The Impact of Screen Culture on Our Brains

Source: The Age

The impact of screen culture on the human brain merits the same public debate and funding for research as climate change, says one of the world’s most eminent neuroscientists.

As the online world continues to expand, Oxford University’s Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield has warned excessive screen culture may be changing the way our brains are wired.

The effect of screen culture on the brain is not dissimilar to symptoms associated with attention deficit disorder, such as a shorter attention span and decline in empathy.

Professor Greenfield points to her native England where the number of prescriptions for ADHD has trebled in the past decade.

It is unclear what has driven the rise – it could be that doctors are being more liberal with prescriptions or increased awareness of the condition, or its higher prevalence. Whether there is a link between time spent with screens and the condition is also unclear. But, she argues, this is evidence enough of the need for more research.

”There should be more money for research into why games are addictive, what mental processes are being tapped into … There should be development with neuroscientists and software writers on how to deliver experiences and the kind of talents that we think might be in jeopardy.”

While we are born with pretty much all the neurons we will ever have, the growth of the human brain revolves around the way connections are made between brain cells.

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