02:55pm Monday 18 December 2017

Are video games rewiring people’s brains?

The answers to these and other questions, with the audience experiencing the thrills and spills of an interactive gaming experience, will be answered at a free talk tomorrow [Thursday, June 9].

The talk, Brain game will be given by Dr Paul Howard-Jones, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol’s Graduate School of Education (GSOE) on Thursday 9 June at 5 pm in Room 1.20, GSOE, 35 Berkeley Square, Bristol. The event is part of the GSOE’s Festival of Education, which is running until June 17.

People’s lives have become increasingly immersed in technology with more communication done online and leisure and entertainment provided by the internet and video games. Questions are frequently arising about what technology is doing to minds and brains. Some newspaper headlines have expressed popular anxieties, with suggestions that people are facing an “unprecedented crisis” in which “the human brain … is under threat from the modern world”, that “people’s love of the latest technology could be turning into a 21st-century addiction”, that Facebook is “infantilising” people and Google is degrading our intelligence.

Dr Howard-Jones will review whether there is scientific evidence behind the hype, with a particular focus on video gaming, which may be emerging as a “special case” of how technology is influencing our neural processes.

To illustrate how video games can impact on the brain, the talk will be delivered through a game in which the audience will participate and might even win a prize.

Dr Paul Howard-Jones said: “Technology is radically changing our lives and children are at the forefront of this revolution.

“As a parent I have a personal interest in wanting to separate the tabloid fiction from the scientific facts and understand what is really going on.”

The talk is part of the GSOE’s Festival of Education, which is running until Friday 17 June. The series of public events are to celebrate the opening of the School’s new Creative Learning Spaces.  The events are intended to provoke discussion of key ideas and contributions to the advancement of education, locally and globally.  The events celebrate the importance of universities in supporting and provoking intellectual debate and argument.

To book a place at the talk, Brain game with Dr Paul Howard-Jones, please email ed-events@bristol.ac.uk

Please contact joanne.fryer@bristol.ac.uk for further information.

Further information:

The University of Bristol’s Graduate School of Education (GSOE) is one of the largest departments in the University.

At the core of the GSOE’s work is the understanding of how to educate people for today’s politically, technologically and socially changing world.

Central to this is the belief that the ways in which people learn throughout life within educational institutions, the workplace and informal settings is of major significance for the future development of the UK and countries around the world.


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