portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

government | health


If you are having a hard time deciding who to vote for city council seat 1 you should vote for me. David Morrison
I am the only one that considers our children's exposure to radiation in school a public health emergency as all the world's scientists and health researchers working with non ionizing radiation. It is considered to be the most dangerous threat to human health, EVER. Not only human health but plants and animals are also biologically harmed by microwave radiation from wireless tech. Schools should be teaching "safer" cell phone use and our city council can do more to protect neighborhoods from cell towers under the existing legal framework in spite of saying "their hands are tied" all the time.
WiFi The Silent Killing Fields.
WiFi The Silent Killing Fields.
 link to www.msn.com

Smartphones and iPads change how the human brain works - and are destroying our memories 27/49

Smartphones and iPads really do shorten attention spans, a new study has warned.

The multi-media devices are changing how the human brain works - making it harder for us to fully understand information.

Reading screens on tablets and phones makes users focus on a few concrete details rather than the big picture.

Seeing the bigger picture is important because it involves flexible reasoning, creativity, judgement and logical problem solving.

The findings presented at a conference for human-computer interaction serve as a wake-up call to how digital media is harming our ability to use abstract thought.

Classrooms are increasingly becoming digital as work is done on computers rather than in notebooks.

The study found more than 300 participants recruited for four tests performed better at comprehension and problem solving when they read information on print-outs rather than digital platforms.

Professor Geoff Kaufman, of Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, said: "There has been a great deal of research on how digital platforms might be affecting attention, distractibility and mindfulness and these studies build on this work by focusing on a relatively understudied construct.

"Given psychologists have shown construal levels can vastly impact outcomes such as self-esteem and goal pursuit it's crucial to recognise the role digitisation of information might be having on this important aspect of cognition."

Construal levels are the fundamental amount of concreteness versus abstractness people use in perceiving and interpreting behaviours, events and other informational stimuli.

The researchers wanted to know if processing the same information on a digital versus non-digital platform would affect this.

Reading material and other content was published using the same print size and format in both versions with volunteers aged 20 to 24 years.

Participants were asked to do a series of tasks including filling in a form, reading a short story and comparing different car models - either on paper or on a computer screen.

Those given print-outs paper were much better at understanding the whole material while those using computers remembered particular details.

In a comprehension test about a short story those who had read it in print fared far better in questions about the story's inferences and broader narrative while those who had read the digital document retained more information about minor details.
© Provided by Mirror

When evaluating the specifications of four fictional cars, 66% of those who had read the comparison on paper could correctly say which was the best model, against 43% of those who had read it on a computer.

For the abstract questions participants using the non-digital platform scored higher on average with 66% correct as compared to those using the digital platform - 48%

On the concrete questions participants using the digital platform scored better with 73 per cent correct as compared to 58 per cent correct.

The study on digital versus non-digital platforms was prompted by earlier research which revealed players of the digital version of the public health strategy game "POX: Save the People" were more inclined to respond with localised solutions rather than looking at the big picture.

Professor Mary Flanagan, of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, said: "Compared to the widespread acceptance of digital devices as evidenced by millions of apps, ubiquitous smartphones and the distribution of iPads in schools, surprisingly few studies exist about how digital tools affect our understanding - our cognition.

"Knowing the affordances of digital technologies can help us design better software.

"Sometimes it's beneficial to foster abstract thinking and as we know more we can design to overcome the tendencies - or deficits - inherent in digital devices."

The research is being presented at the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) CHI (Computer-Human Intyeraction) '16 conference in San Jose in California.

homepage: homepage: http://www.wirelesswatchblog.org

However on a humorous note 11.May.2016 04:41

Mike Novack

The same was true for the MUCH more ancient invention of the technology of writing. People in pre-literate cultures never fail to be amazed at how poor are the memories of us literate folks.

Cellphone-Cancer Link Found in Government Study 27.May.2016 12:45

Hello its me!

I just stumbled onto this article in the corporate news on 5/27/16

 link to www.msn.com

"""A major U.S. government study on rats has found a link between cellphones and cancer, an explosive finding in the long-running debate about whether mobile phones cause health effects.

The multiyear, peer-reviewed study, by the National Toxicology Program, found "low incidences" of two types of tumors in male rats that were exposed to the type of radio frequencies that are commonly emitted by cellphones. The tumors were gliomas, which are in the glial cells of the brain, and schwannomas of the heart.""" [MORE]

There is also a short video