The Wheeler Centre
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Question Time: Technology and the Brain
In the first Question Time session of the year, host Madeleine Morris is joined by a brains trust of experts to talk brains, technology, policy and wellbeing. Strap in for a fascinating hour of audience Q&A with Michael Arnold and Olivia Carter.
Socrates railed against the invention of the alphabet, worrying that the written word would erode human memory. Imagine how he would have felt about Google Maps and iPhone calendar alerts.
Technological revolutions have always spawned both opportunity and panic. Today, digital technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate, and research into its effects on the human brain is struggling to keep apace.
There’s strong evidence to suggest that digital technology really is altering human physiology, affecting our impulse control, attention span, sleeping patterns and, yes, our memory function. But it’s not all bad news, with some research suggesting a link between complex online activities (such as immersive games) and cognitive flexibility.