Facebook may give your brain a good workout

Working memory – the ability to recall things over a short period of time – could be the key to success, according to a scientist who believes that it may be possible to train the brain's working memory like an athlete trains muscles.

And Tracy Alloway, a psychologist at Stirling University, said some technological inventions, such as Facebook, may actually improve working memory because they require people to hold a lot of information in their heads. But others, such as spell-checks and Twitter, which requires only small bite-sized phrases, may work against improving working memory and could be contributing to some people's lack of success, she suggested.

Dr Alloway said that she had devised an on-line game that can improve working memory, which may help the young develop working memory skills as well helping to combat memory loss in the elderly.