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Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains
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Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  493 ratings  ·  98 reviews
We live in a world unimaginable only decades ago: a domain of backlit screens, instant information, and vibrant experiences that can outcompete dreary reality. Our brave new technologies offer incredible opportunities for work and play. But at what price?

Now renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield—known in the United Kingdom for challenging entrenched conventional views
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by Random House (first published August 21st 2014)
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David Bakker
An interesting read, but with some dramatically biased conclusions.
There are some good points made about the impact of constant technology use on attention and the shift from internal to external definitions of self, but there are glaring biases in many of Greenfield's arguments. For example, she claims that reading fiction is essential for understanding meaning in the world through development of empathy. She argues that physical books are the only truly effective tools to do this with and an
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was very different from other neuroscience books I've read. It felt more like a discussion than a lecture. The absence of detailed explanations was disconcerting at first, though the book's notes reference the relevant information. I would say this was less a book of learning and more a book of thinking...less information heavy than other books in the genre, but more thought provoking. It wasn't a manual detailing how the brain/mind works so much as a look at what are the implications of ...more
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
When reading this book I recommend also reading this article:
C. Hollis Crossman
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In the opening chapters of Mind Change, Susan Greenfield is careful to distinguish between a brain and a human mind. Brains are the physical organs that facilitate thought, but minds are the ephemeral products of that thought. Greenfield attempts a fairly complete definition of mind that distinguishes it from consciousness, and that stresses the ability to make connections, the linear development of experiences into ideas, and the personal organization of those experiences that reciprocally ...more
Rebecca McNutt
This book makes many very good points that most digital tech enthusiasts won't even consider. Is technology changing the way we think? Is it making us lazier, is it creating a more corrupt society, is it bad for people if used too much? Mind Change goes into all of this and more.
Abrar Hani
To be reviewed..
Catherine Gillespie
In Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains, Susan Greenfield leverages her background in philosophy and neuroscience to explore the ever increasing field of research into how technology impacts and changes our brains. Greenfield is not a Luddite–she discusses positive aspects of screen use and presents a balanced view of research findings–but she doesn’t pull any punches about the implications of the facts. If you’ve read much on this topic it won’t really ...more
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
Author is a bit of a scold and a name dropper which detract somewhat from the book. However she does put together a good bit of information on the topic. Enjoyable enough except for previous mentioned blemishes.
Karel Baloun
Greenfield is just provoking to be long term relevant, her science has long departed for speculation, and not especially profound speculation.

Yes, tech use rewires our brain (as does language, music or math) and how it does this depends hugely on the details of how the tech is used -- socially? Actively? Purposefully? For challenge or entertainment? No such nuances are here, just fear over addiction and passivity.

Greenfield does well on clearly proven issues, such as violent video games causing
Olafs Bērziņš
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting read. Makes you think about how long you spend time with your computer and smartphone, how much you talk to other people, makes you look at todays youth - this book reminds you to be aware about technology. Would recommend (cautiously) to everyone who liked "Sapiens". I liked the authors take on and explanations about human brains, how they work, what is happening inside of them (from what we know so far). I had some internal disagreements as well - about her take on video games, ...more
Jo Bennie
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g
Thought provoking, this was a book I took notes from and continued to think about after I'd finished it. Greenfield chapter by chapter addresses the ways in which the potential plasticity of the human brain interacts with internet technology and gaming. She uses reams of experimental data and is not afraid to admit to contradictions and grey areas. I found it incredibly useful as a framework to reflect on how thousands of years of human evolution has or has not prepared us for technology that ...more
D.R. Oestreicher
Jul 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains by Susan Greenfield promised to elucidate the fundamental changes of our brains caused by social media, computer games, and Internet surfing - Facebook, Blizzard, and Google. With a title explicitly meant to echo Climate Change, I was expecting great science and conclusive research.

I was disappointed.

For more see:
Ami Iida
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: neuroscience, ict
negative story about internet
Stephen Palmer
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Mind change is to human psychology as climate change is to the planet. Susan Greenfield's thesis in this excellent book is that the digital world, especially the online world, is causing the brains and therefore the minds of billions of people around the world to change.

In some regards, this book is similar to Mary Aiken's The Cyber Effect, but here the emphasis is more on a nuts-and-bolts approach. Dr Aiken is a cyber-psychologist. Susan Greenfield is one of Britain's best known scientists - as
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Three stars for good writing - albeit a lot of filler.
I wish the author could have incorporated some material about integration therapies such as EMDR. She seems to leave out this totally relevant field . Her most basic question is about how minds do change and then she uncovers studies to do with the impact of digital technologies. But really, she needs to incorporate more about how the mind does change. Without that, it is a fairly uncreative thesis

Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fascinating romp through the evidence that left me thinking a lot about my own digital habits and their long term implications. Greenfield's survey of the neuroscientifc research is exhaustive but very accessible, and strikes a good balance between the "good" and the "bad" news. The chapters on video games and social networking are particularly compelling. I found this really helpful in refining my approach to screen time with own kids, and thinking through some changes in my own habits.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This book starts out by telling you it is not about anything concrete... no brain scans or changes that they can be certain are from technology, just correlations that they can't be positive about: all of the things I was hoping to read about. It wound up being kind of interesting, but it just wasn't what I was looking for.
Vincent Eaton
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This ends my five book reading up on digital culture & technologies and how it affects contemporary thinking and being.
Rachel Willis
DNF Despite my interest in the subject matter, this book wasn’t for me.
Florin Pitea
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very relevant, informative and educative. Highly recommended.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
This felt a bit out of date as social media and use of computers and smart phones has moved so quickly. Plenty of food for thought but I found it quite difficult to get through.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
I'm very conflicted about this book; it had good pros and bad cons. I'm very interested in the science behind the structure of the brain, particularly when it comes to changes or differences that are associated with or can induce asocial symptoms like those seen in ASPD. This book is obviously not geared towards disorders, but I was curious to see what the research was saying about how technology changes brain structure.

Con #1 - misleading title. The subtitle of "How Digital Technologies Are
Clinton Sweet
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Blah blah blah. Perhaps because I’m one of the “digital natives” she refers to, my attention span really struggled throughout reading this
Matt John
No doubt the techno-evangelists will be up in arms about this one. There's much to get through, both analysis and results from research and even the author declares that it is too early to tell the exact consequences of living in the digital world. Broken up into sections on age groups and types of usage, Greenfield often compares this usage to how people existed before these technologies came along.
Greenfield comes to some interestong conclusions about knowledge without context, the ability or
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very solid and thought provoking book.

My wife bought me this book for Valentine's Day as she was concerned about our kids' digital habits. That said our family ensures that we have two days internet-free and phone-free per week. Plus we have a maximum of two hours usage on the other days. So is this the right approach? Is it enough? Too much?

Susan Greenfield's book helps answer these questions with a review of the positives and negatives of how digital technologies are literally leaving marks
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good cover, good content.

Greenfield tackles the somewhat taboo topic of today's technologies (who doesn't love alliteration?) and what they might be doing to our brains, equating the plasticity of our minds to the issue of global climate change. (I applaud her clever use of this metaphor to highlight more than one important social issue.) Greenfield writes at a comfortable pace, often connecting previously discussed topics, studies, and anecdotes with newly presented ideas. And she isn't afraid
Kuhajeyan Gunaratnam
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good read that provides in-depth analysis on implication of Social media, Video gaming and many other cyber aspects. Book discusses neatly about social and emotional skills deprivation due to heavy indulgence social media and weaker notion of identity enjoyed by addicted end-users. And also interesting information about the neuro-chemical mechanism behind compulsive addition to gaming and etc.

Down side is, there many more evidences scattered throughout the book that distracts the flows of
Manoj Chacko
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it

Mind change- Susan Greenfield a leading neuroscientist highlights how the digitally connected age has forced the brain to adapt and change very similar to the climate change due to the industrial revolution but much more critical and fast paced. Very interesting to know how the amigdalia size in our brain is linked to the social network size (Could be the effect, side effect or cause).

She also talks about the difference between the collectivist vs individualist mindset, fluid vs crystallised
Oct 11, 2015 rated it liked it
An interesting read on the implications of digital technology (social networking, video games, and internet surfing/screen reading) on our minds and lives.

While digital technologies can be convenient, and can be addictive like anything else (food, gambling, shopping, etc.) - it is also a mainstream cultural way of life that does seem to be changing the way people interact, what they rely on, and how they view the world. I am wary of anything that takes the world over the way technologies
Muhammed Umar
Dec 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Being an avid gamer, I wanted to know why or what is causing addiction and how I can manage it. This book delves into this and many other issues related to the digital age. Instead of completely avoiding technology it tries to show that there are ways that we humans have to go about to make connections with the digital world and ways we can exploit it. However, as of this moment as technology evolves it will be some ways before positive connections through the Internet can be achieved, as most ...more
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Greenfield is Professor of Synaptic Pharmacology at Lincoln College, Oxford. On 1 February 2006, she was installed as Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Until 8 January 2010, she was director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain
“The more connections you can make across an ever wider and more disparate range of knowledge, the more deeply you will understand something. Search engines and videogames do not provide that facility; nothing does, other than your own brain.” 1 likes
“that e-reading resulted in poorer comprehension, as a result of the physical limitations of the text that forced readers to scroll up and down, thereby disrupting their reading with a spatial instability” 1 likes
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