How story helps our evolving brains
Are our brains evolving to cope with our hyper-connectivity?
A Microsoft study from 2015 is quoted as saying, ‘The brain’s cognitive functioning shifts in response to regular, intensive use of technology resulting in development of new cognitive talents that better suit a more digital lifestyle.’
The idea that our brains are developing neural pathways to better process our constant use of technology and the incoming stream of information is comforting. Far preferable to the concerns of many, that it is harmful to our brains.
The questions might be then, can we learn to adapt and process better? And, how do we communicate effectively so that others’ newly developing, digital cognitive talents are attracted by what we have to say.
Research shows us that ‘watching the world go by’ doesn’t much alter our brain activity. Whereas character-driven and emotionally charged story not only alters our brain activity, but introduces elevated neuro-chemicals that focus attention and increase empathy.
What better way than story then to gain our attention as we deal with the digital deluge, and as our evolving brains develop the cognition to match our digital lifestyle?