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29 06, 2014

6-10% of Smartphone Users Display Signs of Internet Addiction

By |June 29th, 2014|Addiction, Smartphone|0 Comments

multiple_devicesWe’ve all experienced some of the social and interpersonal disruptions brought on with smartphone overuse; fewer face-to-face conversations, greater distractions, and a certain “hyper-vigilance” an inattention brought out with the anticipation of incoming text messages and phone calls. And all too often, what used to pass for manners and common courtesy has fallen by the wayside.

With smartphone usage in developed countries like the U.K. hovering around 71% of all households, the problem of smartphone overuse isn’t going away anytime soon. This recent story from TechRadar.com features interviews with Dr. David Greenfield and psychologist Phil Reed of Swansea University and sheds some new light on the subtle, insidious addictive qualities of smartphone use.

App addicts: has your smartphone become a drug?

The complete story from TechRadar.com is available here:

http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/app-addicts-has-your-smartphone-become-a-drug–1251024

26 06, 2014

Fallout From Video Gaming’s Dopamine Rush?

By |June 26th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

warlords-of-draenorResearchers and neurobiologists have known for some time that video games can sometimes adversely affect developing adolescent brains. Dr. Greenfield compares rush users get from gaming to gamblers playing a slot machine. Both feel a strong dopamine rush when they’re winning, but over time the brain starts to produce less of this important neurotransmitter and mood-affecting biochemical.

“How video games can affect adolescent brains”

You can read the full story in Polygon.com here:

http://www.polygon.com/2014/6/23/5834588/how-video-games-can-affect-adolescent-brains

26 06, 2014

Violent Acts by the Mentally Ill Raise Questions About Online Entertainment and Social Interaction

By |June 26th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

slender manTwo twelve year old girls from Wisconsin were recently charged with attempted homicide for the brutal stabbing assault on one of their friends and are each being charged as adults and face sentences up to 60 years in prison. Their victim is recovering in an area hospital. According to their girls, they committed the crime because the “Slender Man”, an imaginary tall figure with long arms, told them to do it. Some believe that the Slender Man character originated with writer Eric Knudsen, who has used this character in several written works and in film. Others believe that the origins of the Slender Man go much further back into century-old German folklore. What is known is that several of Knudsen’s Slender Man stories have been published on the Something Awful Web Forum as well as the CreepyPasta website and may have inspired the girls actions.

Some mental health professionals believe that changing social interactions and online games and web sites are blurring the distinction between fantasy and reality. To quote Dr. Greenfield in this article in Examiner.com, the Internet is “A socially connecting device that’s socially isolating at the same […]

26 06, 2014

Amazon’s New Phone Might be Great for Capitalism, but….

By |June 26th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Introduced  just last week, Amazon now has its own smartphone that is intended to dazzle the technophile and revolutionize the way we shop. Called the Fire Phone, the smartphone uses advanced image recognition technology to give consumers the ability to point the phone at a product they’re shopping for and recognize matches and similar products from a database of more than 70 Million products.

While this technology might be a boon to Amazon’s bottom line and help consumers save money, many researchers and professors are crying foul. In a recent Bloomberg article in their Ventured & Gained Blog,  Dr. Greenfield says that “Amazon’s new technology “just amplifies the potential for self-medicated behavior without being conscious,” he says. It gives you, at any moment, “an instant conduit to gratify yourself.”

“Amazon May Have Just Created a Weapon of Mass Consumption”

The complete Bloomberg story on this controversial new product can be found at the link below:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-20/amazon-may-have-just-created-a-weapon-of-mass-consumption.html

26 06, 2014

The Difficulty of Managing Online Content for Kids

By |June 26th, 2014|online pornography, Teens|0 Comments

Deseret NewsParents of children, preteens, and teenagers are struggling with the proliferation of sexual and pornographic content on television, in online services,  games, and even in text messages. Here’s a new interview with Dr. Greenfield by the Deseret News discussing how this trend is affecting juvenile and adolescent development and even brain function.

With Internet searches for pornography hitting 916 Million since the beginning of 2014 and 9 out of 10 boys exposed to pornography before age 18, this problem isn’t going away. To counteract these effects, some parents have gotten good results by teaching kids about digital limits and using filtering products to block access to unsavory materials.

“As parents struggle to manage online content, kids are being affected”

Read the complete story at:

9 06, 2014

Dr. Greenfield Featured in “Neurology Now” journal

By |June 9th, 2014|Neurology, Video Gaming|0 Comments

LargeThumbA great source of information on the latest advances in the study of Neurology is the Neurology Now site,  a highly regarded journal for patients and their caregivers published by the American Academy of Neurology. In the most recent June/July 2014 issue, Dr. Greenfield was interviewed on the subject of “Game Theory: How do video games affect the developing brains of children and teens?”. According to Dr. Greenfield, gaming has definite addictive properties, as

“Playing video games floods the pleasure center of the brain with dopamine,” says David Greenfield, Ph.D., founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. That gives gamers a rush—but only temporarily, he explains. With all that extra dopamine lurking around, the brain gets the message to produce less of this critical neurotransmitter. The end result: players can end up with a diminished supply of dopamine.

Take a game like that away from addicted adolescents and they often show behavioral problems, withdrawal symptoms, even aggression, according to Dr. Greenfield.”

The complete story in the Neurology Now journal can be found