Brain research 2


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Some ideas on the changing brain - mainly from Gary Small's book iBrain and TVO The Agenda - Your Brina on Technology

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Brain research 2

  1. 1. Brain Research:  Changes in the Mind or what we know so far.
  2. 2. Premise: The human brain is malleable in both adults and children.    Tendencies toward ADD or ADHD can be enhanced/exaggerated by computer use and TV, especially before the age of two (iBrain p. 64).     
  3. 3. What’s Changed? The high tech revolution has led to a state of "continuous partial attention" - different from multitasking where there are specific objectives - this is scanning for things or contacts that may be of interest. (iBrain p.18)
  4. 4. Which Brain Part to Work On? The large amounts of time spent on computers and video gaming is "stunting frontal lobe development" potentially leading to "an immature and self-absorbed emotional level" (p. 32)    More complex games and tasks require the use of the pre-frontal cortex decision making area.
  5. 6. The amygdala is involved in the processing of emotions such as fear, anger and pleasure.  The amygdala is also responsible for determining what memories are stored and where the memories are stored in the brain. It is thought that this determination is based on how huge an emotional response an event invokes.
  6. 7. The brain Dopamine release (from the amagdala) causes feelings of pleasure and control.
  7. 8. Compulsion/Engagement/Addiction "The anterior cingulate in their brains often loses out to the dopamine rush they get from text messaging from their friends" (iBrain p. 50)
  8. 9. Compulsion/Engagement/Addiction The computer and Internet can provide a false sense of control. ...    Computer users report feeling a sense of liberation and anonymity online ...   [and] from making up false personalities." (i Brain p. 51)
  9. 10. Compulsion/Engagement/Addiction "Part of what makes email [texting, surfing, tweeting ...] so addictive is that it follows the rules of operant conditioning, which means that the behavior is shaped by its consequences.    When you check email you get intermittent positive responses" (iBrain p. 54)
  10. 11. Shallow Tasking We scan constantly, hoping for more exciting input.   How do we 'teach' concentration?
  11. 12. The Brain and ADHD "Some professionals argue that ADHD is not truly a diagnostic disorder but rather the brain's adaptation to its perpetual exposure to multiple bits of information delivered through today's fast-paced technology." (p. 67)
  12. 13. Different Ages of Life <ul><li>Amir Raz - neuroscientist at McGill University </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>- different types of attention - even hypnosis </li></ul><ul><li>- we are better at some things at different ages </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>- attention is not an infinite resource </li></ul><ul><li>TVO - Your Brain On Technology </li></ul>
  13. 14. Shallowtasking/Multitasking The anterior prefrontal cortex lets us jump among tasks and pick up from where we left off.    one of the last parts of the brain to develop in children,    the first part of the brain to decline in older people,    young children and older adults find multitasking to be a challenge&quot; (iBrain p. 159)   Gregory Petsko on the aging brain
  14. 15. Social Needs &quot;Digital Natives, after long periods of time on the Internet, display poor eye contact and a reluctance to interact socially&quot; (p. 73)
  15. 16. More connected - more isolated? Connections across distances make us feel more important   We can easily neglect the things happening around us
  16. 17. Communication Skills &quot;time spent chatting with friends was associated with higher scores on memory tests. ...  (iBrain p. 116-117)   Conversation require more cognitive effort   Online communication lacks the total input of voice and body language
  17. 18. Social Skills &quot;Recent neuroscience points to pathways in the brain that are necessary to hone interpersonal skills, empathic abilities, and effective personal instincts.    In Digital Natives who have been raised on technology, these interpersonal pathways are often left unstimulated and underdeveloped. &quot; (iBrain p. 119)
  18. 19. Should We Teach Meditation? &quot;Buddhist monks ... empathy and maternal love. ...   It was as if the years of meditation had strengthened the brain connections between thinking (frontal lobe) and feeling (amygdala).&quot; (iBrain p. 142)
  19. 20. Conclusions We should work to develop the brains of both Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants.    DN need to have more personal interaction experience    DI need more technological skills.    Pairing these two types together can potentially help both individuals improve (and appreciate each other more).
  20. 21. Brain Map
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