Brain Bashed

Half-way through the winter solstice holiday period and well sunk into doldrums despite some actual progress. The weather is a bit better today but still not enough improved for me to assay out to the park for constitutional. The air temperature – 40 degF according to my browser and 41 according to my aft porch thermometer – is acceptable to my prescribing cardiologist but not to my heat capacity depleted body. So I had to make do with stationary bicycle. It seems a condemnation of civilization that our greatest accomplishment of sedentaryness is the chair; we even sit down to perspire.

On which note, I ran across two articles in the last few days. The first [Link] is work from Emory U that indicates that the connectivity of the brain is altered, at least for a period of time yet undetermined, by reading. Another [Link] from Northwestern U indicates that the motions we make while using a computer – mouse, keyboard, eyes(?) – also changes the way our brains represent our movement. So the brain is indeed plastic, an unsurprise given that we can indeed learn, at least the non-bogs, that is.

But what is potentially more damning is that this also indicates that reading on a computer has fundamentally different effect on the brain than reading a pBook. It appears, based on my ignorance of cognitive biology and the journalism presented in the two articles, that reading from a book has a different impact on the brain than reading on a computer screen. If so, this clearly needs to be explored in greater detail. At the least it may explain some of the enormous variances between GEN X and GEN Y, and it may explain the general ferdness of computer using societies.

Meanwhile, I am going to continue reading pBooks except when I have long waiting periods away from home. And then I shall use my eReader and not a computer per se.

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