August 17th, 2010
03:24 PM ET

Report: Unplugging frees your mind

Do our brains work differently when we are freed from our email devices and cell phones? That’s one of the questions five neuroscientists set out to try to answer during what sounds like a great vacation.

They spent about a week rafting the San Juan River in Utah in May. Their preliminary work was reported in the New York Times as part of the newspaper’s “Your Brain on Computers” series.

Todd Braver, a psychology professor at Washington University in St. Louis participated.

He told the paper there’s more to unplugging than just turning off our digital devices. “There’s a real mental freedom in knowing no one or nothing can interrupt you.”

The organizer of the trip, David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah was one of two rafters who were interviewed by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Anderson Cooper 360 on Monday night.

In the video posted at the top of this page he tells CNN what people decide to pay attention to is a critical part of everyday life.

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. nonovyerbeezwax.

    This would be great for some people. But, for me who is morbidly obese and house bound, I NEED my computer and television. I love reality tv and playing on Secondlife. Thats a virtual game that allows me to look how I wish I looked. Beatiful and curvy with long flowing hair instead of short, fat, covered with sores and balding. Not a good look for a woman. 😦

    August 17, 2010 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gmas

      you're not serious.... please tell me you're not serious.

      August 18, 2010 at 01:22 | Report abuse |
  2. Heidi

    Well, gee wiz, you think? I mean wouldn't we all love the freedom of living life without any attachments, high on a mountain , in a cave in the lotus position sustaining ourselves on nothing but good vibes? I mean if wishes were horses , then beggars would ride.

    August 17, 2010 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Abood

    to tuykroefrice.. to tuykroefrice.. if you were at 100 lbs & 5ft 6 you were already underweight before you even started to diet.. a 5ft 6 inch female should weigh no less than 120 lbs..you need to find a way to get more protein into your diet to build muscle weight.. yogurt is a good way but that alone may not be enough.. go to a health foods store & ask someone there to recommend a protein powder for weight & muscle gain..seek the advice of a professional to help you put on weight in a healthy way

    April 14, 2012 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.