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Technology and the Brain

When

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.

In the first Question Time session of the year, host Madeleine Morris will be joined by a brains trust of experts to talk brains, technology, policy and wellbeing. It’s one whole hour of audience Q&A, so bring along your own burning question.

Featuring

Madeleine Morris

Madeleine Morris is a Melbourne-based reporter for ABC television’s 7.30. She was formerly a presenter for the BBC in London and reported from dozens of countries before returning to her native Australia. She is the author of Guilt-Free Bottle-Feeding: Why Your Formula-Fed Baby Can Grow ... Read more

Michael Arnold

Michael Arnold is Associate Professor and Head of Discipline in the History and Philosophy of Science Programme at the University of Melbourne. Michael Arnold is a Professor in the History and Philosophy of Science programme at the University of Melbourne. His research activities lie at the intersec... Read more

Olivia Carter
Olivia Carter

Olivia Carter is a Professor at the University of Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. She heads the Perception and Pharmacology Lab, where her research focuses on understanding how the brain’s natural chemicals control complex behaviours, thoughts and perceptions. Olivia has a strong i... Read more

Location

The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.