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THE IMPACT OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
ON THE BRAIN
RISK MANAGEMENT, LEADERSHIP
& CREATIVITY
Risk-Management
Leadership
Creativity
(1) The Environment is Key
Developing a Mind…
Newborn 3 months 15 months 2 years
‘Thinking is…
Movement Confined to the Brain’
An ‘Enriched’ Environment…
Effects of an ‘Enriched’ Environment
Standard ‘Enriched’
Connections Give Ever Deeper
MEANING over Time…
The Biological Basis of the Mind
Is the Personalisation of the Brain
Through Unique Dynamic Configurations
Of Neuronal Con...
(2) The 21st Century Environment is
Unprecedented
http://www.itv.com/news/u
pdate/2014-08-07/brits-
spend-more-time-using-...
The Independent, 7th August 2014
Freedom…
(3) The Brain Will Be Changing
Correspondingly in New Ways
“Even so, mankind will suffer badly from the disease of
boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year
and growing in ...
Risk-Management
136 Papers
Desensitisation
Increased arousal
Aggressive cognition
Aggressive behaviour
381 Independent Tests
130,296 Parti...
Kelly CR, Grinband J, Hirsch J (2007) PLoS ONE 2(12):
e1268. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001268
Repeated Exposure to Media V...
Research Article
Video game playing, attention problems, and impulsiveness:
Evidence of bi-directional causality
Douglas A...
THE NEURAL BASIS
OF
VIDEO GAMING
Kuhn, S. et al.,
Translational Psychiatry
(2011)
53, 1-5
Arousal Addiction RewardReward
‘Meaningless’
Prefrontal under-function?
• Strong feelings
• Sensory
• Here-and-now
• External environment
dominates
• Lit...
Having a
sensational time…
Having a
sensational time…
Letting
yourself go…
Research Article
Inverse Association Between BMI and Prefrontal Metabolic Activity In
Healthy Adults
Volkow ND, Wang GJ, T...
Research Article
Decision-Making in Obesity: A Study using the Gambling
Pignatti R, Bertella L, Albani G, Mauro A, Molinar...
Without
Schizophrenia
With
Schizophrenia
Childhood and Schizophrenia
Similarities
Easily distracted
Short attention span
Inability to interpret proverbs
Under-func...
A Common Factor:
The Press of the Senses?
‘Meaningless’
Prefrontal under-function?
• Strong feelings
• Sensory
• Here-and-now
• External environment
dominates
• Lit...
A
CONTINUOUS
CYCLE?
(2) High arousal,
high levels of
dopamine
release
(6) Conditions of
childhood,
schizophrenia, obesity ...
Risk-Management
Leadership
Words: 10% of total impact
Eye contact
Body language
Voice(tone/rate/volume)
Pheromones ?
Physical contact ?
Communication...
• A link between atypical brain wave responses in problematic face
recognition, characteristic of autism, and also of heav...
History of Blogging…
1999:
So I just have to tell someone about this thing my cat did
today…
2004:
OMG! Cat pictures!
2005...
• High IQ
• Efficient information
processing
• Short attention span
• Icons not ideas
• Sensation at premium
• Risk taker
...
From Management to Leadership…
HAVING A VISION!
Promoting Individual Fulfilment
Risk-Management
Leadership
Creativity
Eric Schmidt
(Chairman, Google)
‘I worry that the level of interrupt,
the sort of overwhelming rapidity of
information…is ...
Princess Marya…
From
INFORMATION to KNOWLEDGE
1) Isolated Fact
2) Relate to other facts =
3) Significance
4) Place facts in wider, concept...
What is ‘Understanding’?
‘From the moment we become aware of others, we demand to
be told stories that allow us to make sense of the world, to
inha...
From
KNOWLEDGE to NEW THINKING
1) Isolated Fact
2) Relate to other facts =
3) Significance
4) Place facts in wider, concep...
(I) Premium on de-constructing/ challenging dogma
The 3 Steps to Creativity
(I) Premium on de-constructing/ challenging dogma
(II) Unusual associations
The 3 Steps to Creativity
(I) Premium on de-constructing
(II) Unusual associations
BUT ALSO
(III) These new associations activate more extensive
con...
“We are all in the gutter, but some
of us are looking at the stars…”
Oscar Wilde
Mind Change:
Global,
Controversial,
Unprecedented,
Multifaceted…
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain
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Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain

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Susan Greenfield discusses the all-pervading technologies that now surround us, and from which we derive instant information, connected identity, diminished privacy and exceptionally vivid here-and-now experiences. In her view they are creating a new environment, with vast implications, because our minds are physically adapting: being rewired. What could this mean, and how can we harness, rather than be harnessed by, our new technological milieu to create better alternatives and more meaningful lives? Using the very latest research (up to the end of 2013), Mind Change is intended to incite debate as well as yield the way forward. There is no better person to explain the situation in a way we can understand, and to offer new insights on how to improve our mental capacities and well-being.

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Susan Greenfield - 2015 AICD Conference - The Impact of Digital Technology on the Brain

  1. 1. THE IMPACT OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY ON THE BRAIN RISK MANAGEMENT, LEADERSHIP & CREATIVITY
  2. 2. Risk-Management Leadership Creativity
  3. 3. (1) The Environment is Key
  4. 4. Developing a Mind… Newborn 3 months 15 months 2 years
  5. 5. ‘Thinking is… Movement Confined to the Brain’
  6. 6. An ‘Enriched’ Environment…
  7. 7. Effects of an ‘Enriched’ Environment Standard ‘Enriched’
  8. 8. Connections Give Ever Deeper MEANING over Time…
  9. 9. The Biological Basis of the Mind Is the Personalisation of the Brain Through Unique Dynamic Configurations Of Neuronal Connections, Driven by unique Experiences
  10. 10. (2) The 21st Century Environment is Unprecedented http://www.itv.com/news/u pdate/2014-08-07/brits- spend-more-time-using- technology-than-sleeping/
  11. 11. The Independent, 7th August 2014
  12. 12. Freedom…
  13. 13. (3) The Brain Will Be Changing Correspondingly in New Ways
  14. 14. “Even so, mankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year and growing in intensity. This will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014. The lucky few who can be involved in creative work of any sort will be the true elite of mankind, for they alone will do more than serve a machine.” Isaac Asimov, 1964
  15. 15. Risk-Management
  16. 16. 136 Papers Desensitisation Increased arousal Aggressive cognition Aggressive behaviour 381 Independent Tests 130,296 Participants Research Article Violent video game effects on aggression, empathy, and prosocial behavior in Eastern and Western countries: A meta-analytic review. Anderson, Craig A.; Shibuya, Akiko; Ihori, Nobuko; Swing, Edward L.; Bushman, Brad J.; Sakamoto, Akira; Rothstein, Hannah R.; Saleem, Muniba How to cite: Anderson, Craig A.; Shibuya, Akiko; Ihori, Nobuko; Swing, Edward L.; Bushman, Brad J.; Sakamoto, Akira; Rothstein, Hannah R.; Saleem, Muniba,. Psychological Bulletin, Vol 136(2), Mar 2010, 151-173
  17. 17. Kelly CR, Grinband J, Hirsch J (2007) PLoS ONE 2(12): e1268. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001268 Repeated Exposure to Media Violence Is Associated with Diminished Response in an Inhibitory Frontolimbic Network.
  18. 18. Research Article Video game playing, attention problems, and impulsiveness: Evidence of bi-directional causality Douglas A. Gentile, Edward L. Swing, Choon Guan Lim, and Angeline Khoo How to cite: Gentile, D. A., Swing, E. L., Lim, C. G., & Khoo, A. (2012). Video game playing, attention problems, and impulsiveness: Evidence of bi- directional causality. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 1, 62-70. Research Article Television and Video Game Exposure and the Development of Attention Problems Edward L. Swing, Douglas A. Gentile, Craig A. Anderson, David A. Walsh How to cite: Edward L. Swing, Douglas A. Gentile, Craig A. Anderson, David A. Walsh 2010, Television and Video Game Exposure and the Development of Attention Problems Pediatrics Vol. 126 No. 2 pp. 214 -221 (doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-1508.) Video Games and Attention
  19. 19. THE NEURAL BASIS OF VIDEO GAMING Kuhn, S. et al., Translational Psychiatry (2011) 53, 1-5
  20. 20. Arousal Addiction RewardReward
  21. 21. ‘Meaningless’ Prefrontal under-function? • Strong feelings • Sensory • Here-and-now • External environment dominates • Little ‘meaning’ • Reduced sense of self • No time-space • Infants and children • More ‘Meaningful’ Prefrontal activation? • Thinking dominates • Cognitive • Past / present / future • Internal perceptions dominate • Personalised ‘meaning’ • Strong sense of self • Clear time-space reference • Older children and adults • Less Two Basic Modes for the Human Brain
  22. 22. Having a sensational time… Having a sensational time… Letting yourself go…
  23. 23. Research Article Inverse Association Between BMI and Prefrontal Metabolic Activity In Healthy Adults Volkow ND, Wang GJ, Telang F, Fowler JS, Goldstein RZ, Alia-Klein N, Logan J, Wong C, Thanos PK, Ma Y, Pradhan K. How to cite: Obesity (2009) Inverse Association Between BMI and Prefrontal Metabolic Activity In Healthy Adults. (1):60-5. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.469. Epub 2008 Oct 23.
  24. 24. Research Article Decision-Making in Obesity: A Study using the Gambling Pignatti R, Bertella L, Albani G, Mauro A, Molinari E, Semenza C. How to cite: Eat Weight Disord. (2006) Decision-Making in Obesity: A Study using the Gambling 11(3):126-32
  25. 25. Without Schizophrenia With Schizophrenia
  26. 26. Childhood and Schizophrenia Similarities Easily distracted Short attention span Inability to interpret proverbs Under-functioning Prefrontal Cortex
  27. 27. A Common Factor: The Press of the Senses?
  28. 28. ‘Meaningless’ Prefrontal under-function? • Strong feelings • Sensory • Here-and-now • External environment dominates • Little ‘meaning’ • Reduced sense of self • No time-space • Infants and children • More ‘Meaningful’ Prefrontal activation? • Thinking dominates • Cognitive • Past / present / future • Internal perceptions dominate • Personalised ‘meaning’ • Strong sense of self • Clear time-space reference • Older children and adults • Less Two Basic Modes for the Human Brain
  29. 29. A CONTINUOUS CYCLE? (2) High arousal, high levels of dopamine release (6) Conditions of childhood, schizophrenia, obesity (5) Dopamine causes PFC hypo-function (4) Dopamine released (3) Reward seeking addictive behaviour (7) Drive: sensation over cognition (8) Greater appeal of a screen environment? (1) Intense stimulation of screen: fast response
  30. 30. Risk-Management Leadership
  31. 31. Words: 10% of total impact Eye contact Body language Voice(tone/rate/volume) Pheromones ? Physical contact ? Communications in Three Dimensions
  32. 32. • A link between atypical brain wave responses in problematic face recognition, characteristic of autism, and also of heavy internet users (He et al., 2011) • A link between autistic spectrum disorders and an under-functioning prefrontal cortex, indicative of a more literal take on the world (Amodio & Frith 2006) • A link between early screen experiences and later development of autism (Waldman et al., 2006) • A link between autistic conditions and an appeal of screen technologies (Finkenauer et al., 2012). • A link between autistic spectrum disorder and compulsive video game use (Mazurek & Engelhardt 2013) A Link Between Autistic Type Behaviour and the Screen?
  33. 33. History of Blogging… 1999: So I just have to tell someone about this thing my cat did today… 2004: OMG! Cat pictures! 2005: Moving cat pictures! 2007: 1:00pm. My cat just sneezed! 1:02pm. Cat sneezed again! 1:04pm. Cat hasn’t sneezed recently. Getting worried.
  34. 34. • High IQ • Efficient information processing • Short attention span • Icons not ideas • Sensation at premium • Risk taker • Low empathy • Need for constant feedback • Weak sense identity • Low grade aggression The Workforce of the Future?
  35. 35. From Management to Leadership… HAVING A VISION!
  36. 36. Promoting Individual Fulfilment
  37. 37. Risk-Management Leadership Creativity
  38. 38. Eric Schmidt (Chairman, Google) ‘I worry that the level of interrupt, the sort of overwhelming rapidity of information…is in fact affecting cognition. It is affecting deeper thinking. I still believe that sitting down and reading a book is the best way to really learn something. And I worry that we’re losing that…’
  39. 39. Princess Marya…
  40. 40. From INFORMATION to KNOWLEDGE 1) Isolated Fact 2) Relate to other facts = 3) Significance 4) Place facts in wider, conceptual framework = 5) Understanding
  41. 41. What is ‘Understanding’?
  42. 42. ‘From the moment we become aware of others, we demand to be told stories that allow us to make sense of the world, to inhabit the mind of someone else. In old age we tell stories to make small museums of memory. It matters not whether the stories are true or imaginary. The narrative, whether oral or written, is a staple of every culture the world over. But stories demand time and concentration; the narrative does not simply transmit information, but invites the reader or listener to witness the unfolding of events’.. Ben Macintyre
  43. 43. From KNOWLEDGE to NEW THINKING 1) Isolated Fact 2) Relate to other facts = 3) Significance 4) Place facts in wider, conceptual framework = 5) Understanding 6) Make unprecedented connections = 7) New significance and understanding = 8) Creativity!
  44. 44. (I) Premium on de-constructing/ challenging dogma The 3 Steps to Creativity
  45. 45. (I) Premium on de-constructing/ challenging dogma (II) Unusual associations The 3 Steps to Creativity
  46. 46. (I) Premium on de-constructing (II) Unusual associations BUT ALSO (III) These new associations activate more extensive connections (‘have a meaning’). The 3 Steps to Creativity
  47. 47. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars…” Oscar Wilde
  48. 48. Mind Change: Global, Controversial, Unprecedented, Multifaceted…

Susan Greenfield discusses the all-pervading technologies that now surround us, and from which we derive instant information, connected identity, diminished privacy and exceptionally vivid here-and-now experiences. In her view they are creating a new environment, with vast implications, because our minds are physically adapting: being rewired. What could this mean, and how can we harness, rather than be harnessed by, our new technological milieu to create better alternatives and more meaningful lives? Using the very latest research (up to the end of 2013), Mind Change is intended to incite debate as well as yield the way forward. There is no better person to explain the situation in a way we can understand, and to offer new insights on how to improve our mental capacities and well-being.

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