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October 23, 2011

Technology: Virtue or Vice to Our Brains?


It is undeniable that our daily lives are inundated with technology. Our society and this world work hand in hand with technology on a close, almost dependent level. It is only in the last few decades that we have become so co oriented with technology, and it is becoming a more pressing issue than ever that we question the effects of this change. As humans, who we are is shaped by our experiences, and knowing and acknowledging this fact means we have to question both the pros and cons of such a new and close relationship with technology. When looking at this relationship it is not a question of whether or not humans are being affected by technology but how technology is affecting us.

Technology includes a multitude of different things and cannot be considered one single entity. Because it is so multidimensional it is not necessarily a good or a bad thing; a greater breakdown is necessary to determine potentially harmful technology from proven positive facets of technology. It is verified that technology as a whole has the ability to manipulate mood and arousal. It has also been proven that attention, and vision and motor skills can be enhanced while using technology. These improvements are highly dependent based on the type of technology being used and whether or not there is active or passive interaction.

Television has been around for more than sixty years but it's relevance to everyday lives and learning has never been so great. There are learning benefits to technology but three reoccurring traits have surfaced in accordance with being wired. Studies have shown that people are more likely to be violent, exhibit addictive behavior, and get distracted easier. Once again the context of the technology must be taken in to consideration. Influences of technology are starting at earlier and earlier ages these days. In children the television show Telletubbies, research showed a decrease in language proficiency in children who watched this show. However, there was a language proficiency increase seen in children who watched Dora the Explorer.

These numerous concerns and detrimental findings in research also have a flip side. New research shows indications that playing video games is associated with a number of improvements in attention, cognition, vision, and motor control. Playing video games heightens ability to pinpoint small details in chaotic scenes. Playing video games and improving these skills has shown to help people in careers such as pilots or surgeons.
Part of making technology more beneficial than detrimental is learning how to use it and how to allow it to challenge and improve our brains as opposed to letting it become a route to mindlessness. We are seeing that the attractive features of video games such as emotional context, arousing experiences, and richly structured scenarios are what boost our intellectual brain and educational technology tends to exploit the repetitive nature of practice makes perfect. Making moves to shift educational technology toward the more interactive nature of technology could only improve our relationship with technology. It is difficult to study the ways that technology affects the human brain but considering the growing reliability and interaction humans have with it, research in this field is both necessary and critical to society.

Full article can be found at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0896627310006781
Posted by      Bethany B. at 9:41 PM MDT
  Joseph Crawford  says:
The post explores technology: virtue or vice to our brains. The article mentions that it is confirmed that technology as a whole has the capability to influence mood and arousal. It has also been verified that concentration, and vision and motor skills can be improved while using technology.

Thanks,
https://essayschief.com
Posted on Thu, 2 May 2019 5:29 AM MDT by Joseph C.

Internet Media Educates us as Traditional Media Never Has


At this point in time there is a staggeringly vast amount of knowledge available to people through the internet. There is now so much knowledge available that this particular time period has earned the moniker ‚??the information age‚?? and is considered distinct and special due the widespread availability of this knowledge. For informal and underground fields of study or interest this is a great boon. For the first time in history these fields of study are given a set up where the few and far between collaborators can easily communicate, cooperate and disseminate their results to the interested amateur. In technical fields with a high barrier to understanding such as biology and neuroscience, the ease of passing on information through the internet is cutting out middleman news distributors and producing sources of intelligible information produced by people who are experts in their fields.

Traditionally much of the public has gotten its science information from newspapers, magazines and television news programs. These sources, run by journalist who study and focus on distributing information to the public are excellent at catching the public eye and producing results that the public finds interesting. However, journalists often lack significant scientific backgrounds or training, and therefore are not always qualified to interpret the science they are publicizing. The result has been that historically the public has often been fed simplifications of scientific matters, or occasionally misinformed entirely.

Now that scientists have gained access to the internet for distributing information, the public has new and more expert venues for learning about whatever science interests them. Blogs written by scientists are available for most scientific topics, while social media sites often have sub sections dedicated to the discussion of news within various sciences. Surprisingly, despite the amateur nature of many of the content contributors, the content is often just as readable as what can be found in traditional sources such as newspapers and magazines. It is however more expert, increasing the quality of the information available to the public.

Another aspect that internet media brings to the table which has never previously been available is an element of interactivity between content creators and content consumers. The brilliance of social media lies in the fact that users can request clarification or increased depth directly from the producers of content. There are even sites which focus on increasing public knowledge by creating a forum between laymen and scientists on scientific topics. The website reddit.com has a subsection for this called askscience (www.reddit.com/r/askscience), which has over the past month discussed scientific questions varying from the whether IQ differences can be estimated through brain imaging to how big stars can get.

Traditional media outlets will continue to be an important purveyor of scientific conclusions by summarizing large issues in science and reaching the general public at large. However any laymen interested in scientific knowledge, internet media is providing opportunities never before seen from the traditional side of science journalism. With its potential for in depth expert analysis and discussion between scientists and the curious, the internet has greatly improved the quality and availability of scientific knowledge.
Posted by      Michael A. at 5:33 PM MDT
  Michael Asnes  says:
I case anyone was curious, here are the links to the science questions I mentioned:

IQ differences and brain imaging: http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/lkkgb/is_iq_difference_detectable_with_mri_or_eeg_in/

How big stars can get: http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/lefvj/what_is_the_maximum_theoretical_size_that_a_star/
Posted on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 5:35 PM MDT by Michael A.
  Christina Uhlir  says:
Blogs are excellent up to a point. Think about people who can post blogs and about the editing processes involved in the vast majority of the blogs that are published (nonexistent). Not to mention the fact that a blog is not copyrighted, which will deter the more professional bloggers who do not want to become victims of intellectual property theft. Blogs are interesting and informative, but read a blog post with more than a grain of salt and check for sources. Please don't let me steamroll over this though, if you disagree please reply.
Posted on Mon, 24 Oct 2011 6:29 PM MDT by Christina U.




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