Wed, 13 Nov 2019

Internet is affecting the human brain, says study

18 Jun 2019, 22:07 GMT+10

PanARMENIAN.Net - Technology has impacted human activities monumentally. Now, scientists want to know if human brains are being affected too, Medical News Express reports.

The internet has been around for less than 3 decades, but the technology has already had an immense impact on the way humanity functions. This is apparent to us all in the way people communicate, foster relationships, and source information.

But there is one thing that scientists are still unsure of: What effect is the online world having on human brains? A new review by researchers from five universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia attempts to find the answer.

The theory goes that neuroplasticity ⁠- or the brain';s ability to structurally change over time ⁠- means that the experiences and lessons we gain from internet use could be having a significant impact.

Identifying and understanding these changes in children and young adults is particularly important as their brains are still developing. The World Health Organization (WHO) have already issued concern, recommending that children younger than 5 years old should spend no more than 1 hour in front of a screen on any day.

The latest review considered three areas: the capacity for attention and concentration; memory processes; and social cognition.

By examining numerous findings from previous studies, the international team of researchers was able to analyze whether the internet was proving beneficial or detrimental in each of these instances.

Researchers from Harvard University in Boston, MA, Australia';s Western Sydney University, and the United Kingdom';s King';s College London, Oxford University, and the University of Manchester all took part. Their conclusions appear in the journal, World Psychiatry.

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