The brain’s plasticity—its ability to change in response to stimuli from the environment—is well known. What has been less appreciated is how the expanding use of technology is shaping neural processing.
Young people are exposed to digital stimulation for several hours every day, and many older adults are not far behind.
Even using a computer for Web searches for just an hour a day changes the way the brain processes information. A constant barrage of e-contacts is both stimulating—sharpening certain cognitive skills—and draining, studies show.