Mind change: How digital technologies are leaving their mark on our brains (Susan Greenfield) [Book Review]

New Media and Society 18 (9):2139-2141 (2016)

Todd Davies
Stanford University
This is a review of Susan Greenfield's 2015 book 'Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark On Our Brains'. Greenfield is a neuroscientist and a member of the UK House of Lords, who argues that digital technologies are changing the human environment "in an unprecedented way," and that by adapting to this environment, "the brain may also be changing in an unprecedented way." The book and its author have created a surprising amount of controversy. I discuss both Greenfield's book and a prominent critique by Bell et al. (2015). The exchange points to some flaws in Greenfield's argument and represents an interesting debate about the public role of scientists, but it does not undermine the value of the book as a springboard for discussions about possible policies and future research.
Keywords digital technology  media neuroscience  media psychology  technology policy
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