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Surprising Science

For the Brain, the Internet Is Like a Drug

Do you feel lost and fidgety when without your smart phone? Is closing your laptop at night becoming an irksome chore? Well, you’re not alone. You’re suffering from the same condition as the bulk of the rest of the wired world—and according to today’s guest, Dr. Gary Small, it is in fact a condition. As the UCLA psychiatrist explains, one can be neurologically addicted to technology in the same way that they can be addicted to drugs or alcohol, a fact that is slowly being acknowledged across the world as a crop of Internet, video game, and even cell phone rehab centers have popped up across Asia.

Dr. Small, a prominent memory expert, also outlines a number of essential—and simple—steps that we can all take to remember the things we need to—including how we can slightly alter our routines to never lose our keys again. He also debunks the most significant myth surrounding Alzheimer’s disease: that it is entirely genetically inheritable and therefore unpreventable. Quite the contrary, there are, as Dr. Small outlines, a number of concrete actions that one can take—from a Mediterranean diet to anti-inflammation pills—that may significantly reduce the risk of developing the disease.


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