Changing Our Brains
In George Lowery's article, “Technology changes our brains but doesn't lead to idiocy”, from Cornell University's Chronicle Online http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Feb11/HancockOneDayU.html , the author interviews a professor named Jeff Hancock, and he asks Hancock what his opinions are about technology. He states that technology changes our brains.
When we consider the issue of technology changing our brains, some might wonder is this really true? Can this be possible? Maybe scientists and people are just trying to make something out of nothing. George Lowery's article addresses this question because he points out the opinions Hancock has about technology and he questions the impact of technology: Is it bad or good?
Brains are plastic. They adapt to the environment that they're in, but we don't know whether that will lead to necessarily positive or negative outcomes. The effects of technology are not straightforward.
Lowery,George. News.cornell.edu (2011). Cornell Chronicle: Technology changes your brain, says professor. [online] Available at: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Feb11/HancockOneDayU.html [Accessed: 21 Sep 2012].
This is basically saying that our brains are adapting and changing. They are trying to keep up with technology.
This might make one wonder, How does this affect my behavior and actions? Our brains adapt to everything quickly. So maybe it doesn’t affect us since our brains quickly adjust to everything we do day to day.
Another point Lowrey makes in his article is:
Kids text. We know young people do more writing than any generation before them. Whether that counts as real writing is a question mark. They're also reading more. My bet is the more you read and write -- it doesn't matter what -- the more literate you'll be.
This is nonsense because even if we do more writing than any generation, as a teenager, I don’t think that half the writing I do is REAL WRITING. I know for a fact half of kids/teenagers don’t do real writing. It’s slang. I don’t think half of the teenagers nowadays like reading books anymore. Most kids would rather be on Facebook, Instagram, or texting and playing video games.
A third point addressed by Lowery:
In the 90’s, one of the big things was being able to find information as opposed to being able to remember it. I think it's going to have different effects on our emotions and types of intelligence."
This is significant, because it’s one of the positive effects of technology. People back then used to memorize everybodies phone numbers, for example. To get information in the quickest possible way was impossible. I think it’s not only our emotions, but also, what about our behavior?
Some might agree with Hancock that technology doesn’t change our brains, but it might change our behavior, actions and perspective of things.
What we can appreciate absout this author's work is that he focuses on the topic and quoted and summarized well what the professor said. We can look forward to seeing what he writes next, because his articles are interesting.