How dangerous the Internet: 7 risk factors

How dangerous the Internet: 7 risk factors

It changes our neural circuits?

Finding information on the Web is changing neural connections, says neuroscientist Gary Small (Gary Small) *. "A team of our university worked with volunteers aged 55 to 78 years, - he said. - Before the start of the study half the participants used the Internet daily, and the other had only a general idea of ​​it. We have found that older people with minimal experience of interaction with the internet searching for information on the web can change the patterns of brain activity. The Internet makes it more efficient just one week. " Those who live in the era of the Internet, think literally differently than previous generations. However, setting the endless chain of search queries, jumping from one resource to another without a specific purpose, we are providing a disservice to the brain. "No matter how exciting or was this process - it continues to Gary Small, - it leads only to a" computer fatigue ". The brain is experiencing increased stress and if we simultaneously work with multiple sites, respond to email and talk on the phone. As a result, many of those who do work for a few hours, complain of fatigue, irritability, and difficulty of perception. Constant exposure to stress hormones can alter the neural circuits of the brain areas that are responsible for cognition and mood control. So it makes sense to make an effort and from time to time to break away from the screen, returning from the virtual to the real life.

* Gary Small headed Memory and Aging Center study, University of California (USA), bri.ucla.edu

It overloads our memory?

"Internet (as well as newspapers, magazines) - it is mass media, - says Alexander Kaplan neuroscientist *. - But it is distinguished by the interactivity and individual. The user can control everything instantly selecting information, the manner of delivery, video, music. But evolutionary brain is not suited to such a high speed switching from one topic to another. We can hold your attention in the field only 6-7 sources of information. " And the Internet multiplies the number of channels of perception, stories, data types. That is what makes it difficult for our brain, "overheating" memory "brain can not cope with incoming information, can not compare it with our own experiences, because that immeasurably poorer." Internet often requires multitasking us that our brains (and memory) can not do. But on the other hand, thanks to the internet we no longer need to "remember everything": it is enough to know where to look for the right information. * Alexander Kaplan directs the Laboratory of neurophysiology and brain-computer interface of biological faculty of Moscow State University. MV Lomonosov. His lecture "brain-computer interface" can be heard on the website univertv.ru

It is harmful to our critical thinking?

"Any new information our brain tries to instantly identify: who is this; what is it; how it works, - says Alexander Kaplan. - So we meet his need for knowledge. system of hyperlinks that are on all Internet resources, designed for our reflexive curiosity. But moving from one link to another, we sometimes forget that for which this time turned to the Internet. " Those who are fond of surfing the Internet, well-versed in many areas, but their knowledge is usually superficial. In addition, doubting the accuracy of Internet content, we are not always able to analyze and criticize it - in many areas we are lacking competence. So there is a risk of losing the ability to think critically. "Over time, this can lead to the fact that people will be more trust popular web resources, consuming what they offer - warns Alexander Kaplan. - submission of the information system is regulated by a number of requests, so the most popular may be the average of all, the massive - and films, and literature, and journalism. " But the flow of information, which falls on us, has a positive side: "we can exercise our critical mind, to develop their point of view and defend it in front of others," says biologist François Taddei (Francois Taddei) *. Another reason for our brain to become even more plastic!

* Francois Taddei, engineer and geneticist, researcher at the French National Academy of Medical Sciences (INCERM).

"Break their stuff into three parts, and publish as separate line items" - such a statement I heard one of the chief editor of the Internet resource. Seeing my bewilderment, he continued: "Most of the internet reader's attention is not retained. And do not forget to bring the main points in the beginning of the article, do not need no intrigue. " I regret to acknowledge that we all rarely ever read thoughtfully and slowly, relax on Sundays, to lead a leisurely conversation with his guests, in detail and sympathetically to hear stories about their family affairs and concerns. We blame the constant race of our lives, stress at work ... and forget about the Internet. Is he provoked an invisible revolution in our heads, are not harmless for consciousness, memory and mentality?

How dangerous the Internet: 7 risk factors

He keeps us to read?

"It took us more than a thousand years to learn how to read - says cognitive psychologist Bassin Thierry (Thierry Baccino). - In the process of reading all - the distance between the words, the shape of the letters - require the active efforts of the brain. It seems that reading from a screen is no different from "paper", but it is not. " The brain (schematically speaking) is to intercept, to remember and process the information it receives from the senses. Front of the screen load on the eye is much higher. "Computers are there only a few decades, and the brain has not had time to adapt to this way of reading - continues Thierry Bassin. - In a familiar environment, when we read a book, our eyes can clearly discern only 4-6 characters at a time. Before they begin to monitor rush, the speed of response to visual information increases by 30%! Characters much more, they are different colors and shapes. They added a lot of pop-ups and links that appear suddenly and distract our attention. " For those who spend hours reading on the Internet, it is necessary from time to time to calm your mind by reading the old fashioned way, the benefit has not been canceled paper books.

* Thierry Bassin, professor at the University of Paris VIII and the scientific director of the Laboratory of technological applications of digital information (Lutin), lutin-userlab.fr

He creates a new mind?

Internet connects millions of computers, and humanity is made up of billions of minds. If you connect them properly, new and totally independent intelligence there may emerge as a result? And if that happens, how will we know?

"Currently, the only force capable to connect people worldwide, is the internet - says author Michael Horost (Michael Chorost). - Instead of fighting with him or worship him, we should "spread" in it to expand its borders and become stronger, developing a compassion for others. We need to remember that the World Network - not a product of the hostile forces, commanded from outside. Internet - is ourselves: our hopes and desires, materialized in equipment and software code ... Trying to circumvent the network or staying somewhere away from it - obviously losing option. The only way to overcome the Internet - to pass through it. " * Michael Horost, author of "Universal Mind. From the world wide web to the global consciousness "(Eksmo, 2011).

He creates a new mind?

Internet connects millions of computers, and humanity is made up of billions of minds. If you connect them properly, new and totally independent intelligence there may emerge as a result? And if that happens, how will we know?

"Currently, the only force capable to connect people worldwide, is the internet - says author Michael Horost (Michael Chorost). - Instead of fighting with him or worship him, we should "spread" in it to expand its borders and become stronger, developing a compassion for others. We need to remember that the World Network - not a product of the hostile forces, commanded from outside. Internet - is ourselves: our hopes and desires, materialized in equipment and software code ... Trying to circumvent the network or staying somewhere away from it - obviously losing option. The only way to overcome the Internet - to pass through it. "

* Michael Horost, author of "Universal Mind. From the world wide web to the global consciousness "(Eksmo, 2011).

It affects our decisions?

We already know for sure that the brain is not the only organ of thought: we think of our body as a whole. "In fact, the brain is not alone in front of the monitor, it is constantly engaged in dialogue with the various organs of our body - explains neuropsychologist Marcial Mermiyo (Martial Mermillod) *. - This leads to an overall stimulation of brain structures, from which there is an idea. What happens next is even more amazing. To digest the information we need to simulate using the muscles the way we express our emotions - such as fear or anger. " In other words, we produce subtle muscle movements that send signals to the brain, and these signals may play a crucial role in the decision. Movie and TV show us the life of a close-up, providing a powerful effect on our minds and, of course, identifying many of our actions, said Marcial Mermiyo. Internet less emotionally loaded, so we should not overestimate the danger that we have no reason to believe that we will soon find ourselves in his power. * Marcial Mermiyo working on developing artificial neural networks Laboratory of social and cognitive psychology (Lapsco) in Clermont-Ferrane (France).

Our brains are unique flyweight

Numerous studies confirm the exceptional plasticity of the brain. Yet this ability to adapt to new circumstances not fully appreciated. It is proved, in particular, the experiment involving volunteers who agreed to live with a blindfold and a daily intensive master reading in Braille (alphabet for the blind) *. After just five days of magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed that the areas responsible for vision, is already "switched" on tactile perception. AA

* Data published medical clinic Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard University (USA) in August 2010, bidmc.org