re-wired !

Posted: October 24, 2011 in Blogged It!, Books, Brain Health, Computers and Internet, Health and wellness, Ramblings
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…..reading two separate, unrelated, articles in the weekend newspaper, the Saturday Times, one about a mother who went to a therapist for help with her relationship with her teenage son, the other an edited extract from a book called ‘You and Me: the Neuroscience of identity’ by Baroness Greenfield a Professor of Pharmacology, I noticed an overlapping of information.
The mother points out that her teenage son forgets everything all of the time and is almost told off by a therapist who specialises in family relationships:
“He is a teenager, his brain isn’t wired properly yet”. The therapist explains that at the heart of all parents problems with teenagers is that most don’t really understand the working of the teenage brain. She says there are enormous changes going on in the teenage brain. The brain is essentially becoming unwired, which means their decision-making skills go haywire and adult empathy levels are not there. She also points out that this “un-wiring”, where the brain disconnects from the frontal cortex, means that teenagers are genuinely forgetful and also tend to be more prone to taking risks.
Susan Greenfield writes: There is one alarm bell ringing which suggests that increasing two-dimensional screen existence may be having undesirable effects.
…..This could possibly be that if the young brain is exposed from the outset to a world of fast action-reaction, of instant new screen images flashing up with each press of a key, then such rapid interchange might lead to a shorter attention span….
…..The emphasis in most computer games is on the sensory laden thrill of the moment. An increase in physiological arousal can be linked to excessive release of the brain chemical dopamine. Could the screen experience be tilting the ancient balance in favour of the more infantile, senses-driven brain state. We also know that excessive recklessness is linked to the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain only becomes mature in late teens or early twenties. When this area is damaged patients take a high degree of risk. We know too that dopamine suppresses the activity of neurons in the prefrontal cortex.
…..it is worrying that in a recent study from China of internet addicts there was a strong degree of correlation between months of addiction and significant atrophy in key parts of the brain. as revealed in scans. If we live perpetually in the present moment, could one stark and extreme possibility be that, in the end, such people may have simply no identity?
I apologise to the authors for the heavy editing but I wanted some of my friends to see this.

what do you think?

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