Searching online is better than reading books for increasing the brainpower of middle-aged and older adults, new research indicates.

"The study results are encouraging, that emerging computerized technologies may have physiological effects and potential benefits for middle-aged and older adults," said principal investigator Dr Gary Small, a professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at University of California.

'Internet searching engages complicated brain activity, which may help exercise and improve brain function."