(theweek.com) It’s hard to remember what life was like before we had the internet at our fingertips, smartphones in our pockets, and a laptop on every desk. Today, our brains are racing to adapt to the digital age. Cognitive neuroscientists say all that time we now spend in front of screens has changed the way we read and comprehend. Internet browsing has shortened both our attention spans and our patience. And it’s doing a number on our memories.
In one recent study, researchers asked people a series of trivia questions. Half the group was allowed to use Google, the other half was not. Then, in the second half of the study, all participants were given a new round of easier questions and told they could choose whether or not to use Google to answer them. Sounds pretty standard, right? But those who used the internet in the first round really struggled to answer any questions in the second round while relying solely on their own knowledge and memories. One-third of them didn’t even try, reaching for Google immediately.
“Whereas before we might have tried to recall something on our own, now we don’t bother,” says lead author Dr. Benjamin Storm. “As more information becomes available via smartphones and other devices, we become progressively more reliant on it in our daily lives.”
Of course, the internet has done a lot of good for the world. But considering these revelations, it’s worth highlighting a few of the more recent disorders that experts blame on our digital obsession:[…]
Continue Reading for the list: 5 new brain disorders that were born out of the digital age