by Jennifer Coote


The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, N. Carr, Norton, 2010, popularises some significant research into brain functioning. The mental habits we are learning as we use the Internet are altering our capabilities to read, and for thinking. New habits create new brain connections, while older established ones wither or fail to form. This brain plasticity is a great quality, but it also favours “primitive” mental functions, such as quick decision making, over intellectual ones associated with reading, such as language, memory and visual processing. Psychologists have found that people who read old-fashioned text understand it better and more profoundly than those who read the same material enhanced with links.(continue…)

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