Excerpt from a Nicholas Carr interview
Q. What do you make of Steven Pinker's critique of you? The Harvard cognitive psychologist is dismissive of one of your key points, that experience can change the brain. He says cognitive neuroscientists "roll their eyes at such talk."
A. I think he's overly dismissive. I say that with great respect. It's important to read his thoughts in the context of a broader battle going on in the world of cognitive neuroscience, between those who, like Pinker, are strongly behind evolutionary psychology, which basically says that our behavior is very much determined by our genetic heritage, versus those who believe that the brain is adaptable—and we're not locked into that kind of behavior, and in fact our brain changes as the environment changes. Pinker's background and Pinker's views are very much antithetical to the "highly adaptive argument." There's a whole lot of neuroscientists who are uncovering evidence that in fact our use of digital media and media multitasking is having a substantial effect on the way we think.