In “How has the Internet reshaped human cognition?“, Kep-Kee Loh and Ryota Kanai move forward the debate on how cognitive processes and brain structures are adapting to our interaction with the instant access to information through internet.
They study information processing, memory consolidation, brain circuitry, multitasking, distractions, addictive behavior, and other promising lines of research. To their credit conclusions are often that more research is required. Having such broad view on the matter is welcome. There are signs of some precipitated condemnation as ‘internet is bad for people’ we expect from resistance to change.
Nicholas Carr book ‘The Shallows” was part of growing criticism on how the internet was affecting negatively our brains. One typical culprit was the excessive multitasking. When studies showed heavy media multitaskers performed worse on a test of task-switching ability those critics felt vindicated. Then as studies with shorter titles are cited more often by other scientists more people were certain: ‘even’ scientists were affected by the shallow effect.
How can we tap this shallow information pool to go deeper into our minds?