All those gadgets might make your brain explode

Spending all day and night staring at your computer screen and all your other gadgets in between may be rotting your brain. According to the New York Times, scientists say all the digital devices in your life are keeping your brain so busy it doesn't have any time to rest. The much needed downtime allows your brain to better learn, remember information and come up with new ideas.

Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco have found that when rats experience something new their brains show new activity patterns. Then only after the rats take a break do their brains start to process the information in a way that appears to be committing the experience to memory. Scientists believe that the human brain operates in a similar manner.

Loren Frank, assistant professor in the department of physiology at the university, where he specializes in learning and memory said, "Almost certainly, downtime lets the brain go over experiences it’s had, solidify them and turn them into permanent long-term memories, when the brain was constantly stimulated, you prevent this learning process."

A separate study at the University of Michigan found that people were able to commit more items to memory after a walk in the woods than after a walk in a dense urban environment. Scientists even said if you feel relaxed while watching TV or sitting at your computer you're taxing your brain. Marc Berman, a University of Michigan neuroscientist said,“People think they’re refreshing themselves, but they’re fatiguing themselves” 

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I'm still waiting on the announcement of NAS from Johnny Mnemonic (Nerve Attenuation Syndrome from being surrounded by too much technology, for those that haven't seen the film/read the short story)

They must have run out of other more important studies. You know like some of these completely useless studies...

•A study published in the journal Child Development found that tweens are sensitive to other people's perceptions of them. (The researchers used brain-mapping technology, which is kind of cool, but I'm pretty sure anyone who ever wore the "wrong" outfit on the first day of school already knows this.)

•A survey from the National Headache Foundation found that “92% of respondents would consider their life happier if they no longer suffered from headaches.” I would love to talk to the 8% who are perfectly content with the chronic pounding in their head.

•A study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that “people who bike or walk to work are more fit, less fat than drivers.” Shocking.

these days, we are more prone to have information overload. and that's also a problem. we no longer know which information are useful and important. most of our time is spent on going through useless and endless information and not on what really matters.

welcome to the information age and that makes life "better".

Gadgets? Try with 10 - 16 hours daily of coding, managing projects and having meetings .... we're all gonna die young and beautiful

theh0g said,
Gadgets? Try with 10 - 16 hours daily of coding, managing projects and having meetings .... we're all gonna die young and beautiful

LOL.
Managing projects... yeah, this is hell.

bruNo_ said,

LOL.
Managing projects... yeah, this is hell.

I think that gadgets stimulate your brain in a way that is different to just the humdrum of work. I don't code, but I spend a fair amount of time in a high-pressure environment as a project manager, and also at a computer, but find as long as I come home and chill out instead of sitting on the 'net, then I'm fine. Problems start when I'm looking at my phone all evening, or browsing websites etc. Then I can't sleep, and on a couple of occasions have gotten really wound up over the whole experience.

I used to stay up far too late when I was at college. These days I have work Mon-Fri and find it hard to stay awake if I don't get in bed by 10.30ish - doesn't mean I always am but I try.

And some people listen to music to sleep and keep the headphones on while sleeping too. I guess this is like flushing the memory banks after flooding the cache.

I wonder how much cache is available and how much time should we spend walking in the woods.

Wombatt said,
Thinking of going on a one week technology fast.
Wonder what I would do in that time... Read?

I just spent the last 5 days with no internet or tv (not by choice might I add). I felt so secluded and uninformed.

I'm gonna agree slightly here, I always find that to get a good nights sleep. I need to "unwind" after coming off the PC for at least an hour.

They need to do a full study on humans tbh. Our brains are so much more powerful than rats brains. I don't think this is an area which can just be scaled up from simpler organisms.

Also, I thought the 'downtime' they talk about occurred during sleep?

what said,
They need to do a full study on humans tbh. Our brains are so much more powerful than rats brains. I don't think this is an area which can just be scaled up from simpler organisms.

Also, I thought the 'downtime' they talk about occurred during sleep?

One problem that we do have as a society though, is lack of sleep. I try to make sure I get proper amounts, but I don't always succeed, and I know plenty of others who stay up much later than they should

Sraf said,
One problem that we do have as a society though, is lack of sleep.

I don't know if it's a problem of the society, but I know it's mine >_>

Sraf said,

I know plenty of others who stay up much later than they should

Staying up late is nothing. It's getting up early that kills.

random_n said,

Staying up late is nothing. It's getting up early that kills.

Exactly! I have no problem with sleep but I go to bed around 10AM in the morning and get up about 5.30PM - I work night shifts. Feel perfectly fine and only get tired when I change the amount of sleep I get, not the amount of time I've been up. So I could push/pull the pattern back around to sleep at night instead if I needed, and I'd wager I wouldn't feel any different (aside from getting more vitamin D via the sun etc). That isn't enough reason in this day and age to blame "being awake at a late hour" as the reason for general sleep deprivation, it depends how long you sleep in one "sitting".