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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Adam Gazzaley, Head Doctor, Explains -- This Is Your Brain on Social Media

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Tell us WTF is wrong with us, Dr. G. You're our only hope.
  • Tell us WTF is wrong with us, Dr. G. You're our only hope.

We see the best minds of our generation sending lolcats. And oversharing. And spending too much time retweeting short-form witticisms while not crafting better short-form witticisms -- also alerting the Internet whenever they walk into a place of business, voting on news, and arguing in the comments section.

It might not be their fault: According to neurology professor Adam Gazzaley, multitasking and social media may be having some effect on the brain. At least, that's one of the things he'd like to figure out, as head of the Neuroscience Imaging Center at UCSF. We think it's already happening. Consider, for example, that one of the most celebrated creative writings of the past year was @MayorEmanuel, over which connected media types collectively lost their shit simply because it used standard narrative techniques ... on nothing but the hottest platform around! The New York Observer's Foster Kamer was particularly addled by it, retweeting with such abandon that you didn't even need to follow the original feed, and that was exactly the sort of additional bifurcation our increasingly divided attentions needed. Also, Rebecca Black is still a thing, four months after she broke our minds. Why? Because we're crazy now.

Find out more at the long-form panel discussion "Social Networking on the Brain: Neuroscience and the New Media," in which Gazzaley appears with Ewing Duncan, author of Experimental Man, to knock some sense into us.

They speak at the champagne bar, July 20 at 6:15 p.m. $15-$30.

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Michael Leaverton

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