Does the constant use of devices impact our physical neurology? Can the endless deluge of digital data affect our memory, perception and attention spans? What has the personal computer done to our brains? Now, with tablets and laptops in every bag and iPhones always by our sides, how is our gray matter meeting the new challenges of the digital world? Renowned cognitive neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley and best-selling author and Pulitzer prize-winning tech journalist Matt Richtel will discuss the distracting nature of devices and attempt to unearth the impact that technology has on our most important computing asset: our brains.
Dr. Gazzaley is the founding director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center at the UCSF, where he is an Associate Professor in Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry. He has built his career studying the neural mechanisms of perception, attention and memory, with an emphasis on distraction and multitasking. His research has expanded our understanding of alterations in the aging brain that lead to cognitive decline and the ways we can improve our attention and memory abilities. He is the author of more than 50 articles, a speaker at almost 200 invited presentations and has been profiled in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, and featured on “Discover,” “PBS,” “NPR,” and “NBC Nightly News.”
Richtel is the author of several novels including his best seller Hooked and Devil’s Plaything. Based in the San Francisco, Richtel writes about technology and its impact on society. His 2010 series, “Our Brain on Computers,” focused on how constant use of our devices impacts our behavior, our thought processes and even our neurology. His 2009 series on distracted driving won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. Richtel joined the Times in 2000 and has written on numerous subjects, including Internet gambling, identity theft, corporate espionage, video games, mobile communications, the dot com era and the pornography industry.