Digital Transformation

Neuroscientist warns of technology's impact upon the brain

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By The Drum Team | Staff Writer

September 15, 2010 | 1 min read

Baroness Susan Greenfield, a Professor at Lincoln College, Oxford, has waded back into a debate aired by The Drum by claiming technology's impact on the human brain could pose the greatest threat to humanity after climate change.

Speaking at the British Science Festival in Birmingham Greenfield said extended periods of time spent in front of the computer caused changes in the brain saying “we have to work out whether it is for good or bad.”

Greenfield went on to implore government and private sector organisations to investigate “mind change”, the effect that computer games, websites and social networking channels might have on the brain.

“For me this is almost as important as climate change. Whilst of course it doesn’t threaten the existence of the planet, I think the quality of our existence is threatened.”

Amongst the changes Greenfield foresees are higher IQs and faster processing of information, but these improvements could be offset by search engines impairing our ability to learn and increasing recklessness from those exposed to video games.

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