The technology makes the tiniest windows of time entertaining, and potentially productive. But scientists point to an unanticipated side effect: when people keep their brains busy with digital input, they are forfeiting downtime that could allow them to better learn and remember information, or come up with new ideas…
“Almost certainly, downtime lets the brain go over experiences it’s had, solidify them and turn them into permanent long-term memories,” said Loren Frank, assistant professor in the department of physiology at the university, where he specializes in learning and memory. He said he believed that when the brain was constantly stimulated, “you prevent this learning process.”
At the University of Michigan, a study found that people learned significantly better after a walk in nature than after a walk in a dense urban environment, suggesting that processing a barrage of information leaves people fatigued.
Even though people feel entertained, even relaxed, when they multitask while exercising, or pass a moment at the bus stop by catching a quick video clip, they might be taxing their brains, scientists say.
“People think they’re refreshing themselves, but they’re fatiguing themselves,” said Marc Berman, a University of Michigan neuroscientist.
I usually couldn’t care less about clothing, but I’ve been obsessed with this brand AllSaints recently. It’s all so expensive though…
Funny, I hardly know any brands really, but I’m the same with this one. Don’t own any clothes from there though. They’re expensive plus I live in Iceland which means you take the price and at least double it.
It’s a mystery why money doesn’t make us happy, because it feels like it damn well should. With money we can buy whatever we want, go wherever we want, even be whoever we want. Surely that should make us happy?
Perhaps, as people become really rich, they don’t choose more enjoyable activities (i.e. they stay in the office working)? Perhaps material goods just can’t make us happy? Or perhaps there is always someone richer, spoiling the party with their more impressive wealth?
There’s something missing from these accounts, though, and it’s the old argument that when you live in luxurious surroundings, have experienced the best restaurants and received the most lavish gifts, it becomes more difficult to savour the simple things in life.
Supporting this account, a new study published in Psychological Science has found that participants were less able to savour positive emotions both when they were richer themselves and when they were prompted to think about wealth by looking at a picture of money (Quoidbach et al., 2010).
In a second study participants who were cued with the idea of money didn’t enjoy or savour a chocolate bar as much as those not reminded of money. When participants looked at a picture of money beforehand, the average time spent eating the chocolate went down from 45 seconds to 32 seconds. Levels of enjoyment reported afterwards also went down, from 5 to 3.6 on a scale of 1 to 7, where 7 is maximum enjoyment…