Eagleman devoted the bulk of his time to talking about his new book, his next book (Live Wired, an in-depth exploration of neuroplasticity) coming out next year, and the research he’s conducting in his Baylor lab about impulse control.
Eagleman’s work is fascinating, and he’s a compelling speaker. He shared one specific thought that I’ve been turning over in my mind all week.
He was fielding a question from the audience about the plasticity of the brain, and the impact the Age of Google was having on our attention spans these days. How does modern technology affect our brains?
Eagleman said that the brains of those growing up today in the digital age are wired differently than the brains of previous generations. It’s not fundamentally good or bad, but the change is evident. And then, his crucial observation: “The currency for the next generation is going to be the capacity to pay attention.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about Eagleman’s observation this week. Is focus going to be the sought-after skill of Generation Z? Do I have the “capacity to pay attention” that Eagleman holds as so valuable? How can I improve my own focusing skills?
Readers, what do you think?
PS. I love Eagleman’s book about synesthesia: Wednesday is Indigo Blue.