Book Review of Susan Greenfield's 'Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark On Our Brains'
New Media & Society, October 2016, 18(9): 2139-2141, first published on June 6, 2016, doi:10.1177/1461444816652614
5 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2016
Date Written: 2016
This is a review of Susan Greenfield's 2015 book 'Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark On Our Brains'. Greenfield is a neuroscientist and a member of the UK House of Lords, who argues that digital technologies are changing the human environment "in an unprecedented way," and that by adapting to this environment, "the brain may also be changing in an unprecedented way." The book and its author have created a surprising amount of controversy. I discuss both Greenfield's book and a prominent critique by Bell et al. (2015). The exchange points to some flaws in Greenfield's argument and represents an interesting debate about the public role of scientists, but it does not undermine the value of the book as a springboard for discussions about possible policies and future research.
Keywords: digital technology, media neuroscience, media psychology, technology policy
JEL Classification: I1,Y3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation