Rewiring the Brain

Figure 1. Screenshot from clip.


The above is a clip from the BBC’s Tom Chatfield’s, ‘Has Technology Rewired Our brains’ episode. I think this video is one of the best things I have come across in the way it explains the ideas concerning our brains changing due to the technological surge. It is very authoritative and clear, especially considering the content of the message. The narrator questions whether we should worry about our immersion into digital technology. She responds by saying that we absolutely should be concerned as everything we do transforms the connections in our brain. Plasticity is the brains ability to change and adapt in response to our experience in the changing environment around us. And our interaction with objects is very much part of our changing environmnet.

The video considers both sides of the argument in response to this statement; that we are developing screen addictions that could result in attention disorders – much like Nicholas Carr argues.  However it also recognises the potential opportunities. The message of this video is very similar to the core idea behind my work and what McLuhan first argued would happen – a change in the way we think as a result of a dramatic change in our environment due to technology.

Also I would just like to highlight that this video is extremely recent (2015) and draws on issues which we are currently experiencing and more importantly, ones that everyone can relate to. It also makes reference in the video that because of our increased use of screen technology and the pervasive behavior it facilitates that in the future our brains will only be able to focus on short artefacts – such as this 2 minute animated video. This is very effective and is suggestive of what our activity could lead to and gives a great example by referencing itself. Furthermore, the video is narrated in such a way that it is very explanatory and does well to explain the importance of this issue. This is a great example of material which sits at the forefront of my study and because of this it is even more useful.


Although at this point of my project, this videos value lies elsewhere. My graphic visualisation cards sit in the same kind of culture space in respect to both being creative, playful and witty. Also they are both somewhat a short experience in the way the material is delivered – the activity resumes on the audiences behalf where they have to think and consider these ideas. However this video is far more direct and didactic whereas my cards are more heuristic because of their ambiguity. Despite this though I think this video is an excellent example of something which is similar to my cards and this helps identify its place in terms of relevance.



Figure 1. Image obtained from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02hj624 [Accessed on 14/08/15]

Chatfield, T. (2015). ‘Rewiring the Brain’. BBC Radio 4. video [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02hj624 [Accessed on 14/08/15]