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Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains

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by Susan Greenfield
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Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains by Susan Greenfield

We live in a world unimaginable only decades ago: a domain of backlit screens, instant information, and vibrant experiences that can outcompete dreary reality. Our brave new technologies offer incredible opportunities for work and play. But at what price?

Now renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield—known in the United Kingdom for challenging entrenched conventional views—brings together a range of scientific studies, news events, and cultural criticism to create an incisive snapshot of "the global now." Disputing the assumption that our technologies are harmless tools, Greenfield explores whether incessant exposure to social media sites, search engines, and videogames is capable of rewiring our brains, and whether the minds of people born before and after the advent of the Internet differ.

Stressing the impact on Digital Natives—those who've never known a world without the Internet—Greenfield exposes how neuronal networking may be affected by unprecedented bombardments of audiovisual stimuli, how gaming can shape a chemical landscape in the brain similar to that in gambling addicts, how surfing the Net risks placing a premium on information rather than on deep knowledge and understanding, and how excessive use of social networking sites limits the maturation of empathy and identity.

But Mind Change also delves into the potential benefits of our digital lifestyle. Sifting through the cocktail of not only threat but opportunity these technologies afford, Greenfield explores how gaming enhances vision and motor control, how touch tablets aid students with developmental disabilities, and how political "clicktivism" foments positive change.

In a world where adults spend ten hours a day online, and where tablets are the common means by which children learn and play, Mind Change reveals as never before the complex physiological, social, and cultural ramifications of living in the digital age. A book that will be to the Internet what An Inconvenient Truth was to global warming, Mind Change is provocative, alarming, and a call to action to ensure a future in which technology fosters—not frustrates—deep thinking, creativity, and true fulfillment.

Praise for Mind Change

"This is just the book we need now as we proceed to absorb fresh digital innovations: a scientific review of their effects on the brain and what they mean for our minds. Mind Change clearly presents to lay readers the latest experimental findings as Susan Greenfield brings to the digital revolution just the right level of skepticism and curiosity. Neither a naysayer nor an enthusiast, she is a sober, reliable, and engaging voice on screen experience, telling us what happens inside our heads each time we log on, connect, play, and emote."—Mark Bauerlein, author of The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)

"Greenfield's Mind Change . . . proposes that global climate change can serve as a useful metaphor for how human minds—our inner environments—are, in her view, being recklessly altered by digital technologies. . . . Mind Change is an important presentation of an uncomfortable minority position."—Jaron Lanier, Nature

"Greenfield is a lucid and thorough communicator, and this book is highly accessible to those with no knowledge of neuroscience. . . . That I kept being distracted from my reading to check Facebook was less a reflection on the quality of the book than a sobering lesson in how relevant these issues are."The Independent (U.K.)

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Ebook Details
Pages: 368
Size: 2.6 MB
Publisher: Random House
Date published:   2015
ISBN: 9780812993837 (DRM-EPUB)

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This product is listed in the following categories:

Nonfiction > Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Nonfiction > Computers > Digital Media
Nonfiction > Science > Cognitive Science

This author has products in the following categories:

Nonfiction > Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Nonfiction > Computers > Digital Media
Nonfiction > Science > Cognitive Science
Nonfiction > Medical > Neuroscience
Nonfiction > Medical > Psychiatry
Nonfiction > Psychology > Cognitive Neuroscience & Cognitive Neuropsychology
Nonfiction > Medical > Administration

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