Overflowing Brain Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory

ISBN-10: 0195372883
ISBN-13: 9780195372885
Edition: 2009
List price: $21.95 Buy it from $2.89
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Description: As the pace of technological change accelerates, we are increasinlgy experiencing a state of information overload. Statistics show that we are interupted every three minutes during the course of the work day. Multitasking between email, cell-phone,  More...

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Book details

List price: $21.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/7/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 192
Size: 6.50" wide x 10.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

As the pace of technological change accelerates, we are increasinlgy experiencing a state of information overload. Statistics show that we are interupted every three minutes during the course of the work day. Multitasking between email, cell-phone, text messages, and four or five websites while listening to an I-pod forces the brain to process more and more informaton at greater and greater speeds. And yet the human brain has hardly changed in the last 40,000 years. Are all these high-tech advances overtaxing our Stone-Age brains or is the contant flood of information good for us, giving our brains the daily exercise they seem to crave? In The Overflowing Brain, cognitive scientist Torkel Klingberg takes us on a journey into the limits and possibilities of the brain. He suggests that we should acknowledge and embrace our desire for information and mental challenges, but try to find a balance between demand and capacity. Klingberg explores the cognitive demands, or "complexity," of everyday life and how the brain tries to meet them. He identifies different types of attention, such as stimulus-driven and controlled attention, but focuses chiefly on "working memory," our capactiy to keep information in mind for short periods of time. Dr Klingberg asserts that working memory capacity-long thought to be static and hardwired in the brain-can be improved by training, and that the increasing demands on working memory may actually have a constructive effect: as demands on the human brain increase, so does its capacity. The book ends with a discussion of the future of brain development and how we can best handle information overload in our everyday lives. Klingberg suggests how we might find a balance between demand and capacity and move from feeling ovewhelmed to deeply engaged.

Introduction: The Stone Age Brain Meets the Information Flood
The Information Portal
The Mental Workbench
Models of Working Memory
The Brain and the Magical Number Seven
Simultaneous Capacity and Mental Bandwidth
Wallace's Paradox
Brain Plasticity
Does ADHD Exist?
A Cognitive Gym
The Everyday Exercising of Our Mental Muscles
Computer Games
The Flynn Effect
Neurocognitive Enhancement
The Information Flood and Flow
Notes and References
Index

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