Media Technologies, Cognition And Consciousness-Expansion

What are some of the way in which technology changes us? Aside from being a technological determinist there are many way to think about the growing evolution of us, the environment and of course… the machine.

The following is an abstract for a thesis examining what potential links lay between the human and technology.

Abstract (Media-Technologies-Cognition-and-Consciousness-Expansion)

Our attitudes towards and relationship with technology is increasingly becoming a ground for debate as to the positive or negative effects upon society. The development of newer forms of media communication technologies are continually redefining the ways in which we interact and participate in symbolic systems.

This Honours Thesis examines the fields of philosophy, developmental psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive theory, semiotics and media theory to explore our human relationship with technology and provide an integrative approach for re-examining our attitudes towards technology.

An investigation into various cultures’ relationships with technological tools as a means of seeking knowledge will reveal how various technological artefacts can be used to amplify cognition and lead us to internalise mental skills, expanding our consciousness. From the loom to the written word we shall see a relationship emerge between human cognition and self-conception and the development of technology.

Investigations in developmental cognitive theory will reveal criticisms of the current developmental model as proposed by Piaget which states there is an end-point to human cognitive development. Examining an alternative developmental theory, we focus on the developmental model as drawn from Vedic psychology and practiced in the technique of Transcendental Meditation (TM). This technique operates as a ‘cultural amplifier’ for cognitive development beyond language based conceptual levels of thought to post-conceptual higher stages of consciousness. Reflecting on the work of Walter Ong and his notion of writing as a technology as consciousness-expanding, we pose the question. Do new media technologies (such as video games, virtual reality and multimedia environments) hold the potentialities to act as a ‘cultural amplifier’ towards cognitive development and what is regarded as higher states of consciousness? A notion such as this blurs traditional lines between the mental and material, cognitive and non cognitive and biology and culture and provides an understanding for re-examining our attitudes and interactions with technology.

Download Paper Here: Media-Technologies-Cognition-and-Consciousness-Expansion.