Booting Up a Brain Change

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Booting Up a Brain Change

A new study by UCLA neuroscientist Gary Small adds to a growing body of research that says technology is changing our brains. “Perhaps not since early man first discovered how to use a tool has the human brain been affected so quickly and so dramatically.”

The brain’s plasticity — its ability to change in response to different stimuli — is well-known. Musicians have more gray matter in brain regions responsible for finger movements. Athletes’ brains are bulkier in areas that control hand-eye coordination. That’s because the more time you devote to a specific activity, the stronger the neural pathways responsible for executing that activity become. Small’s findings suggest that Internet use enhances working memory (the ability to store and retrieve information in the short term), improves perceptual learning (adjusting perception in response to information), and increases motor skills.

Small says these differences are profound across generations. Young people who have never known a world without e-mail tend to make snap decisions and juggle multiple sources of sensory input. Those of us remember a world without technology are better at reading facial expressions, learn more methodically, and tend to execute tasks more precisely.

At Home Care Assistance Columbus, we like to help our clients stay in touch with technology; and now we know we’re helping them evolve, too!

Watch evolution happen!

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