Archive for January 12th, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Internet and the Human Brain

Arvid Kappas of Jacobs University in Bremen is involved in researching the effect of internet communication on human emotions, says the university’s website. The project gets some 420,000 Euros from the European Union.

The human brain and the emotional “configuration” of humans, says the psychology professor, evolved several hundred thousand years ago in the context of living in small groups with relatively stable, mostly lifelong relationships between individuals. “On the Internet, however, if someone writes something provocative or strange, immediately a large number of people, who have never met, will start to discuss, argue, and change the views of thousands of others in a matter of minutes and hours. How will our brains react? At present we have only a poor grasp of such collective emotional phenomena.”

It’s going to be pretty scientific.

Within the CyberEmotions Project the Jacobs research team under the lead of Arvid Kappas will measure changes in physiological parameters such as heart rate or the activity of specific facial muscles while Internet users read or write contents in blogs or forums and interact online.

JR can predict the heartrate results. They will be faster in the beginning, and about normal after a year, or two or three of heavy exposure to the cyberworld. With the possible exception of fenqings and anyone who has become used to react very lively on everything in real life, too.

To make smarter use of its budget, the EU should sponsor this blog here. Or some other useful projects. Like one that would keep minors away from the internet altogether. People who are 18+ would still arrive here in good time.

Anyway. Just a suggestion.

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