Designed for learning

learning – teaching – research – design – technology

internet makes you smarter, and these here scans show it

Next time some apocalyptic bore starts yapping about how facebook causes cancer pull out your copy of Small, Moody et al. or Small & Vorgan’s  iBrain and show the audience that brain scans demonstrate how middle-aged and older adults with little Internet experience were able to trigger key centres in the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning after just one week of surfing the Web.

October 20, 2009 Posted by | neuroscience, technology | , , , , | Leave a comment

brainbook roundup

I supose this was expected. The Susan Greenfield story is going through the usual dance moves, with the old media and new media playing their typecast roles (Radio 4, so I’ve heard, balanced and sensible. well, surprise).

So, some of the good coverage I’ve seen so far:

Aleks Krotoski has seen it all before, but can’t avoid four poignant comments and a few good links.

Ben Goldacre gives the story the solid bad science treatment it deserves, and pointing us to

Vaughan‘s review of the  relevant literature at mindhacks.

I have to quote:

He points out the Dr Sigman quoted a 1998 paper called “The Internet Paradox”. This paper did indeed find a (weak) relationship between internet use and depression, loneliness, etc. This was 1998, at the very dawn of widespread use of the web, but more importantly, the very same authors went back and looked at the very same families, and found that the effect had disappeared. That seems relevant to me, especially if you’re going to quote the 1998 results, Dr Sigman?

You can read the paper in full online as a pdf. It says “This sample generally experienced positive effects of using the Internet on communication, social involvement, and well-being.”

There is no excuse for not knowing about this finding. Type the internet paradox into Google. Go on, do it:

Flessisgrass shares some notes from a recent talk Susan Greenfeld gave at the Jewish book week, giving us a glimpse at what she might have actually said at the Lords’ (as opposed to what the DM reported).

Those notes, as do some of the commentators, bring up the TV vs. Internet argument. Worth mentioning Clay Shirky‘s talk and Nick Carr‘s response.

Finally (ht @paternosterlift) here’s some new data on how we twit. Sorta related, and my way of saying, right, nuf, move on.

February 25, 2009 Posted by | neuroscience, Social Software | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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