Life connected au des while technology evolves by design?

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Hidden Harm&Benefits of the Inconspicuous Persuaders

Behavioral priming refers to the effect of stimuli on subjects' behaviors. In studies, subjects who held a warm beverage rather than a cold one were more likely to think kindly1; and subjects who read polite words waited a mean 1.7 times that of than those who read rude ones before interrupting a rehearsed conversation between researchers in the post-reading room2.

As we've seen from the success of cigarrette advertising, there are some disadvantages to associative synaptic plasticity. But there is one advantage: it reduces synaptic pruning, the death of unused neurons.3 Suchly saving neurons results in a greater neural reserve providing a greater number of neurons that can later be used in neural circuits besides the one keeping them alive. This increases not only ones potentials for cognitive capacity&longevity but also makes their brains more able to use cortical plasticity to compensate for injuries.4

Watching television is associated with a %20 higher risk of cognitive impairment5. Typical television is thought to predispose the brain to receive content impressionistically rather than analytically by activating the left hemisphere of the brain less. An increase in the alpha brainwave (as measured by an EEG) is characteristic of sitting in front of a television - this change in brainwave activity is thought to induce passivity in the face of a desire to turn off the TV.6

1http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7688315.stm
2http://www.yale.edu/acmelab/articles/bargh_chen_burrows_1996.pdf
3http://jn.physiology.org/content/76/1/631.short
4http://episin.blogspot.com/2011/08/neural-nodes_30.html
5http://www.neurology.org/content/66/6/794.full
6Restak, Richard. (2009). Think Smart: A Neuroscientist's Prescription For Improving Your Brain's Performance. New York: Riverhead Books.

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