Why technology is making us STUPID: Reliance on gadgets and search engines reduces our brain power.
Technology such as sat-navs affect our ability to recall information
Museum-goers who take pictures remember fewer objects
, the long-term consequences are still unknown
PUBLISHED: 11:00 EST, 16 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:00 EST, 16 August 2016
They take many of the stresses and strains out of modern life.
But smartphones, sat-navs and search engines could be messing with our minds.
Scientists say that research is urgently needed into the long-term consequences of relying on gadgets rather than our brains.
Studies on sat-nav use have found that while they helped motorists on their journey, they affected memory
HOW DOES TECHNOLOGY AFFECT MEMORY?
Studies on sat-nav use have found that while they helped motorists on their journey, they affected memory.
The drivers remembered less about what they have seen along the way – and struggled to retrace the route when asked to drive it again without the aid of the sat-nav.
Another study found that museum-goers given digital cameras remembered objects they had photographed less well than other exhibits.
Other research suggests that the vast amounts of information available on Google may fool us into thinking we are smarter than we actually are.
Evan Risko, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Waterloo, warned: ‘If you are allowed to store some to-be-remembered information on a computer, chances are you won’t devote cognitive real estate to remembering it.
‘As a result, your ability to remember that information without the computer will likely be reduced.
‘There’s little doubt that these new technologies are affecting what we remember.’
In a paper co-authored by University College London neuroscientist Sam Gilbert, Dr Risko reviewed studies into cognitive offloading – or using the outside world to save on brainpower.
These include studies on sat-nav use, which have found that while they helped motorists on their journey, they affected memory.=========================================
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