Human development is directly linked to science. A new invention turns the normal setup upside down. That is what happened with the emergence of telegraph, radio or a smartphone. It is hard to imagine how our lives may change in the future. But changes will come and they are inevitable. The agenda today is digital technologies. They don’t just change our domestic life and our daily schedules, they invade our brains, changing their settings. There is even a new branch in psychology – cyberpsychology. An interface science between the normal and new things that frighten us since they are unknown.


Does the brain evolve?

The human brain has kept evolving since the primitive era. According to the American psychologists G. Small and G. Vorgan, this is happening now as well. The brain is adapting to the world and becomes more complex: neurotransmitters are released; dendrites grow out of neurons; new synapses develop.


“This evolutionary brain process...may represent one of the most unexpected yet pivotal advances in human history. Perhaps not since Early Man first discovered how to use a tool. The authors of the book are more cautious as they ask of the natural human mind will manage to keep up with the rapid development of technology.” 

 Small G., Vorgan G. iBrain: Surviving the technological alteration of the modern mind


The influence of new technology on the human brain strongly depends on the age. For instance, the brain of an adult aged 35 to 50 is especially flexible. People over 60 comprise a special group. Their brains cannot process information as fast as, for instance, the brains of the new generation that have never experienced the world without computers, the Internet and mobile phones and therefore have different neural networks. They do not know the problem of mastering new equipment; to them, fast and mobile information is the norm. 

Source: medium

Source: medium


The new generation are also called “digital natives”. They are good at multitasking. Doing their homework, while listening to music and constantly checking their messengers is part of their everyday lives. Like in a kaleidoscope, their knowledge must be constantly replaced with new knowledge that does not require special rational effort, rational thinking. This phenomenon became known as “mosaic thinking”.

All in all, according to the American scientists, as the modern brain develops, focus increases, the mind responds to signals faster, and problems are solved more effectively than before.

“Our synaptic responses can be measured, shaped, and optimized to our advantage, and we can survive the technological adaptation of the modern mind”

Small G., Vorgan G. iBrain: Surviving the technological alteration of the modern mind


Cognition is changing

Development of the Internet is solving an increasing number of problems, while presenting challenges as well. One of those concerns the capabilities of human mind. Global changes came with the expansion of users’ access to information system creation methods based on the communicative theory of network interactions.

According to Small and Vorgan, information and communication technologies for Internet users enabled creation, storage and nearly instantaneous long-distance transmission of enormous amounts of information resources (Small G., Vorgan G. iBrain: Surviving the technological alteration of the modern mind).

One of the first studies on how technology changes our lives and cognitive abilities was conducted by Nicholas Carr. According to him, Internet use adversely affects the ability to think and remember. There are several trends:

  1. Cloud technology will replace human memory;
  2. Contradictory information that may cause disorientation since data posted online are not verified;
  3. Content selection time. What matters is the process, not the result;
  4. Fragmented mind due to the fact that the search engine only displays a fragment with several words or sentences;
  5. Disrupted concentration due to increased flow of information.
  6. Deterioration of the emotional and value integrity of the personality – emotions are moving to the virtual space.

The researcher remarked:

“What the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. ... 
Many [of my friends] say they’re having similar experiences. The more they use the Web, 
the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing.”


Psychology in a new environment

A cyberpsychology laboratory opened in the State University of Nizhny Novgorod earlier this year. It is going to research the state of a person in a virtual environment, with characteristics specific to interactions of cyberspace objects taken into account. Various modern equipment will assist, e.g. an electroencephalograph-analyzer, a car simulator with a virtual reality headset, and virtual reality sets of glasses and smartphones.

One-way mirror

One-way mirror

A special room with a so called one-way mirror – a glass we know from movies, which appears reflective on one side and transparent on the other – should be mentioned especially. Such room fitted with a set of cameras and dictaphones enables research of perception of various objects, including through “live” observation.


Cyberpsychology is an entirely new branch of science, which is literally building a scientific field in an online mode, since keeping up with societal transformations is not so easy. The science is focused on behavior of individuals and groups in cyberspace.


Cyberspace is a system of social media services that rely on a network of interconnected computers and communication channels between them. It is a kind of a world inside the world, where people can work, socialize, learn, have fun, buy things online, make exchange and financial transactions, etc.

Of course, all this was and still is possible without the Internet as a go-between. Therefore, cyberspace “hosts” activities traditionally studied in psychology: work, cognition, games, communication, etc. Internet services do not just mediate but encourage diverse activities as they offer multiple new, improved methods for desirable actions, even methods were not feasible until recently.

This is what brought this new branch of science – cyberpsychology – into existence: an entirely new but most promising sector, since changes that call for attention from the science sector are happening right now.

Photo on the main page: Cyberpsy

Photo on the page: Aleksey Belyakov,