By Tom Stafford
The effect of technologies on our brain and intelligence pushes us to ask whether knowing something is the same as having access to the information. A popular theory suggests people are “cognitive misers” in that they avoid mental work in favor of taking short cuts. Furthermore, people often experience a phenomenon called “change blindness” in which even extreme changes in the environment go unnoticed. Instead of revealing a deficiency, these phenomena actually reflect mental efficiency. People are “natural born cyborgs” in that they incorporate new tools, ideas, and abilities. This is further illustrated in something called “transactive memory”, in which people rely not only on their own memory but also on the pooled information in technologies and even individuals around them. This suggests that our intelligence is based, in part, on coordinating with other people and our surroundings.
Provided by: Nick O’Gara