Susan Greenfield - ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century
- Claire Sawers
- 22 May 2008
Susan Greenfield, the Oxford-based professor, neuroscientist and broadcaster, is worried that modern living is pushing us towards a more dumbed-down society, where addictive, hedonistic, self-centred behaviour is winning out over more taxing, old-fashioned fads like sensible self-control or ‘thinking deeply’. Drawing heavily from scientific research, she explains what’s happening in the brain when we play poker, eat compulsively or feel heartbroken, and blames new technology as one reason why they’re all on the rise.
Her look at what might lie ahead for a generation raised on Facebook, ID cards and recreational drugs is thought-provoking, if slightly bogged down in parts by long chapters of textbook style academia. But for those not already suffering from 21st century ADHD or a constant need for sensory thrills, Greenfield’s challenging discussion gives the grey matter a work-out, and asks a few scary questions about what might be happening to our individuality.