Posted by: crudbasher | March 11, 2011

How Technology Wires the Learning Brain | MindShift

This is a fascinating article that gave me two major thoughts.

The article discusses how research is indicating that prolonged technology use actually changes the way the brain works.

This is really an interesting conclusion and I think it makes perfect sense. Kids can use technology in a very fluid way because their brains have adapted to doing it. This is what some people call Digital Natives but I think it’s deeper than that. Brain research has indicated that as children our brains are much more flexible to learn new things, and as we get older that ability reduces. What if we find a drug or treatment that was able to turn that flexibility back on? It would allow people to learn new things very easily even as they get older. That would be awesome!

The second thought I had was pondering how much time I spent thinking about things. It is important I think to be able to focus on tasks for long periods. I would wager that a lot of the important inventions over time are the result of prolonged focus and attention. Would Edison have invented the lightbulb if he had been Tweeting? 🙂 I need to make more time for focus and thinking.

Enjoy the article!

  • A study on how technology changes the brain

    tags: brain technology study research nell

    • Kids between the ages of 8 and 18 spend 11.5 hours a day using technology — whether that’s computers, television, mobile phones, or video games – and usually more than one at a time. That’s a big chunk of their 15 or 16 waking hours.

       

    • But does that spell doom for the next generation? Not necessarily, according to Dr. Gary Small, a neuroscientist and professor at UCLA, who spoke at the Learning & the Brain Conference last week.

       

    • “Young people are born into technology, and they’re used to using it 24/7,” Small said. “Their brains are wired to use it elegantly.”

       

    • The downside of such immersion in technological devices, he said, is that they’re not having conversations, looking people in the eye, or noticing verbal cues. “These are important ‘technologies,’ so to speak, that have evolved over centuries and are tremendously powerful.”

       

    • But that’s not the headline here. Small’s main point was this: “The technology train has left. You have to deal with it, understand it, and get some perspective.”

       

    • Is technology making us less creative? Parents and educators have been worried about this issue, wondering whether hours of playing video games will zap their inclination to write or paint or sing.

       

    • Small said the Internet trains our minds to have a “staccato” train of thought, jumping from idea to idea, like we do from Website to Website. Is that the most creative way to think? Do we have time to sit back and be thoughtful?

       

    • Technology can train our brains in positive ways, he added. Surgeons who play video games, for example, make fewer surgical errors. Those who play video games have improved reaction time, better peripheral vision.

       

    • Brains are malleable, much like computers. If we spend a lot of time engaged in a repeated mental task, the neural circuits will strengthen. Conversely, if we neglect those tasks, the neural circuits will weaken.

       

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Responses

  1. […] How Technology Wires the Learning Brain | MindShift This is a fascinating article that gave me two major thoughts.The article discusses how research is indicating that prolonged technology use actually changes the way the brain works.This is… Source: educationstormfront.wordpress.com […]


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