Five neuroscientists are on a rafting trip in Utah… does this sound the beginning of a joke? It’s not. The New York Times published an interesting article on a group of neuroscientists who want to understand how our use of digital devices affects how we think and behave. The neuroscientists were also trying to understand how a nature-centric experience might counter the distractions of technology; they unplugged (to varying degrees) and took off to do some rafting on the San Juan River.
Admittedly, the article is light on conclusions, but points out that attention can be compromised by both the anticipation and reality of constant information flow. The group doesn’t share a common view of how our brains are affected by technology use and rest, but they all acknowledge this is an important emerging area for brain science.
Reading the article, I was struck by how much we still don’t know about the brain and how hungry people are for information on it. The article is interesting in that it raises questions and gives insights into the neuroscientists’ thought processes; however, there are no weighty findings here. Nevertheless, the article raced to the top of The New York Times most e-mailed list. The brain is clearly a hot topic.