and juvenile delinquency.
There is also evidence that working memory can be improved with training.
Dr Alloway is exploring the impact of training working memory in deprived children.
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