Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Constant Flow of Information and its Affects on the Brain

Has the constant flow of information in today's world created a false sense of urgency in our lives and reduced our ability to focus? An article in the New York Times tells about some research being done to explore the impact of heavy technology use and multitasking on brain activity. Some scientists theorize that in our hyper connected world, we expend a good portion of our working memory in anticipation of new information (such as e-mail, texts, etc.). Multitasking was also shown to adversely affect the brain's ability to learn. According to some evidence by researchers at the University of Michigan, the brain is better able to learn after walking through the woods than navigating a busy street.

This interesting article tells about a retreat in which top neuroscientists (without their phones or laptops) start to explore how the constant flow of information and digital connectedness affects the way we think and act.

UPDATE (8/24/10): A related article from the New York Times references the fact that our brains aren't able to learn and remember things when bombarded with a constant flow of digital input. Very interesting reading! Time to unplug?

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