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Is technology harming our brains?
According to Yuan et al (referenced right), volume of grey matter in several areas decreased as duration of internet addiction increased. These areas, shown in yellow, include the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), cerebellum, supplementary motor area (SMA), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and occipital frontal cortex (OFC).
Digital technology – particularly social media – is rewiring our brains in a harmful way. It decreases attention span, encourages instant gratification and makes people more self-centred. It also causes us to lack empathy and is having a detrimental effect on how we build relationships in real life. People are becoming addicted to the internet, and digital technology may also be linked to the increased number of young people being diagnosed with autism.
Yuan K et al. Microstructure abnormalities in adolescents with internet addiction disorder. PLoS ONE 2011;6(6):e20708.