GPS, Your Smartphone, and Your Brain

Though the data can only be extrapolated so far, Lerch’s mouse studies suggest that human brains begin to reorganize very quickly in response to the way we use them. The implications of this concern Bohbot. She fears that overreliance on gps, which demands a hyper-pure form of stimulus-response behaviour, will result in our using the spatial capabilities of the hippocampus less, and that it will in turn get smaller. Other studies have tied atrophy of the hippocampus to increased risk of dementia. “We can only draw an inference,” Bohbot acknowledges. “But there’s a logical conclusion that people could increase their risk of atrophy if they stop paying attention to where they are and where they go.”

via “Global Impositioning Systems” by Alex Hutchinson | November 2009 | The Walrus.

Long, but really informative article on the implications of reliance on GPS and its affect on our brain.


And You Thought Test-Taking Was a Bad Thing



via Test-Taking Cements Knowledge Better Than Studying, Researchers Say –

Taking a test is not just a passive mechanism for assessing how much people know, according to new research. It actually helps people learn, and it works better than a number of other studying techniques.

How will this new research impact what I do in the classroom?  I’m not sure – I definitely need to learn more about it – but anything that helps students remember the information is the way to go.

Read the full article for some insight into what scientists think about why this technique works.


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