When you're trying to remember something . . . the name of a movie, the capital of Peru, ICE CUBE'S real name, whatever . . . there's no need to sit there racking your brain anymore, right? You can just hit Google and have your answer in SECONDS.

According to a study out of Columbia University in New York, search engines are actually changing our ability to use our memory. The researchers call it the "Google Effect."

Because of Google, our brains have been trained not to prioritize basic facts anymore. There's no need to remember . . . since the information is basically instantly accessible to us online.

Instead, our brains now focus on things that we CAN'T Google and find out.

For example . . . your brain is now trained to remember exactly where you put your cake pan, but less likely to remember the recipe to bake a cake.

Of course, the side effect of this is that when we're cut off from Internet access, we freak out . . . because we're so reliant on having all this information available to us.

The researchers say that's why studies have shown people compare losing the Internet to losing a FRIEND . . . we've grown THAT attached to having the Internet with us.

(San Jose Mercury News)