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We live in a world unimaginable only decades ago: a domain of backlit screens, instant information, and vibrant experiences that can outcompete dreary reality. Our brave new technologies offer incredible opportunities for work and play. But at what price?   Now renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield—known in the United Kingdom for challenging entrenched conventional view We live in a world unimaginable only decades ago: a domain of backlit screens, instant information, and vibrant experiences that can outcompete dreary reality. Our brave new technologies offer incredible opportunities for work and play. But at what price?   Now renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield—known in the United Kingdom for challenging entrenched conventional views—brings together a range of scientific studies, news events, and cultural criticism to create an incisive snapshot of “the global now.” Disputing the assumption that our technologies are harmless tools, Greenfield explores whether incessant exposure to social media sites, search engines, and videogames is capable of rewiring our brains, and whether the minds of people born before and after the advent of the Internet differ.   Stressing the impact on Digital Natives—those who’ve never known a world without the Internet—Greenfield exposes how neuronal networking may be affected by unprecedented bombardments of audiovisual stimuli, how gaming can shape a chemical landscape in the brain similar to that in gambling addicts, how surfing the Net risks placing a premium on information rather than on deep knowledge and understanding, and how excessive use of social networking sites limits the maturation of empathy and identity.   But Mind Change also delves into the potential benefits of our digital lifestyle. Sifting through the cocktail of not only threat but opportunity these technologies afford, Greenfield explores how gaming enhances vision and motor control, how touch tablets aid students with developmental disabilities, and how political “clicktivism” foments positive change.   In a world where adults spend ten hours a day online, and where tablets are the common means by which children learn and play, Mind Change reveals as never before the complex physiological, social, and cultural ramifications of living in the digital age. A book that will be to the Internet what An Inconvenient Truth was to global warming, Mind Change is provocative, alarming, and a call to action to ensure a future in which technology fosters—not frustrates—deep thinking, creativity, and true fulfillment.


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We live in a world unimaginable only decades ago: a domain of backlit screens, instant information, and vibrant experiences that can outcompete dreary reality. Our brave new technologies offer incredible opportunities for work and play. But at what price?   Now renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield—known in the United Kingdom for challenging entrenched conventional view We live in a world unimaginable only decades ago: a domain of backlit screens, instant information, and vibrant experiences that can outcompete dreary reality. Our brave new technologies offer incredible opportunities for work and play. But at what price?   Now renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield—known in the United Kingdom for challenging entrenched conventional views—brings together a range of scientific studies, news events, and cultural criticism to create an incisive snapshot of “the global now.” Disputing the assumption that our technologies are harmless tools, Greenfield explores whether incessant exposure to social media sites, search engines, and videogames is capable of rewiring our brains, and whether the minds of people born before and after the advent of the Internet differ.   Stressing the impact on Digital Natives—those who’ve never known a world without the Internet—Greenfield exposes how neuronal networking may be affected by unprecedented bombardments of audiovisual stimuli, how gaming can shape a chemical landscape in the brain similar to that in gambling addicts, how surfing the Net risks placing a premium on information rather than on deep knowledge and understanding, and how excessive use of social networking sites limits the maturation of empathy and identity.   But Mind Change also delves into the potential benefits of our digital lifestyle. Sifting through the cocktail of not only threat but opportunity these technologies afford, Greenfield explores how gaming enhances vision and motor control, how touch tablets aid students with developmental disabilities, and how political “clicktivism” foments positive change.   In a world where adults spend ten hours a day online, and where tablets are the common means by which children learn and play, Mind Change reveals as never before the complex physiological, social, and cultural ramifications of living in the digital age. A book that will be to the Internet what An Inconvenient Truth was to global warming, Mind Change is provocative, alarming, and a call to action to ensure a future in which technology fosters—not frustrates—deep thinking, creativity, and true fulfillment.

30 review for Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Bakker

    An interesting read, but with some dramatically biased conclusions. There are some good points made about the impact of constant technology use on attention and the shift from internal to external definitions of self, but there are glaring biases in many of Greenfield's arguments. For example, she claims that reading fiction is essential for understanding meaning in the world through development of empathy. She argues that physical books are the only truly effective tools to do this with and an i An interesting read, but with some dramatically biased conclusions. There are some good points made about the impact of constant technology use on attention and the shift from internal to external definitions of self, but there are glaring biases in many of Greenfield's arguments. For example, she claims that reading fiction is essential for understanding meaning in the world through development of empathy. She argues that physical books are the only truly effective tools to do this with and an increase in technology use will diminish the power of the fiction book, leading to future generations of unempathetic, superficial, uncreative individuals who cannot draw any meaningful inferences despite all the information at their fingertips. It seems that Greenfield has confused fiction books for stories. Stories are at the heart of empathy and inferential skills development, and fiction books are just one way of telling stories. Thanks to digital technologies there are now more flexible, inspiring, creative, engaging, and accessible ways to tell stories. The ability to see and hear stories has increased, as well as the ability to create your own. Heck, social media is a type of story telling. It may be briefer and more superficial than Tolstoy, but every post contributes to a long and complex narrative. Increased opportunities for self-reflection provided by social media may in fact lead to increased emotional self-awareness, increased empathy, and increased appreciation of social complexity. Another example of bias is Greenfield's claim that technology hampers creativity. This is outrageous. If it wasn't for digital audio recording software and equipment, smartphones included, thousands of musicians would not be able to express themselves. Film making and visual art tools have become incredibly accessible, enabling every smartphone owner to create imaginative content. And more people are reading and writing than ever before thanks to the ease of creating, editing, and sharing text on digital devices. If you end up reading this book, keep these biases in mind and make sure you read some arguments from the other side of the fence. Clive Thompson's "Smarter Than You Think" is recommended, but neglects some of the points raised in Mind Change. Reading both books has been a great way to get a clearer picture.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andi

    This was very different from other neuroscience books I've read. It felt more like a discussion than a lecture. The absence of detailed explanations was disconcerting at first, though the book's notes reference the relevant information. I would say this was less a book of learning and more a book of thinking...less information heavy than other books in the genre, but more thought provoking. It wasn't a manual detailing how the brain/mind works so much as a look at what are the implications of th This was very different from other neuroscience books I've read. It felt more like a discussion than a lecture. The absence of detailed explanations was disconcerting at first, though the book's notes reference the relevant information. I would say this was less a book of learning and more a book of thinking...less information heavy than other books in the genre, but more thought provoking. It wasn't a manual detailing how the brain/mind works so much as a look at what are the implications of the brain/mind working in these particular ways under these particular conditions. One of the topics that Dr. Greenfield included that I don't often encounter is that the idea of a predisposition for X and an improvement/enlargement/enhancement in the relevant area of the brain as a result of X are not mutually exclusive. Often I encounter "evidence" for one stance over the other depending on the particular author. I've long asked, "why can't it be both? Why can't people who are predisposed to do an activity well be drawn to that activity AND develop increased abilities because of neuroplasticity? Or, short of that, why can't both groups of people exist?" Finally, someone addresses this as a possibility. Just as it's nature AND nurture, the chicken or the egg didn't necessarily have to come first. I found myself agreeing with a lot of the material in the book, though I do think some of her ideas are stretching things. I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Greenfield about the importance of literacy and creative thinking, though I'm not quite as troubled about their future. And, as always, I came away with many quotes... "We need fiction to understand facts." "Creative thinking cannot be purchased, downloaded, or guaranteed, but it can be fostered with the right environment." "Although we might access information efficiently and even regurgitate it on demand, success in such activities as Trivial Pursuit or bar quizzes is not regarded by even the most enthusiastic fans as the pinnacle of intellectual endeavor. Facts on their own are not enough! While collecting information is gathering dots, knowledge is joining them up, seeing one thing in terms of another and thereby understanding each component as part of a whole. The more connections you can make across an ever wider and more disparate range of knowledge, the more deeply you will understand something. Search engines and video games do not provide that facility; nothing does, other than our own brain." "In old age we tell stories to make small museums of memory." - quoting journalist Ben Macintyre

  3. 5 out of 5

    sislasus

    When reading this book I recommend also reading this article: http://www.theguardian.com/science/th... When reading this book I recommend also reading this article: http://www.theguardian.com/science/th...

  4. 5 out of 5

    C. Hollis Crossman

    In the opening chapters of Mind Change, Susan Greenfield is careful to distinguish between a brain and a human mind. Brains are the physical organs that facilitate thought, but minds are the ephemeral products of that thought. Greenfield attempts a fairly complete definition of mind that distinguishes it from consciousness, and that stresses the ability to make connections, the linear development of experiences into ideas, and the personal organization of those experiences that reciprocally lead In the opening chapters of Mind Change, Susan Greenfield is careful to distinguish between a brain and a human mind. Brains are the physical organs that facilitate thought, but minds are the ephemeral products of that thought. Greenfield attempts a fairly complete definition of mind that distinguishes it from consciousness, and that stresses the ability to make connections, the linear development of experiences into ideas, and the personal organization of those experiences that reciprocally leads to more and deeper connections. For Greenfield, these connections that are essential for the development of a mind are not mere causal or surface observations. Rather, they are metaphorical—she returns often to the example of seeing a candle blown out as analogous to a life being cut short. Since having a mind is a peculiarly and essentially human trait, this ability to learn and think metaphorically, to understand metaphorically, is a crucial one for human beings (at least if Greenfield's definition of mind is anything close to accurate). Frighteningly, this ability (among others) is gradually being eroded by our use of digital technologies, or at least by our unremitting and often unselfconscious use of them. Part of this is due to a growing attitude toward knowledge as something to be drawn upon as needed in terms of a Google search or comparable Web-based activity—when you can just pull something up on demand, why go to the trouble to memorize it? And, in turn, why spend time reflecting on one's knowledge and practicing one's ability to make connections between ideas and information if it's all already connected for you by the cyber pathways of the Internet? This is just one example among many. In this eminently helpful book, Greenfield draws on her training and experience as a neuroscientist to examine the hard science behind what the Internet and our use of it is doing to our minds. She focuses primarily on a four main concerns: social media, video games, surfing the Net, and educational technology. Unlike the authors of similar books, she remains clearheaded and fair throughout, never painting a totally bleak picture of the future or failing to mention the good things technology has yielded and continues to yield. In other words, Greenfield's purpose isn't to terrify or manipulate. While she does offer some pretty strong warnings, especially in the final two chapters, she also manages for the most part to look dispassionately and objectively at her subject. The reader gets the sense that this book was written out of genuine concern for how humans will regard themselves and how they will behave in the coming years of the Digital Age, not to push an agenda or further a particular ideology. By limiting herself to scientific studies, and by explaining each one in sufficient detail, Greenfield avoids the moralizing that often rises to the surface of similar books like cream to be tossed aside. Still, she does acknowledge the moral concerns at the heart of her subject. Unlike most books about the dangers of the Internet, however, these moral concerns are Internet- and technology-specific, not generalized warnings against the dangers of pornography, etc. Greenfield's moral warnings are more about the rise in aggressive behavior among habitual violent video game players, or the decline in ability to read and understand facial expressions in others as the result of too much Internet-mediated communication. Not until the final chapter does she invoke self-consciously dystopian language, but the themes are woven through every chapter nonetheless. Two recurrent themes are impulsivity and loss of inhibition. Impulsivity is facilitated by Internet use (especially prolonged or obsessive Internet use) in that users are taught to expect immediate returns on relatively little effort. Swipe right, click the mouse, send a Snapchat—all these are calculated to give immediate pleasure, and if that pleasure is for some reason not forthcoming it can lead to the same kinds of symptoms and nervousness seen in drug addicts needing a fix. Loss of inhibition is related, and means that heavy Internet users can often not be relied on to avoid risky behavior on their own initiative. Loss of these two factors can only mean bad things for society in the future, and while Greenfield avoids making drastic predictions, it's obvious she fears where all this might be heading. (So does Jordan B. Peterson, incidentally, who sees these traits as the perfect recipe for authoritarianism and the subjugation of the populace.) Mind Change is a wide-ranging book, and not a particularly easy read. Greenfield is a good writer, but she also doesn't attempt to pad her content to make it easier to digest. Her investigations into how Internet use is changing the way our brains operate are fascinating, and seem much more pertinent than, say, those of Nicholas Carr in The Shallows, a book that covers similar ground but from a more philosophical foundation. The image of the Internet user that emerges from these pages isn't 100% bad, but it's far from cheering, too. All those stepping into the brave new mid-21st century would do well to read this book, prepare themselves, and perhaps even reconsider their unquestioning allegiance to and reliance on digital technologies.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Abrar Hani

    To be reviewed..

  6. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Gillespie

    In Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains, Susan Greenfield leverages her background in philosophy and neuroscience to explore the ever increasing field of research into how technology impacts and changes our brains. Greenfield is not a Luddite–she discusses positive aspects of screen use and presents a balanced view of research findings–but she doesn’t pull any punches about the implications of the facts. If you’ve read much on this topic it won’t really surp In Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains, Susan Greenfield leverages her background in philosophy and neuroscience to explore the ever increasing field of research into how technology impacts and changes our brains. Greenfield is not a Luddite–she discusses positive aspects of screen use and presents a balanced view of research findings–but she doesn’t pull any punches about the implications of the facts. If you’ve read much on this topic it won’t really surprise you–computers, smart phones, video games, social media, and the like have a significant effect on how we think, read, and solve problems. As Greenfield points out, these technologies aren’t going away, but if we understand them and their impact on ourselves and our kids, we can be smart and intentional about technology use in light of what sort of society we want to live in and what sort of people we want to be. Read more at A Spirited Mind

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karel Baloun

    Greenfield is just provoking to be long term relevant, her science has long departed for speculation, and not especially profound speculation. Yes, tech use rewires our brain (as does language, music or math) and how it does this depends hugely on the details of how the tech is used -- socially? Actively? Purposefully? For challenge or entertainment? No such nuances are here, just fear over addiction and passivity. Greenfield does well on clearly proven issues, such as violent video games causing Greenfield is just provoking to be long term relevant, her science has long departed for speculation, and not especially profound speculation. Yes, tech use rewires our brain (as does language, music or math) and how it does this depends hugely on the details of how the tech is used -- socially? Actively? Purposefully? For challenge or entertainment? No such nuances are here, just fear over addiction and passivity. Greenfield does well on clearly proven issues, such as violent video games causing low grade aggression and a desensitization to real world violence. What we train on tech to do, we become more able to do, including violence. (Yet the section was nicely balanced with the cognitive benefits of non-violent games.). She notes that the most popular games are all violent. While she proves the existence of gaming addiction (10+ hrs/day), it is hard to evaluate what this habituation means to the players... is it meaningful? What about for Kasparov and chess? Or Kobe and bball? (Ignore money and "success"). Similarly she does well showing distraction (multitasking, texting, etc) lowers test scores and recall, which seems to have an objective value judgement. Greenfield is weakest on "identity" and "self" where she tramples psychology's fertile work while fixing conclusions like FB use correlates with (all specific traits of) Narcissism, and even that it builds Narcissism into kids. Examples of correct psych, such as that people show idealized selves online and even lie, are limited to the rather obvious. Researchers seem to believe that media savvy consumers are not able to notice and self-adjust to these biases. "So from that evidence, it will be easy to imagine that… " Is one of Susan's favorite phrases. It leads to all kinds of speculation, such as "trust grows from empathy" and screens cause autism. The first 100 pages are a very basic introduction to brain science and modern technology -- I found almost nothing I didn't already know, despite 100s of endnotes. Working with 2013 data, is almost out of date, especially when cited studies look only at FB use on desktop. Many better books about how the brain works and adapts including Connectome. Greenfield would like to believe that Mind change is like climate change 2 decades ahead -- except climate is objectively and uniformly manipulated, so we know what will happen and it is a decision only whether to aim for a level of balance more like the past, or ideal for more humans (and we all must share the choice). Tech use is a personal, socioeconomic choice. Poor assumptions: FB sharing is of personal info/status Screens are just as passive as TV Virtual bonds are weak or unreal Ebooks now cause eye strain (so they inherently wil) Etc Incorrect conclusions: Collectivist cultures use less social media Tolerance is greater for unethical conduct online Social networking promotes some "vicious biochemical cycle", and fosters loneliness. Etc

  8. 5 out of 5

    Olafs Bērziņš

    An interesting read. Makes you think about how long you spend time with your computer and smartphone, how much you talk to other people, makes you look at todays youth - this book reminds you to be aware about technology. Would recommend (cautiously) to everyone who liked "Sapiens". I liked the authors take on and explanations about human brains, how they work, what is happening inside of them (from what we know so far). I had some internal disagreements as well - about her take on video games, An interesting read. Makes you think about how long you spend time with your computer and smartphone, how much you talk to other people, makes you look at todays youth - this book reminds you to be aware about technology. Would recommend (cautiously) to everyone who liked "Sapiens". I liked the authors take on and explanations about human brains, how they work, what is happening inside of them (from what we know so far). I had some internal disagreements as well - about her take on video games, (failed) Google Glass project and other things, so this book would be a great subject for discussion. Not for everyone, and not the best, but now I would really want to read "Homo Deus".

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed adly

    it made me hate social media more than I already do, I feel like an old man now :"" it made me hate social media more than I already do, I feel like an old man now :""

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julia Schulz

    Comprehensive and fulfilling. Many firm ideas and outcomes revealed that tie in with what I reflect upon daily when it comes to my relationship with Cyberspace. My suspicions regarding what happens to the brain when people play video games was confirmed within these pages. Of particular interest was the revelation that video games require "selective attention" as opposed to "sustained attention." To be honest, this is probably a more valuable skill to have within Universities these days, given t Comprehensive and fulfilling. Many firm ideas and outcomes revealed that tie in with what I reflect upon daily when it comes to my relationship with Cyberspace. My suspicions regarding what happens to the brain when people play video games was confirmed within these pages. Of particular interest was the revelation that video games require "selective attention" as opposed to "sustained attention." To be honest, this is probably a more valuable skill to have within Universities these days, given that they only want to administer large volumes of information and have you pick out that which is most relevant, then you volley it back to them like some vulgar game of tennis. Not an education at all. Not to my mind. This only trains the brain to be efficient; not to think. I would often hear University lecturers acquiescing to the students attention spans by telling them to just do a little bit each day. I would think to myself, "My God man!" (As I metaphorically pounded my walking stick into the ground.) "Tell them to chase the topic down like Zorro! Burn the midnight oil! Narrowly pursue it with the due diligence of Immanuel Kant, until you've analytically strained the juice out of it, to arrive at something new!" But no, we must adhere now to these pathetically small attention spans of the young folk, which are purely derivatives of the digital bible: the internet. The kind of sustained attention that I endeavour to maintain, is definitely more suited to receiving an education before the advent of the computer. So there it is, I shall remain an autodidact for the remainder of my time here on earth. Another area of interest, and something which is quite in line with my previous point, is the fact that digital technology is robbing people of the ability to think deeply. And this to me is the most heart breaking deficit of them all. In the realm of human relationships, I believe that it is this restructuring of the brain, lending itself to a shallow mind, therefore spilling over into the realm of relationships, in which people are only able to relate through surface tokens, such as money, looks, prestige and lifestyle. And now I'm seeing people attracted to one another through what I have personally coined "narcissistic gaming psychology." By this I mean that the relationship is based on two absurd psychologies who aren't really a match in the true sense of the word, although each individual within the couple is sustained and thrilled by feeding off the other's game strategy while at the same time, trying to outdo the other to fulfil their independent needs, each not really interested in the other's person, but all the while presenting to the community as a united couple. This is quite new, but becoming increasingly common, and I feel is another overspill of the shallow, digital gaming culture. A young man on the Quora platform claimed that narcissism infects a good person with a bad disease. I think that the young man may be on to something there. However, this may not be true in all cases. In relation to narcissism I have personally rested on the view that compassion, not sympathy is the only combat to this invidious disease. That way, we protect the vulnerable child beneath the haughty facade, while at the same time protecting ourselves from danger. Very few people seem to be able to sit with themselves now, in order to see deeply into life, and ask from within what it is that they truly need from another person to benefit their own character. Which to my mind is what a relationship is all about. Not necessarily love but respect and honour and coming to the realisation that bringing another person into your world is going to make you a better person, therefore a better member of our community. Digital technology is robbing us of the very skill of introspection to be able to slow down and think about this and take steps to achieve it. It is most difficult now for me to find a man with any depth, who can sit in silence with his own thoughts, minus any artificial entertainment. I suspect my singledom shall continue for quite some time to come. Noah said that we had to enter the ark by two. But I really do feel that it is better for some of us to enter alone, if only in preservation of our good characters. Lo and behold! I've just stumbled across a passage contained within the chapter titled, "Video Games, Aggression and Recklessness." It says, and I will quote, "The potential shift to a more aggressive behavioural pattern and attitude over time could affect society and what we expect from each other, possible lowering our expectations of respect and tolerance and increasing our distrust of others and our need for self-preservation." Alarmingly, this would suggest that even if I as an individual do not choose to partake in violent video gaming, then I am still susceptible to corruption simply by associating with others who may have had contact with those that do. Sound like a nasty virus, doesn't it? I've learned from this book about "crystallised intelligence" as opposed to "fluid intelligence". Crystallised being the type that requires logic, such as the ability to do iq tests, and so forth. Whereas fluid means general intelligence that links life experiences to form a big picture assessment of what is happening to you in any given moment. Riveting stuff. Strange that Susan Greenfield uses the metaphor "Those in Glasshouses shouldn't throw stones" to exemplify that Schizophrenics are unable to correctly understand this and will take it literally. i.e. if someone throws a stone at a glass house, then the glass will smash. Again, I believe in nurture over nature. This was a saying that I grew up with. I know, even as a schizophrenic, that its true meaning is: don't accuse someone of something which you do yourself, because people will see straight through it. My point is that even with severe brain disorders, you can override delusional and literal thinking with cognitive training. Again, she states that Schizophrenics have short attention spans. Well, I certainly am gifted with a natural short attention span, although I prefer to override this and push against it as much as possible by training my brain to concentrate for long periods of time by reading books without a break. I am the proof in the pudding, that the brain, with a little help, can change itself. I did detect a couple of factual errors though. Susan states the start of Generation Y as being born after 1973, and although there are flexible guidelines, it is generally understood that Generation Y begins from 1980 onwards. Also, Generation X begins earlier than 1973, it starts around '65 or '66.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Palmer

    Mind change is to human psychology as climate change is to the planet. Susan Greenfield's thesis in this excellent book is that the digital world, especially the online world, is causing the brains and therefore the minds of billions of people around the world to change. In some regards, this book is similar to Mary Aiken's The Cyber Effect, but here the emphasis is more on a nuts-and-bolts approach. Dr Aiken is a cyber-psychologist. Susan Greenfield is one of Britain's best known scientists - as Mind change is to human psychology as climate change is to the planet. Susan Greenfield's thesis in this excellent book is that the digital world, especially the online world, is causing the brains and therefore the minds of billions of people around the world to change. In some regards, this book is similar to Mary Aiken's The Cyber Effect, but here the emphasis is more on a nuts-and-bolts approach. Dr Aiken is a cyber-psychologist. Susan Greenfield is one of Britain's best known scientists - as a neuroscientist she has much to say on her subject. The book makes similar warnings to The Cyber Effect, and it is clear that Greenfield is as concerned as Aiken. Both authors come to similar conclusions: online life is changing the default setting of the human brain, from local-scale, word-based and empathic to meaningless, visually overloaded, cold and shallow. The often repeated concern that far too many young people have the attention span of a gnat is here given a proper scientific basis. Her approach is commendable - often giving alternative interpretations, sometimes admitting that the truth is difficult to ascertain, sometimes demolishing her opponents. It's also a very good read - she can write. Enjoyable and interesting, then, but also a warning about a future humanity is sleepwalking into.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jo Bennie

    Thought provoking, this was a book I took notes from and continued to think about after I'd finished it. Greenfield chapter by chapter addresses the ways in which the potential plasticity of the human brain interacts with internet technology and gaming. She uses reams of experimental data and is not afraid to admit to contradictions and grey areas. I found it incredibly useful as a framework to reflect on how thousands of years of human evolution has or has not prepared us for technology that ha Thought provoking, this was a book I took notes from and continued to think about after I'd finished it. Greenfield chapter by chapter addresses the ways in which the potential plasticity of the human brain interacts with internet technology and gaming. She uses reams of experimental data and is not afraid to admit to contradictions and grey areas. I found it incredibly useful as a framework to reflect on how thousands of years of human evolution has or has not prepared us for technology that has and is changing so fast.

  13. 5 out of 5

    D.R. Oestreicher

    Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains by Susan Greenfield promised to elucidate the fundamental changes of our brains caused by social media, computer games, and Internet surfing - Facebook, Blizzard, and Google. With a title explicitly meant to echo Climate Change, I was expecting great science and conclusive research. I was disappointed. For more see: http://1book42day.blogspot.com/2015/0... Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains by Susan Greenfield promised to elucidate the fundamental changes of our brains caused by social media, computer games, and Internet surfing - Facebook, Blizzard, and Google. With a title explicitly meant to echo Climate Change, I was expecting great science and conclusive research. I was disappointed. For more see: http://1book42day.blogspot.com/2015/0...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    Three stars for good writing - albeit a lot of filler. I wish the author could have incorporated some material about integration therapies such as EMDR. She seems to leave out this totally relevant field . Her most basic question is about how minds do change and then she uncovers studies to do with the impact of digital technologies. But really, she needs to incorporate more about how the mind does change. Without that, it is a fairly uncreative thesis

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ami Iida

    negative story about internet

  16. 4 out of 5

    Florin Pitea

    Very relevant, informative and educative. Highly recommended.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Smith

    This book was really interesting and shockingly not that difficult to read. Going into it I thought that it was going to end up being too dense in scientific jargon but it really wasn't too bad. There were passages I had to go back and re-read a time or two but ultimately it proved not to be as bad as I had anticipated. This book takes you through what is happening to our brains and minds as a result of all the time spent on social media sites, video games, and Google searching, exploring the pos This book was really interesting and shockingly not that difficult to read. Going into it I thought that it was going to end up being too dense in scientific jargon but it really wasn't too bad. There were passages I had to go back and re-read a time or two but ultimately it proved not to be as bad as I had anticipated. This book takes you through what is happening to our brains and minds as a result of all the time spent on social media sites, video games, and Google searching, exploring the possible long term evolutionary effects it might be having. The second part of that sentence was clearly the draw haha. Greenfield presents the information unbiasedly and it's hard to refute or disagree with anything she says. I believe the book was written in 2013 or 2014, sometime around then, and you can now see some of what she wrote about in the book has in fact come true. She speaks a lot about Google Glass, which was coming out along with the iWatch, which she also mentions. As we now know the only thing she got wrong was that it was the iWatch rather than Google Glass that won out that battle. All of her points on what social media is doing, or could be doing, I found to be accurate to what we've seen since the book was written as well. She talks about the onslaught of people spending time on their phones leading to a society wherein our brains will become less stimulated by events in real life and more stimulated to the reactions we get when we post or "report" on those events across our social media accounts. The book does get dense at times, but nothing terrible. I'd recommend to anyone really, it's an interesting take on something we're currently living through.

  18. 4 out of 5

    David Mckean

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Interesting, informative and thought provoking with just enough personality so as not be boring or academic. Although that being said, I did think the offer had a bit of an obvious bias against video games (based on her Video Games and Aggression chapter when she comes to hypothetical conclusions that are in no way supported by her cited studies). I also agree with some other reviewers on the point that empathy isn't just fostered through reading fiction books. My counter to this (as anecdotal as i Interesting, informative and thought provoking with just enough personality so as not be boring or academic. Although that being said, I did think the offer had a bit of an obvious bias against video games (based on her Video Games and Aggression chapter when she comes to hypothetical conclusions that are in no way supported by her cited studies). I also agree with some other reviewers on the point that empathy isn't just fostered through reading fiction books. My counter to this (as anecdotal as it may be) - I never read as a child, my entertainment diet consisted of TV Shows, video games and later down the line - fanfiction - and I went to uni to study nursing (I didn't stay for long but that's a different matter). My point? Also, as others have pointed have said, empathy isn't just learned through books, its learned through stories (told in any format) or just through social experiences through childhood and adolescence. Overall its interesting and thought provoking, but the author very clearly has a chip on her shoulder (I'm gonna keep this civilised by not giving my opinion as to why she has such chip, but those of you that are aware of the House of Lords will have an idea).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Patti

    A fascinating romp through the evidence that left me thinking a lot about my own digital habits and their long term implications. Greenfield's survey of the neuroscientifc research is exhaustive but very accessible, and strikes a good balance between the "good" and the "bad" news. The chapters on video games and social networking are particularly compelling. I found this really helpful in refining my approach to screen time with own kids, and thinking through some changes in my own habits. A fascinating romp through the evidence that left me thinking a lot about my own digital habits and their long term implications. Greenfield's survey of the neuroscientifc research is exhaustive but very accessible, and strikes a good balance between the "good" and the "bad" news. The chapters on video games and social networking are particularly compelling. I found this really helpful in refining my approach to screen time with own kids, and thinking through some changes in my own habits.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This book starts out by telling you it is not about anything concrete... no brain scans or changes that they can be certain are from technology, just correlations that they can't be positive about: all of the things I was hoping to read about. It wound up being kind of interesting, but it just wasn't what I was looking for. This book starts out by telling you it is not about anything concrete... no brain scans or changes that they can be certain are from technology, just correlations that they can't be positive about: all of the things I was hoping to read about. It wound up being kind of interesting, but it just wasn't what I was looking for.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Achyut Gauli

    Really "Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains" is the best book I have ever read and found it more useful and valuable to the users. I have gone through that each page and suggest you read once to know more about how digital technologies affect our brain. https://samriddhicollege.edu.np/ Really "Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains" is the best book I have ever read and found it more useful and valuable to the users. I have gone through that each page and suggest you read once to know more about how digital technologies affect our brain. https://samriddhicollege.edu.np/

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Shay

    I'm very conflicted about this book; it had good pros and bad cons. I'm very interested in the science behind the structure of the brain, particularly when it comes to changes or differences that are associated with or can induce asocial symptoms like those seen in ASPD. This book is obviously not geared towards disorders, but I was curious to see what the research was saying about how technology changes brain structure. Con #1 - misleading title. The subtitle of "How Digital Technologies Are Le I'm very conflicted about this book; it had good pros and bad cons. I'm very interested in the science behind the structure of the brain, particularly when it comes to changes or differences that are associated with or can induce asocial symptoms like those seen in ASPD. This book is obviously not geared towards disorders, but I was curious to see what the research was saying about how technology changes brain structure. Con #1 - misleading title. The subtitle of "How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains" led me to believe the author would spent most of her time talking about brain differences, such as the shrinking of the amygdala or reduction in gray matter in the prefrontal cortex. While these were brought up in the initial chapters, there was not a whole lot of detail and it was really only these two things stressed. Con #2 - lengthy introduction. It's only a 272 page book when you take out the preface and the index/references/further reading, cut into 20 chapters. The introduction and first 4 chapters are almost a waste of reading as Greenfield keeps stating what she will be discussing instead of getting right to the point. Pro #1 - content. Some of the statistics Greenfield provides are as interesting as they are alarming. As a 'Digital Native' myself, I feel both shocked and offended on both my behalf and others of my generation. Con #3 - content. For the sake of brevity, I'm assuming, Greenfield sort of has a habit to referring to 'Digital Natives' as if we are all the same--addicted to Facebook and computer games. I, personally, don't enjoy Facebook and only play games on PlayStation. While she keeps insisting the statistics could extrapolate to other mediums such as Twitter or non-PC games, she focuses her social networking discussion entirely on Facebook, so what about other sites like Tumblr or Goodreads that have different functions but could still be considered 'social networking' to some extent? And what about games other than WoW? She mentions 'violent video games' repeatedly but never actually provides a specific title, aside from 1 group of statistics about the 5 top video games. Con #4 - ambiguous position. If not for the ending of the book (see Con #5), I would have no idea how Greenfield actually feels about the issue of technology and the brain. She cites sources generally concerned with or providing negative statistics, but then goes on to say 'they might not be totally true because x.' She also cites some very positive things about technology only to flip positions and say how those very things could in fact be bad for society as a whole. Con #5 - misleading purpose. As mentioned above, I read this book thinking it would be about something else. But not only is it not about the physical brain, it's not even really about how technology will leave its mark on our brains. The last 2 chapters turn the book into some sort of propaganda pitch essentially. Greenfield bashes new technologies coming out and basically implies that if we don't do something now, we will all turn into obese, socially incompetent, reality augmented obsessors. Now, while I don't doubt at all that this is in fact a possibility, it's not why I picked up this book. I picked it up to learn how technology re-wires our brain, not to be pitched at like a global warming enthusiast. Pro #2 - relevance. Had I picked up the book knowing what it would really be about, I would likely have no issues with it. It is mis-subtitled, and the bulk of the book further misleads you. The ending seems totally out of left field. That said, though, the image Greenfield paints of the potential future is horrifying. She says herself that it's not as crazy as time travel or other science fiction concepts because some of these things are already happening--Google Glass and the iWatch to name two she refers to. If everyone was as tech savvy and addicted as Greenfield made us out to be, I have no doubt this is a very real probability and it's revolting. Pro #3 - motivation. If the real purpose of the book is to scare you, then I'm sold. Despite being upset about the majority of the content and some of the time I've wasted on the book, it still made me take a step back to assess my own 'addictions' to certain technologies. This is only one block of the puzzle of course, as neo-liberalism and the current economy/capitalist environment are the perfect breeding grounds for technology and we can't simply toss all technology away if we still want to have jobs, go to school, etc. But it gets the point across that, if left unchecked, our dependence on new technologies could have extremely adverse effects on the very things that make us different from every other species on the planet--our ability to think. Pro #4 - title. After reading the book, you can clue into what Greenfield really means by the term 'mind change' and why she kept referring to it in capitals and in relation to a movement like climate change. A more proper subtitle to this effect would have been better.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vincent Eaton

    This ends my five book reading up on digital culture & technologies and how it affects contemporary thinking and being.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Clinton Sweet

    Blah blah blah. Perhaps because I’m one of the “digital natives” she refers to, my attention span really struggled throughout reading this

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This felt a bit out of date as social media and use of computers and smart phones has moved so quickly. Plenty of food for thought but I found it quite difficult to get through.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Willis

    DNF Despite my interest in the subject matter, this book wasn’t for me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Nacis

    Draggy in the middle. Feels like it ended abruptly.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Essam Akl

    Very insightful and explained well enough for anyone to understand! Loved the chapters focused on gaming/ drugs and how it adapts certain skills. If only we had more research in this area!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Similar to the Netflix show "the social dilemma", but much more evidence based. A thought provoking read. Recommended for all social media users. Similar to the Netflix show "the social dilemma", but much more evidence based. A thought provoking read. Recommended for all social media users.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matt John

    No doubt the techno-evangelists will be up in arms about this one. There's much to get through, both analysis and results from research and even the author declares that it is too early to tell the exact consequences of living in the digital world. Broken up into sections on age groups and types of usage, Greenfield often compares this usage to how people existed before these technologies came along. Greenfield comes to some interestong conclusions about knowledge without context, the ability or No doubt the techno-evangelists will be up in arms about this one. There's much to get through, both analysis and results from research and even the author declares that it is too early to tell the exact consequences of living in the digital world. Broken up into sections on age groups and types of usage, Greenfield often compares this usage to how people existed before these technologies came along. Greenfield comes to some interestong conclusions about knowledge without context, the ability or inability to learn and the no-consequence nature of computer games and digital interactions.

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