Neuroscientist Warns Young Brains Being Re-wired by Technology

891 ABC Adelaide  By Gary Rivett, 

The use of digital technologies is reshaping human brains and the impact on young people must be considered by their parents and educators, a neuroscientist warns. Susan Greenfield of Oxford University said technology was re-wiring brains, particularly for young people who were growing up knowing nothing else.

Baroness Greenfield gave a sold-out public lecture at the University of South Australia on Wednesday night, having previously worked in Adelaide as one of the South Australian Government’s thinkers-in-residence.

“People like me, a baby-boomer, grew up with the television being the new luxury that came into our home,” she told 891 ABC Adelaide.

“Clearly the amount of life we’ve lived already, the experiences we’ve had, the conceptual frameworks that we’ve developed, the attitudes we have, the memories that we have—the individuality that we’ve therefore developed—all those things will offset against whatever other influences are coming in.”

The same could not be said of the younger generation, she argued.

“If you’re a very young person and you haven’t developed, let’s say, a robust sense of identity, you haven’t got interpersonal skills, then clearly we’re going to see changes that we might not see in someone who’s older,” she said.

The neuroscientist warned children who once used their imaginations were now more likely to sit in front of a screen, with a menu of choices someone else had designed.

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