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The Internet Technology

Web Surfing Improves Motor Skills 33

sciencehabit writes "Don't worry about watching all those cat videos on the Internet. You're not wasting time when you are at your computer — you're honing your fine-motor skills. A study (abstract) of people's ability to translate training that involves clicking and twiddling a computer mouse reveals that the brain can apply that expertise to other fine-motor tasks requiring the hands. The research involved some interesting methodology, including having Chinese migrant workers play the classic arcade game Pong for two hours a day."
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Web Surfing Improves Motor Skills

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  • It's true (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @12:15PM (#45746235)

    I have become very good at one-handed surfing.

  • You have to click precisely at the link that is on a small part of the screen.

    • by lpevey ( 115393 )

      Yes, but these were migrant works, presumably with little previous experience writing or typing or mouse-clicking or doing other things that require much in the way of fine motor skills versus gross motor skills.

      I would imagine there is a point of diminishing marginal returns that most of us here passed a long, long time ago. :)

  • tradeoff (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @12:35PM (#45746433)

    +5 motor

    -5 social

  • Just web surfing? (Score:4, Informative)

    by rts008 ( 812749 ) on Friday December 20, 2013 @12:36PM (#45746451) Journal

    I know that is the subject discussed, and I happen to agree with their conclusions, but what about gaming.

    I had a 'mild' stroke about 4 years ago, and one of the things affected was my fine motor skills.
    Pre-stroke, I enjoyed working with my hands...model building, carpentry, welding/fabricating, leather-work, etc. I also had neat, legible handwriting....not any more. :-(

    I was also heavily involved with Fallout 3 and Fallout NV, both playing and making mods.

    That endeavor really suffered!...but it was also the very best therapy I found, by far.
    I am back up to my prior abilities (more Skyrim now though) with the gaming, modding, and my Blender and GIMP skills are improving even more from the added confidence.

    So I'm grateful for that, and now depend HEAVILY on my various spell checkers to keep from appearing an illiterate idiot.

    Alas, all is not roses...
    I had to put my joystick away. I cannot regain enough hand to eye coordination to fly in games or simulators.
    (I used to be an extremely deadly and precise 'pilot' in BF 1942 and it's Desert Combat mod-especially the AH-64 Apache; and kept a Win 98se box around just to play my favorite all time sim: SU-27 Flanker ver. 1.5 Squadron Commander's Edition"...the box is stored with the joystick now)

    • Can you not further improve your motor skills through repeated Skyrim playing (or moving onto more demanding games), or is there simply a limit on how much you can do now?

      • by rts008 ( 812749 )

        Probably so, but I am making progress quick enough to suit me, and further improvement is still ongoing.

        But at the same time to answer your second question, I think there are permanent limits I will not be able to overcome.
        That is mostly age related, as you age, your body decreases in ability to repair damage to itself, and repairing damage from a stroke involves the brain 're-wiring' itself to bypass the damage(dead areas of the brain killed off by the stroke).
        There are limits to the damage it can reroute

    • by LoRdTAW ( 99712 )

      May I ask what was the cause of your stroke and what age were you? Strokes run in my family and my father suffered a severe one at age 46 which basically rendered him brain dead. He died in a nursing home 9 years later. His father suffered one around age 65 in the late 80's but like you regained most of his motor skill after a few years. So I am paranoid about strokes.

      • by rts008 ( 812749 )

        HEH! HEH!
        The cause: my bad judgement and stupidity without a doubt: a prolonged drinking binge with bad vodka.

        I was off work on Workman's Comp form an injury, awaiting surgery, and too much time on my hands.
        Incidentally, that coincides with a dramtic increase to my /. 'foes' list, and getting many messages I was added to numerous /.'ers 'foes' lists!

        My age was 51? I think. as an added note I have had a heart attack back in 1998 also.

        Strokes are serious and wildly variable in their effects and outcome.

        Keep c

  • We interrupt this program to bring you an important update: typing all day on the keyboard makes you type faster. Report at 11.

  • The same researchers plan to do a study on the new electronic social networking phenomena. All of the test subjects will be given pagers for two hours a day.


  • and it has helped my hand-eye coordination, as well as the control of my wrist. As well as keeping me fit. Better and more fun than 'pong'.

  • ...of my motor skills.

    That'll be RSI in your thumb.

    If you haven't already you'll soon develop a callus on your little finger where your smartphone normally sits.

  • First it was video games that improved hand-eye coordination. Now, web surfing improves motor skills.

    I think I see the pattern, and I can even automate my next submission headline:

  • Instead of playing Pong, shouldn't they have been gold mining in WOW?

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak