Friday, November 26, 2010

Does the Internet Make You Dumber?

"The pioneering neuroscientist Michael Merzenich believes our brains are being 'massively remodeled' by our ever-intensifying use of the Web and related media. In the 1970s and 1980s, Mr. Merzenich, now a professor emeritus at the University of California in San Francisco, conducted a famous series of experiments on primate brains that revealed how extensively and quickly neural circuits change in response to experience. When, for example, Mr. Merzenich rearranged the nerves in a monkey's hand, the nerve cells in the animal's sensory cortex quickly reorganized themselves to create a new 'mental map' of the hand. In a conversation late last year, he said that he was profoundly worried about the cognitive consequences of the constant distractions and interruptions the Internet bombards us with. The long-term effect on the quality of our intellectual lives, he said, could be 'deadly.'"

That was an excerpt from Does the Internet Make You Dumber?, a WSJ Essay by Nicholar Carr.

And here's a preview of Nicholas Carr's "The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains."

Carr and other scholars were featured on today's episode of To The Point, a KCRW radio show.


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