Speaker, Author and Coach
- The pruning of (reduction) neural pathways in the brain when we are young is based on how we use our brain. The brain prunes pathways we don’t use and keeps the neural pathways we use the most.
- The ones laid down when we are highly focused on activities like reading a book or having a deep conversation are deeper and have more capacity like wide superhighways. They can handle more information overload when we are under stress like a highway can handle more cars in commute time than a surface road.
- The neural pathways laid down for the quick shallow decisions we make when we are on technology such as, “I want this email I don’t want this one.” “I want this website in my Google search I don’t want that one.” are shallow and thin pathways that actually break apart under stress because of their low capacity, like a bridge could collapse if too many cars and trucks are on it at the same time. This is kind neural pathways that young people are forming the most.
- If we don’t have focused attention and deep social bonds and therefore only have the shallow, narrow, neural pathways formed with our use of technology we have trouble handling stress. We may feel overwhelmed and helpless and unable to make a decision. We may have panic attacks, freeze in place, get sick or call our mommies for help. Any one that uses technology a lot can form more shallow narrow pathways and therefore have less ability to think and function under stress.