Why ask this question? The primary reason can be found in one of the central tenets of modern neuroscience: "The neurons that fire together, wire together." What this basically means is that our mental activities actually cause changes in the structures of our brains--not only what we think, but how we think as well.
(In an earlier post I discussed this brain changing.)
Given such activity-directed change, it always makes sense to ask whenever large numbers of people start using their brains in new and different ways, what effects these new activities are likely to have on brain structure and function. Blogging, which only seems to be accelerating in popularity, is a prime candidate for such investigation.
The Eides exercised my brain with the following conclusions. Be sure to click over to "Brain of the Blogger" to read much more about each of these five points. What they have written is well worth the click.
1. Blogs can promote critical and analytical thinking.
2. Blogging can be a powerful promoter of creative, intuitive, and associational thinking.
3. Blogs promote analogical thinking.
4. Blogging is a powerful medium for increasing access and exposure to quality information.
5. Blogging combines the best of solitary reflection and social interaction.
In conclusion, it looks as if blogging will be very good for our brains.
I found the Eides by following a link at neo-neocon. The blogger guesses that bloggers are high in ideaphoria, the rate at which ideas flow into a person's mind. Since lawyers often score high in ideaphoria (or idea productivity as it is called by Highlands), blogging may be a particularly good match for our profession.
[T]he sheer volume of output necessary with blogging, the need to post very frequently, does mean that we must write--if not thoughtlessly--then quickly and unhesitatingly. In fact, I think the hallmark of bloggers is the ability to come up with a wide variety of ideas per hour (iph).
I had to smile when I read what neo-neocon wrote about her collection of paper scraps.
My home, my car, my purse, my countertops, my drawers--all are littered with little scraps of paper on which are written sentence fragments, notes for posts I haven't written yet. My guess is that that is true of most bloggers.
Do other bloggers have this collection? I do. Not only do I accumulate the scraps but I e-mail myself with ideas. I also have a number of partially written posts containing idea skeletons just waiting for their flesh. My ideaphoria/idea productivity score: the 90th percentile.
neo-neocon continues writing about bloggers with high ideaphoria.
The generation of ideas is probably relatively easy for them.
But after the idea production comes much more.
It's finding the good ones, and fleshing them out with thoughts and well-reasoned argument, as well as doing the research that backs it all up, that's the hard part.
And that process requires skills and abilities in addition to high ideaphoria.
Looks like the complete evolution of a blog post is good for your brain. Why don't you jump on your mental treadmill right now and blog? Blogging effectively prevents neuro-flab.
Note (added 11:11 AM Mountain): Take a look at how various occupations score on ideaphoria.