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June 25, 2013

South Korea Reports Widespread "Digital Dementia," An Internet-Caused Cognitive Impairment With Symptoms Similar to Those of Head Traumas

Hey I was just talking about this and reading about this.

Via @comradearthur, the latest meme in medicine.

[Overuse of cellphones and the internet] is now developing into the early onset of digital dementia – a term coined in South Korea – meaning a deterioration in cognitive abilities that is more commonly seen in people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness.

"Over-use of smartphones and game devices hampers the balanced development of the brain," Byun Gi-won, a doctor at the Balance Brain Centre in Seoul, told the JoongAng Daily newspaper.

"Heavy users are likely to develop the left side of their brains, leaving the right side untapped or underdeveloped," he said.

The right side of the brain is linked with concentration and its failure to develop will affect attention and memory span, which could in as many as 15 per cent of cases lead to the early onset of dementia.

Sufferers are also reported to suffer emotional underdevelopment, with children more at risk than adults because their brains are still growing.

The upside is that adults and especially kids who retain the capability of deep concentration have a major edge on the competition.

In further Brave New World news, Buzzfeed notes that author J.G. Ballard predicted the basics of a technology-based culture of narcissism in the 70s.

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Okay, he didn't really nail the specifics, but he did predict the dissolution of real ("meatspace") social bonds in favor of the unreal.



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