Re-Wired by Wireless

Another Com641 Post

The human brain is a smart machine.  Seriously, no pun intended.  It learns and adapts, remembering how we do things so that they become habit, instinct, changing the thought process required to do the same things in the future.  (Sort of like how Google tracks your every move on the internet, personalizing your browsing experience/learning more about you than your closest friends…)
Anyway, part of the learning process has to do with neurons firing back and forth and creating neural pathways, wiring, or whatever the most correct scientific phrasing may be.  Basic neurological study (if such a thing can ever be “basic”) indicates that the types of brain activity we engage in form those pathways.  One type of brain activity teaches you to think one way, another teaches you to think another.  This is not to say you can only think the one way you are wired, but there is an undeniable change in brain activity depending on the way your lifestyle has “wired” you to think.

“When culture drives changes in the ways that we engage our brains, it creates DIFFERENT brains” – Michael Merzaenich

To point out the obvious, our culture’s obsessive use of the internet and mobile technology has changed the way we engage out brains, and there’s science to prove it.  Brain activity in a reader vs. an internet surfer looks very different.  So does the activity in a novice internet surfer vs. a “regular”.

Different can be good…. right?

“distracted from distraction by distraction”  – Four Quartets, Eliot

See also, The Juggler’s Brain, by Nicolas Carr

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2 thoughts on “Re-Wired by Wireless

  1. When someone points something out, we seem to recognize it more often. Since reading Carr, I’ve recognized distraction in nearly every part of my daily life.
    However, after reading Lanier and his ideas for using the internet better, I wonder if we can be more active in the re-wiring of our brains?

    • I think we can… again it comes down to being aware of the process. Going along with the concept of more areas of our brain being active when online, could we utilize that for more “out of the box” thinking? Or maybe that’s a sub-consiouse process. Controlling/using brain neuron firings. Hmmm this is getting too science-fictiony. Anyway, it’s something I’m playing with in my paper…

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