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Cognition and Digital Technology: Assumptions Versus Reality


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About the lecture

In this lecture, we think about some key assumptions and their reality regarding the relationship between cognition and digital technology, focusing in particular on: (i) the mainstream assumption that digital technology has a detrimental effect on cognition and cognitive development; (ii) a valid aspect of that view being that technology enables young people to access content which they are not necessarily cognitively mature enough to be ready for; (iii) ‘TikTok ticks’, whereby people who watch TikTok influencers with Tourette’s Syndrome develop similar symptoms; (iv) a quote from Plato, which highlights that the rejection of new technology for fear of it corrupting cognition is nothing new in society; (v) the example of video games being so popular demonstrating, in a modern context, that concern about the effect of digital technology on cognition doesn’t translate into effective action against it; (vi) the unique societal situation currently present today, whereby the digital age means that living together now are generations of ‘digital immigrants’ and generations of ‘digital natives’, with the former raising the latter; (vii) the parent-child conflicts which can arise from the ‘digital immigrant’-‘digital native’ dynamic.

About the lecturer

Dr Dean Burnett is a neuroscientist, author and honorary research associate in the Centre for Medical Education at Cardiff University. Dr Burnett’s research interests are in neuroscience, science communication and psychology. Some of Dr Burnett’s recent books include Psycho-Logical (2019) and Why Your Parents Are Driving You Up The Wall And What To Do About It (2019).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Burnett, D. (2023, September 19). Cognition - Cognition and Digital Technology: Assumptions Versus Reality [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Burnett, D. "Cognition – Cognition and Digital Technology: Assumptions Versus Reality." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 19 Sep 2023,