Tag Archives: Byun Gi

Digital Dementia?

8 Aug

Is there such a thing as “digital dementia?” Several news sources have been reporting versions of the following story:

“A brain researcher in South Korea says he’s found evidence of ‘short term memory loss’ in young kids because of all the digital games and smartphones they use. “

The “brain researcher” is identified as Byun Gi-won a physician who runs the the Balance Brain Center in Seoul. If Dr. Gi-won is a researcher it is surprising that I am unable to locate a single research paper by him. If a reader is able to locate any publications by Dr. Gi-won please let me know in the comments section.

I would also note that the terms “dementia” and “short-term memory” have technical definitions and it is not clear if they are being used appropriately in the article. All this makes me very skeptical. Even though the phase “digital dementia” has nice alliteration, I would like to see the specifics of the claim and the evidence for it.

It is certainly worth considering the cognitive effects of our digital environment. See Nicholas Carr’s book, The Shallows, for an informed discussion.

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