The Cause of Internet and TV Addiction?
My name is Christopher McPeck. I have a BS in Computer Science. On this page I have included my latest theories about the cause of Internet and Television Addiction, and other topics.
1. Excessive computer use leads to sensory overload. Sensory overload may be exacerbated in people with sensitivities to sound, light, touch (e.g. electrical sensitivity), etc.
2. People experiencing sensory overload may become more and more dependent and focused on their senses and instincts, and less and less dependent on their deductive reasoning ability.
3. Difficulties in deductive reasoning lead to difficulties in making decisions. People become more neurotic and more open to suggestion, leading to additional computer use, additional sensory overload, and additional difficulties with deductive reasoning.
Internet Addiction is Caused by Hypovolemia (Low Blood Volume)
Internet addiction is caused by hypovolemia (low blood volume).
· People with hypovolemia experience light-headedness because of a lack of cerebral blood flow.
· People with hypovolemia try to increase their cerebral blood flow, and become more focused, by increasing their blood pressure. This is done by engaging in self-stimulatory activities, such as playing exciting computer games, which can cause the brain to produce more adrenaline.
· "When fluid levels drop, the brain produces more adrenaline so
· The heart has to pump more blood to compensate for this."
· Along with more adrenaline, self-stimulatory activities cause stress.
· This increased stress, possibly accompanied by other stress causing conditions such as hyperacusis or problems with laterality, exacerbates dehydration.
· Dehydration exacerbates hypovolemia, and this cycle continues.
Internet addiction is caused by a desire to increase arousal.
Definition of Arousal
"arousal (arous·al) ([schwa]-rou˘z[schwa]l) 1. a state of responsiveness to sensory stimulation or excitability."
Desire to Increase Arousal
Low arousal leads to a desire to increase arousal.
Low Arousal may be caused conditions such as:
· fatigue, illness, prolonged close-up work, convergence insufficiency, etc.
Conditions associated with fatigue may be caused by:
· anxiety, accommodative insufficiency, muscle tension, a decrease in hemispheric communication, etc.
An Increase in Arousal
A person's arousal may be increased by participating in activities which involve vigilance.
Activities which Involve Vigilence
Some examples of computer activities which involve vigilance may include playing computer games, shopping, or waiting for the computer, or another user, to respond to a user's request.
"When information is familiar to the organism it is immediately meaningful and its recognized and acted upon without effort expended to classify or understand it. The response pattern in this case is mainly motor (action) with little need for the autonomic changes which an especially novel environment stimulates through the arousal system.
If the information is not familiar and is confusing, threatening, or overwhelming to the organism, a different brain process is engaged which includes arousal, frontal organization and vigilance(the information will be processed until it is understood)."
"…The eye movement patterns characteristic of poor vision are similar to those of experimental subjects who are involved in situations of visual overload. Mackworth (1976) used sophisticated eye movement measuring devices to record the visual characteristics of subjects in visual tasks at various levels of difficulty. He described [ascribed?] the adjustments made by the visual motor system to conditions of visual overload. The major adjustment was seen to be a narrowing of the size of the useful field of view. This was true not only during the active search of too much material in too short a time, but was also true during tasks requiring vigilance, or waiting for a visual stimulus event to occur."
In this state of vigilance a person's arousal, and SMR brainwaves, improves, while their mobility decreases. This decrease in mobility is referred to below as 'immobility'
"[making a conscious effort to see clearly] is commonly accompanied by some degree of immobility of the eyes and body. The rate of blinking decreases; breathing becomes shallower and may, for a while, even stop. The muscles of the head, neck, shoulders, and perhaps other parts of the body too, may be unnaturally tensed, and all the time the eyes are fixed with increasing intentness on their target. As the eyes become fixed so does the attention, which only encourages the eyes to become yet more fixed, with a resulting impairment of both vision and perception.(P. 59)"
Book: Barnes, Jonathan. Improve Your Eyesight: A Guide to the Bates Method for Better Eyesight without Glasses. Souvenir Press, 1999.
"The frontal system includes the frontal cortex as well as the amygdala and the reticular system of the hypothalamus and brain stem (Pribram, 1971). This frontal system is intimately related to the arousal-orienting response reactions of the organism. When an animal is alerted by a novel situation the frontal system is engaged and the visceral-autonomic centers in the core brain are stimulated. Changes occur in breathing, heart rate, blood flow, pupil size increase, skin resistance, etc., and the motor system orients (turns towards the action and then freezes). There are also changes to electroencephalographic measurements; the brain wave rhythm increases in frequency and becomes desynchronized. If the stimulus is unusually strong, surprising, or appears especially dangerous, the reactions of fight or flight take place."
Effects of Prolonged Vigilence
A prolonged state of vigilence, while staring at a computer screen, leads to fatigue and low arousal.
The attempt to increase arousal causes a decrease in arousal, over time, in a cycle of diminishing returns.
"He also found the size of movements was reduced and become more stereotyped; despite the decrease in useful field of view, the subject tried to include more stimuli in each fixation. The visual fixation time was lengthened to account for the increased number of items encompassed in a single fixation indicating increased cognitive difficulty processing complex visual material. Finally, there was a breakdown or failure of adjustment to increasing complexity under visual overload."
Some of the Bates Method exercises are similar to forms of therapy such as Dual-Brain psychology, Open Focus therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.
The effect of Open Focus therapy is similar to the Bates exercise known as palming.
Open Focus therapy was created by Dr. Les Fehmi. Dr. Fehmi discovered that by palming he could cause his brain to produce synchronous alpha waves, and it was a powerful relaxation technique. It also increases hemispheric communication.
According to Dr. Shapiro, she discovered EMDR while she was walking to her car one night. At the time, she was emotionally distressed. For some reason, she began to look quickly back and forth at two lights in the parking lot. She realized that this action had the effect of relieving her distress.
EMDR also increases hemispheric communication. I believe its effect is similar to Bates' sunning and swinging exercises.
However, EMDR is controversial. Some believe that Dr. Shapiro's explanation of why EMDR works is highly theoretical. Dual-Brain psychology may provide a better explanation for EMDR.
Dual-Brain psychology was created by Dr. Fredric Schiffer. Dr. Schiffer discovered that activity in one hemisphere of the brain can be increased or decreased by selectively blocking a person's visual field.
Changes in brain activity occur because of how the sheets of the retinas are connected to the left and right hemispheres of the brain. By selectively blocking parts of the retinas, hemispheric activity can be altered.
More information about these topics can be found at:
Research Topics: Integration
More information about central vision can be found in the section: