Is your brain being altered due to our increasing reliance on search engines, social networking sites and other digital technologies? That is the question I posed at last year”s 3D Bar Camp in Limerick. It is a subject I am increasingly becoming involved in and so I was interested to see this video from Nicholas Carr, author of the best-selling book “The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google,” and “”The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains”, a book I referred to in my talk.
In this week’s round-up of the latest discoveries in the field of neuroscience – the evolutionary nature of the brain, how blind people see with their ears, the neuroscience of humour, and how the internet is changing the way we think.
Interesting post on the evolutionary nature of the brain here
Scientists say they have discovered a “maintenance” protein that helps keep nerve fibres that transmit messages in the brain operating smoothly. The University of Edinburgh team says the finding could improve understanding of disorders such as epilepsy, dementia, MS and stroke.
Neuropsychologist, Dr. Olivier Collignon has proved that some blind people can “see” with their ears. He compared the brain activity of people who can see and people who were born blind, and discovered that the part of the brain that normally works with our eyes to process vision and space perception can actually rewire itself to process sound information instead.
A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that we have much more control over our minds, personalities and personal illnesses than was ever believed to exist before, and it is all occurring at the same time that a flood of other research is exposing the benefits of humor on brain functioning. Nichole Force has written a post in Psych Central on Humor, Neuroplasticity and the Power To Change Your Mind.
And finally, is the internet changing the way we think? American writer Nicholas Carr believes so and his claims that the internet is not only shaping our lives but physically altering our brains has sparked a debate in the Guardian.