10. 28. 2008
iBrain - New book tells us that texting and web browsing are changing our brains
We've all heard of seemingly miraculous instances of people losing parts of their brain and functioning normally afterwards because the human brain is a malleable organ. If you want to read about some wild examples of how the brain can alter itself to adjust to circumstances, take a look at the book The Brain That Changes Itself.
So, it's not surprising that our brains, collectively, are changing due to the way we use technology. Those who grew up in an era without web browsing and cell phones are probably much more aware of how our brains are different now. I know, for instance, that I store and access information from my brain differently than I used to 15 years ago.
In his book, iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind, UCLA neuroscientist Gary Small explores the evolutionary change we're seeing in the functioning of the human brain as a result of our mastery of technological skills coupled with the different ways we now interact with others. Suggesting that the most successful individuals will be those who are able to strike a balance between tech skills and real life social skills, the overall message of the book is a positive one. One study he points to, for instance, showed that Web-savvy people have double the level of activity in the parts of their brains that control decision-making and complex reasoning as their counterparts who are Web beginners.
Find this book at Amazon.