Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Brain Drain

Welcome to your brainWhile trying to get rid of a headache the other day, I came across some interesting articles about how the brain functions. The first, from Slate, is about how our instant-gratification technology, such as Twitter and Facebook, rewires the brain into a perpetual seeking mode. Apparently this is a dopamine-driven behavior that leads to mental stimulation, but not satisfaction. Long-term effects? Your friends might break your iPhone, or you might find yourself incapable of making any decision, big or small, without first consulting the interwebs or a gadget. On the other hand, Slate just posted another article about using technologies such as Twitter to your advantage. Will our brains ever be the same again?

An alchemy of mindThe second article is from a new-to-me resource, the Research Digest Blog from the British Psychological Society. The blog summarizes current research in a way that laypeople can appreciate. The post described how the way we perceive time might predict how angry we are overall. People who are slow to anger tend to view time as moving towards them, while angrier people see themselves as moving through time. It's an interesting observation, especially at closing time on a Friday afternoon. Another post analyzed personal space and brain development. If you consider yourself an amateur or seasoned people-watcher, definitely check out this blog for some explanations about what you see.

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