15 ways in which the internet is changing our brain | Life | Times Crest
Popular on Times Crest
  • In This Section
  • Entire Website
  • Cover your hairs, shameless
    July 13, 2013
    She changed her picture on Twitter. And the abuse began to flow.
  • Minute to burn it
    July 13, 2013
    Bored by long workouts? Just seven fast and furious minutes can produce results.
  • Going Biblical
    July 13, 2013
    In Jordan, one finds places mentioned in the Bible.
More in this Section
Profiles
Leaving tiger watching to raise rice Ecologist Debal Deb, who did his post-doctoral research from IISc in…
The crorepati writer He's the man who gives Big B his lines. RD Tailang, the writer of KBC.
Chennai-Toronto express Review Raja is a Canadian enthusiast whose quirky video reviews of Tamil…
Don't parrot, perform Maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta will hold a masterclass on ragas.
A man's man Shivananda Khan spent his life speaking up for men who have sex with men.
Bhowmick and the first family of Indian football At first glance, it would be the craziest set-up in professional football.
From Times Blogs
The end of Detroit
Jobs in Detroit's car factories are moving to India.
Chidanand Rajghatta
How I love the word ‘dobaara’...
Can ‘bindaas’ or ‘jhakaas’ survive transliteration?
Shobhaa De
Anand marte nahin...
India's first superstar died almost a lonely life.
Robin Roy
Mind changer

15 ways in which the internet is changing our brain




IQ IS INCREASING


In the age of MTV and video games, experts worried that new and flashy technologies would fry our poor brains into oblivion. But the exact opposite happened: we're getting smarter. Are we smarter because of technology, or in spite of it? No one's got the answer but it is worth mulling over

WE'VE BECOME POWER BROWSERS


Online browsing has created a new form of "reading" which is rather "power browsing". Instead of left to right, up to down reading, we scan through titles and bullet points that stand out. Comprehension and attention are certainly at risk here

CREATIVE THINKING MAY SUFFER


Some experts believe that memorisation is critical to creativity. William Klemm, a neuroscience professor at Texas A&M University insists that "creativity comes from a mind that knows and remembers a lot. "Although creativity seems to have grown with the use of technology, it's certainly being done in new and different ways


WE'RE BETTER AT
DETERMINING RELEVANCE


With so much information, it's only natural that some of it is junk. After all, just about anyone can put information out there and promote the heck out of it. It's up to us to determine what's relevant, and with so much practice, our brains are getting better at this

DIFFICULT QUESTIONS MAKE US THINK ABOUT COMPUTERS


When faced with a difficult question, people immediately think of a computer, not an encyclopaedia. It's a brand new impulse. For many, this means we don't have to trek to the library, or, with the ubiquity of smartphones, even go much farther than our own pockets

WE'RE BETTER AT FINDING INFORMATION


Although we can't remember it all, we're getting better at finding information. It seems the brainpower previously used to retain facts is now used to remember how to look them up. Professor Betsy Sparrow says we're adapting to new technology and becoming highly skilled in remembering where to find things


OUR CONCENTRATION
IS SUFFERING


Many find themselves struggling with deep reading these days. It's not hard to figure why. Our time online is spent scanning headlines and surfing, never spending much time on any one thing. So when it comes to reading for more than a few minutes, your mind begins to wander

WE'RE BECOMING PHYSICALLY ADDICTED TO TECHNOLOGY


Even after unplugging, many internet users crave the stimulation received from gadgets. The culprit is dopamine, which is delivered as a response to the stimulation. The wife of a heavy technology user says her husband is "crotchety until he gets his fix. "After logging off, your brain wants to get back for more, making it difficult to concentrate on other tasks

THE MORE YOU USE THE INTERNET, THE MORE IT LIGHTS UP YOUR BRAIN


In 2007, UCLA professor Gary Small asked experienced surfers and newbie internet users to Google various preselected topics. He monitored brain activity, noting that experienced surfers showed much more activity, especially in areas devoted to problem solving. He conducted a second test six days later, having the newbies spend an hour each day searching online in the interim, and found the novice surfers' brains looked more like that of intermediate internet users. "Five hours on the internet and the naive subjects had already rewired their brains, "noted Small, suggesting that over time, internet use changes neural pathways

OUR BRAINS CONSTANTLY SEEK OUT INCOMING INFORMATION


Tests at Stanford indicate that heavy internet users often tend to overlook older and valuable information, instead choosing to seek out new information. Instead of focusing on important tasks, or putting information to good use, we're distracted by incoming email

WE DON'T BOTHER TO REMEMBER


Science Magazine asked two groups of students to type pieces of trivia. The bunch that was told their data would be saved were less likely to remember than the ones who expected it to be erased. This indicates lower recall rates when one expects access to the information in the future

CHILDREN LEARN DIFFERENTLY


Kids don't need to remember names and dates from history lessons. With online libraries, rote learning is no longer a necessary part of education. Educators have realised that information is coming at us through a fire hose and memorising wastes valuable brain power that could be used to keep up with more important information that can't be Googled

WE HARDLY GIVE TASKS FULL ATTENTION


Have you ever updated your Facebook while texting? If so, you've experienced the phenomenon of continuous partial attention. It remains to be seen if this is a distraction or an adaptation of the brain to the constant flow of stimuli

THE INTERNET IS OUR EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE


We don't have to remember phone numbers or addresses anymore. Instead, we can just hop on our email to look it up. The Science Magazine reports that the "internet has become a primary form of external or transactive memory" and our brains have become reliant on its availability


ONLINE THINKING
PERSISTS EVEN OFFLINE


When you're online, you're frequently attacked by bursts of information. This is highly stimulating and even overwhelming. Too much, and you can become extremely distracted and unfocused. Even after you log off (if you ever do), your brain remains rewired. A lack of focus & fractured thinking can persist, interrupting work, family, and offline time

You Might Also Like

Other Times Group news sites
The Times of India | The Economic Times
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | ઈકોનોમિક ટાઈમ્સ
Mumbai Mirror | Times Now
Indiatimes | नवभारत टाइम्स
महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स
Living and entertainment
Timescity | iDiva | Bollywood | Zoom
| Technoholik | MensXP.com

Networking

itimes | Dating & Chat | Email
Hot on the Web
Hotklix
Services
Book print ads | Online shopping | Business solutions | Book domains | Web hosting
Business email | Free SMS | Free email | Website design | CRM | Tenders | Remit
Cheap air tickets | Matrimonial | Ringtones | Astrology | Jobs | Property | Buy car
Online Deals
About us | Advertise with us | Terms of Use and Grievance Redressal Policy | Privacy policy | Feedback
Copyright© 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service