How does technology change our brain

Are new technologies changing the way the brain works?

Last update: 13 August, 2019

It would be naive to think that new technology would not change the way the brain works. In fact, computers and all so-called “smart devices”, as the name suggests, are extensions of various functions of our brain. They are precisely designed to facilitate the use of our existing skills.

As well has changed the way we think about new technology. Just as Homo sapiens learned to use their hands in new ways that changed their brains, so today we are making changes based on how we do our jobs using that modern technology.

So far there is no study that has shown radical changes in our brain. But small changes that occurred quickly and in great numbers have been documented. Where will this take us? We do not know yet. What we do know is that we have lost some skills and are developing others.

“Technology is nothing. It is important to believe in people; that they are basically good and clever, and if given tools, they will do wonderful things to them. "

Steve Jobs

From memory to search: the effect of new technologies

Before the advent of modern technologies, we used our memories much more intensively, because we did not have access to the information we have today. We helped each other with notes, phone books or tricks to remember the data we needed to have on hand.

So with the advent of new technologies, memory became less important. The amount of data that makes up the Internet is overwhelming. No other memory provides continuous access to so much information. So the way we use our memory has changed too. Today we choose which data we want to "save". Conversely, we don't have as good a memory as we used to, or at least we don't have as much faith in it.

In return we have developed more and more ways to get the information we need. Our first encounters with the new technologies often caused confusion: We didn't know where to start looking for answers to our questions. That is now a thing of the past. Now we have many more ways to find data and quickly assess its validity.

Video games and peripheral vision

There are sources claiming that video games are associated with compulsive behavior, contribute little to our brain and can even make people sick. It is also said that they can make those who play them lose their sense of reality, thus managing to alienate them.

While all of this is true in extreme situations, the fact that video games can be an interesting way for us to test our minds is also true. With them we can, for example improve our peripheral vision.

Our visual has a central focus that allows us to focus our gaze on something and examine its details. At the same time, there is peripheral vision, which only blurs details of the wider environment. Nevertheless, it is of enormous importance, for example in road traffic. In many video games, we are forced to practice a much broader focus as opponents can pop up at any angle.

Mobile devices and social networks

The use of cell phones has grown exponentially in less than a decade. Few people have not yet turned these devices into an extension of their body. They send messages, data and information of all kinds.

Some scientists studying this phenomenon claim that the brain has changed the way it directs the hand when people use cell phones. The area of ​​the brain that controls thumb movement has expanded significantly in response to this new way of using the fingers.

When it comes to social networks, there is still a lot of confusion. No one can deny that they have changed the way we treat each other and behave. This, of course, requires some brain functions to be adjusted. However, the actual effects of these transformations have not yet been clearly clarified. The way in which we communicate and socialize is also changing continuously, there is no starting or ending point.

There is no doubt that new technologies have changed the way we live and act. Like all other transformations of civilization, this one seems irreversible.Obviously, it implies losses and gains. Modern technology represents a new chapter in the evolution of the human brain, but certainly not the last. Now we have to try to explore and use its full potential.

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