The scene opens with a San Francisco woman listening to her iPod, sending an email on her iPhone, and watching television while pedaling on an elliptical. Reporter Matt Richtel uses this subject and other familiar characters, like the guy talking on his phone while pushing his child in the grocery cart, to show people’s need to fill their days “micro-moments” with something entertaining or seemingly productive.
The problem? Scientists have found that constantly pumping your brain with digital input is taking away necessary downtime that our brains require to learn, remember information and come up with new ideas. Instead of being entertaining or relaxing, technology is actually fatiguing the brain by not giving it time to rest and process. However, there are some researchers who believe the benefits of technology out-weigh the side effects because people are more motivated to workout when they have their ear buds, their iPhone and their favorite t.v. show.
Article: Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime
At the University of California, San Francisco, scientists have found that when rats have a new experience, like exploring an unfamiliar area, their brains show new patterns of activity. But only when the rats take a break from their exploration do they process those patterns in a way that seems to create a persistent memory of the experience.
To read the full article: www.nytimes.com