Psychiatrist and neuroscientist Gary Small, of the University of California at Los Angeles, invented the first brain scan that showed physical evidence of brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease in living patients. He’s since focused his research on young and old brains, revealing that technological overexposure causes significant changes in neural circuitry. In his 2008 book iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind, he reports that Web surfing, multitasking, and information bombardment can accelerate learning and creativity but may also increase attention deficit disorder, social isolation, and Internet addiction.

Small, the director of the UCLA Memory and Aging Center, used functional MRI scans to track brain blood flow in middle-aged and older adults surfing the Web. He noted that Internet searching stimulates frontal lobe circuits, which are responsible for decision making. Other studies suggest that video gaming both increases and decreases activity in the frontal lobe and the amygdala, which handles emotional response, thereby decreasing social interactivity. ”Technology is not only changing our lives; it’s changing our brains,” says Small.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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