The Effects of Internet Use on the Teenage Brain
This presentation will outline a. what we know about typical brain development and environmental effects, with emphasis on the adolescent period and the social brain, b. changes in the social environment during adolescence and how adolescents navigate these changes, and c. a review of the current evidence (or lack thereof) regarding the effects of internet use on brain development and social interactions during the period of adolescence.
The presentation will take a different stance that is commonly covered in the media, which often paints internet use as damaging the developing brain. Rather than stand on rhetoric, this presentation will take the audience through the scientific process, and discuss the many issues surrounding this controversial topic. I will give all audience members a "crash course" in adolescent brain development, and then we will discuss the various aspects of internet use, and the current scientific evidence for how these factors affect the brain.
UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
Kate Mills is a doctoral student researching brain development and social interactions, particularly during the period of adolescence. She uses brain imaging methods to investigate typical developmental trajectories between childhood and adulthood, as well as behavioral experiments to investigate how we navigate the social environment in adolescence and adulthood. Outside of academia, she has worked with young people experiencing homelessness and has collaborated with theatre groups on productions concerning the adolescent brain, such as Islington Community Theatre's Brainstorm. She was born in Kentucky, USA and currently lives in London.