Mary Aiken describes herself as a “cyberpsychologist”. She has spent her career investigating the effect that continual exposure to internet-connected devices has on the human mind. She describes how the addictive nature of phones and computers leads to deviant sexual behaviour, risk-taking, and crime. She is a scientist, but she also believes that we should go beyond science in our understanding of the modern world, because the nature of social interaction is changing so fast that we have no time to wait for carefully controlled longitudinal studies.
“A great, important book – a must read” – Steven D. Levitt
“Fascinating and accessible” – Alexandra Frean, The Times.
“A social alarm bell” – Sunday Times, Books of the Year.
“We have as much physical contact within our core relationships as monkeys.” Winning sports teams use more physical contact with one another than losing teams. The emotion-linked insular cortex in the brain responds to the areas of the body used for social touch: the back, the shoulders, the upper arms, and the scalp. This New Scientist article explores the way that the nervous system represents social touch. “My hunch is that the natural interaction bewteen parents and the infant – that continuous desire to touch, cuddle, and handle – is providing the essential inputs that lay the foundation for a well-adjusted social brain. It’s more than just nice, it’s absolutely critical.” – Francis McGlone, Liverpool John Moores University. New Scientist No. 3010, 28th February 2015, p. 34-37