What impact are technologies such as computer games, the Internet and social media having on the brain? Is Mind Change the new Climate Change?
Thirty years ago, the term ‘Climate Change’ meant little to most people. Today, it is widely understood as the umbrella term encompassing a wide variety of environmental issues such as carbon sequestration, alternative energy sources, or water use. Some feel that we’re doomed, others that the issues are exaggerated. Many believe that science can still help.
Susan Greenfield suggests there could be an unprecedented feature unique to the 21st Century that, like Climate Change, covers a diverse range of questions and invites controversy and differing views as to how to dealt with it. This time it relates to how future generations will think and feel: ‘Mind Change’.
Technology and the brain
Susan is fascinated as to how screen technologies such as computer games, the Internet and social media may be changing the human brain, both for good and bad. Humans occupy more ecological niches than any other species on the planet because of the superlative ability of our brains, to adapt to their environment.
As the 21st Century delivers a vast range of new technologies that are transforming our environment in unprecedented ways, it follows that the human brain, and thus our minds, could also be undergoing unprecedented changes.
The future of the mind
Today’s screen technologies create environments that could alter how we process information, the degree to which we take risks, how we socialise and empathise with others and even, how we view our own identity. This is the primary focus of Susan Greenfield’s work into the impact of modern screen technologies on the human brain.