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  • [Chatter]

  • [Narrator] A lot of us are wondering what is all this technology doing to our brains?

  • [Phone ringing; beeping]

  • I mean, we know that the brain changes throughout life based on experiences.

  • In fact, watching this movie is reshaping connections in your brain right now.

  • [♪ Music ♪]

  • But since we humans are the ones creating and using this technology,

  • maybe a better question to ask is

  • how are we shaping our brains?

  • [Brain Power]

  • There is so much about the brain that we don't know,

  • but there are some things we do know.

  • You see, not long after we humans began thinking,

  • we began thinking about ways to understand our own brains.

  • One strategy thinkers have used throughout history

  • is to compare the brain to the newest technology of their day.

  • The brain as a clock, a switchboard,

  • a steam engine,

  • a machine,

  • a computer.

  • And we wondered how can today's technology help us understand

  • the brain in a new way?

  • So we used that technology to ask people all over the world,

  • "How do you imagine the brain?"

  • It was amazing, like all these neurons firing ideas and images

  • back to us from all over the world.

  • [♪ Music ♫]

  • And it was very clear.

  • The Internet, the most advanced technological system in the world,

  • is such a strong framework to help understand the human brain,

  • the most advanced biological system in the world.

  • But then we thought about it a bit more,

  • and since the Internet is in such a young, developmental stage,

  • rapidly growing, constantly changing,

  • forming billions of new connections all over the world,

  • then maybe a stronger framework would be to compare it to

  • a child's brain,

  • which is in a similar stage of development,

  • rapidly growing, constantly changing,

  • and making billions upon billions of connections

  • between different parts of the brain.

  • So here's the question:

  • If we say that the Internet is in a similar developmental stage as a child's brain,

  • then what can we learn by comparing them?

  • Let's start with size.

  • Obviously the Internet seems like a larger entity than a child's brain,

  • but what does that mean in terms of our analogy?

  • We could say that a neuron in the brain

  • would be like a web page in the Internet.

  • So let's look at the number of neurons in a child's brain

  • compared to the number of web pages on the Internet.

  • Well, a human at any age has about 100 billion neurons in the brain,

  • but the Internet has 10 times that--

  • 1 trillion web pages.

  • So with this analogy, the Internet is bigger.

  • So then which of these networks is more complex?

  • We could say a synapse in the brain--the connection point between two neurons--

  • is like a hyperlink--the connection point between two web pages.

  • So are there more connections in a child's brain or on the Internet?

  • [♫ Music ♪]

  • Well, the Internet has over a 100 trillion links,

  • and an adult's brain has 300 trillion links.

  • But get this: A child's brain has a quadrillion connections--

  • 10 times the number of connections of the entire Internet.

  • A child's brain has more connections than the entire Internet.

  • Yes, it blew our minds too.

  • How is that even possible? Let's break it down.

  • As we said, a baby is born with 100 billion neurons,

  • but those quadrillion connections,

  • they're not there yet.

  • Those connections form at a very rapid speed

  • during the first 5 years of life,

  • at 700-1000 new synapses per second.

  • Those connections are created through every interaction a child has

  • and are important because they form the architecture of the brain.

  • So every time you talk to and engage with a child,

  • you are literally growing a brain,

  • connecting the different parts of the brain,

  • which allows for new ideas, insights, and creative thinking.

  • So each moment of eye contact, each new word exchanged,

  • each time you make a child laugh,

  • you are strengthening these connections.

  • And since there are so many different ways to do this,

  • we asked people around the world,

  • "Send us videos of your favorite ways to engage with the children in your life."

  • [Piano music ♫]

  • During these early years, a child's brain makes as many connections as possible,

  • and then it begins pruning the ones that aren't used

  • and strengthening the ones that are.

  • A dynamic process that continues throughout life.

  • But since a child's brain is activated by everything it encounters,

  • it can also be overwhelmed,

  • which causes stress.

  • When the brain experiences stress, the body's alarm system is activated.

  • If the stress is relieved quickly, the system easily returns to normal.

  • And while learning to deal with stress is an important part of development,

  • severe situations, such as ongoing abuse or neglect,

  • where there is no caring adult to relieve the stress,

  • leaves the body's alarm system activated,

  • which can have serious life-long consequences for the child.

  • This is known as toxic stress.

  • Toxic stress can lead to a body system set permanently on high alert.

  • It causes the synapses we use for learning and self-control

  • to be pruned, while connections for fear and rash behavior get stronger.

  • [Singing ♫]

  • While the brain can change throughout the rest of life,

  • these early years are fundamental in building a strong foundation

  • for curiosity, creativity, and adaptability.

  • [♪ Music ♪]

  • And if we say that the Internet is in the same critical stage of early development,

  • making as many connections as possible,

  • we also need to be mindful of how we're building its foundation.

  • Just like every interaction creates new connections in a child's brain,

  • every e-mail, tweet, search, or post

  • is creating and strengthening connections in our global brain,

  • literally changing the shape of the Internet

  • that we, as billions of people all over the world, are developing together.

  • And just as it's key for all the different parts of a child's brain

  • to be connected to set the stage for the most

  • insightful and creative thoughts,

  • it's key that all the different parts of the world are connected

  • to lay the foundation for worldwide empathy,

  • innovation, and human expression.

  • And while we don't know all the ways technology is reshaping our brains yet,

  • we do know that every time we plug in, every person we follow,

  • email, or link to, we know it's affecting us,

  • so we need to be mindful of what we let into our brains, always,

  • which sometimes means knowing when to disconnect.

  • Just as it's not good for a child's brain to be constantly over or under stimulated,

  • it's not good for an adult's brain either.

  • [♫ Music ♪]

  • For both the Internet and a child's brain,

  • the connections we pay most attention to will be strengthened,

  • while the ones we use less will be pruned.

  • [♪ Music ♪]

  • So how do we nurture both of these growing,

  • interconnected networks to set a course for a better future?

  • By paying attention to what we are paying attention to.

  • Attention is the mind's most valuable resource.

  • Every interaction counts.

  • We all have the opportunity to shape the future of the world,

  • and our future

  • starts here.

  • [ ♪ Music ♪]

  • ["The best invention in the world is the mind of a child." -Thomas Edison]

  • [Help shape the future by...]

  • [we will make a free customized version of this film for your organization]

  • [with your logo and call to action here]

  • [Credits]

  • [Let It Ripple, mobile film for global change]

  • [www.letitripple.org, #letitripple, @tiffanyshlain]

[Chatter]

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B1 中級

腦力:從神經元到網絡 (BRAIN POWER: From Neurons to Networks)

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    Hhart Budha 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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