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How digital technologies are leaving their mark on our brains.

Mind Change

Mind Change

by Susan Greenfield

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5.9K reads

A Global Phenomenon

The virtual world can seem more immediate and significant than the smelly, tasty, touchy 3D Real World. Its a place of anxiety and triumphant exhilaration which sweeps us into the social networking swirl of collective consciousness.

It is a...

Sharing personal information about oneself, as promoted on social networking sites, activates the reward systems in the brain the same way as food and sex do.

Unprecedented Times

Upon waking, you will be checking your phone within 15 minutes of consciousness.

You will need stimulation, excitement and escapism. So you use technology to socialise, for online shopping, playing games etc.

The Real physical world i...

We have always invented new things, we have always worried about new things and we have always moaned about the younger generations.

How The Brain Changes

In 2000, brain scans showed that London cab drivers had developed physical changes in their brains as a result of their daily activity of constantly using their working memory. Their hippocampus was actually bigger compared to non taxi drivers of the same age. Th...

The brain undergoes continuous physical change... the brain remakes itself throughout life, in response to outside stimuli to its environment and to experience.

Out Of Your Mind

The word 'ecstasy' in Greek means 'to stand outside' of oneself. It is this emotional, unreflective state that we seek out through a diverse range of pursuits - an absence of self consciousness, of being 'abandoned'.

MINDLESS

Thinking is movement confined to the brain.

Social Networking

When you share personal information on a social networking site, you share it with a large immediate audience.

Research shows that the lack of face to face communication leads to a corresponding rise in self disclosure. The absence of visual cues or body language

We decided that these would be the social norms now and we just went for it.

Video Games

Sometimes the real world is not the best place to be. Video games can provide a calming routine for people who are unable to cope with the uncertainties of the real world.

Unlike traditional real world games, video games offer an escape from the dull, diffi...

Without Google and Wikipedia, I am stupid, not just ignorant.

The Display Is Driving You

Research analysing reading behaviour in the digital environment has revealed that decreases in sustained attention are increasingly characterising peoples literacy skills. People inclined to browse, scan and read more selectively, will spend less time on in depth and concentrated reading....

Books stand for knowledge, new ideas and the inventiveness of the human spirit and imagination.

Summary

Social networking sites could worsen communication skills and reduce interpersonal empathy.

Personal identities might be constructed externally and refined to perfection with the praise of an audience as a priority, an approach more suggestive of pe...

Firstly, the human brain adapts to the environment; secondly, the environment is changing in an unprecedented way; so thirdly, the brain may also be changing in an unprecedented way.

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