Introducing Cognitive Sensations
Cognitive Sensations is a programme investigating the neurological effects of the digital age. Featuring talks, artworks and debates, the programme will uncover several concepts exploring the physiological and psychological changes occurring in humans, as a result of their engagement with digital technology.
Drawing on a range of neurological topics such as perception, memory and attention, Cognitive Sensations will take place between November 2018 - May 2019, and will be hosted by FACT in Liverpool and THECUBE in London, and curated by me, Gabriella Warren-Smith. Uncovered through the perspective of a curator, the programme will evolve through collaborations with artists, neuroscientists, psychologists and architects. The aim isn’t to establish a single perspective or theory, but to produce a body of research that will inform our knowledge from various positions in the great digital debate.
In neuroscience, the effects of digital technology is a contentious subject. Scientific research investigating mobile phones has only emerged over the past few decades, which means that our knowledge around their effects is in an extremely early period. Without the ability to provide hard evidence of the effects of smartphone use over a human lifespan, how can we scientifically declare their effects on human evolution and development? As a result, many of the scientists who are sharing their research and views on the effects of digital technology with a negative stance, are seen to be making sweeping comments with little scientific basis.
Perhaps most importantly we should be thinking about our youngest generation, who are most neurologically susceptible to their physical and cultural environment. These ‘Digital Natives’, or ‘Generation Z’, are born into a media rich environment, raised on an appetite of iPads and smartphones, where finger swiping dexterity matures quicker than language skills. What is the future of their neurological development, and what impact will it have on our future?
This blog will uncover some of the research that has led to the production of Cognitive Sensations, and act as a record of the programme yet to come. Various collaborators will be invited to make contributions, so stay connected for further discussions exploring the potential neurological outcomes of the digital age.