I have discovered shocking evidence that computers are affecting the brain. After extensive research, I have discovered the problem is remarkably specific and I have isolated it to an individual brain area affected by one particular application. Microsoft Word is causing abnormal growth in the frontal lobes.
The cingulate cortex is a part of the frontal lobe that is known to be involved with conflict monitoring, pain and emotion, while Microsoft Word is a clumsy but ubiquitous word processing package that has an annoying habit of auto-correcting things you don’t want to be auto-corrected.
For example, try typing the words ‘cingulate cortex’ into Word and see what happens. It changes it to ‘cingulated cortex’, adding an annoying ‘d’ onto the end of the first word.
Whenever I’m writing a neuropsychology article, I now have the habit of doing a search and replace before I finish to sweep up any of these auto-errors. So I was wondering whether anyone else had suffered the same problem and searched the scientific literature.
Now, it could be that people have just been making standard typos throughout history, as adding a rogue ‘d’ is not uncommon, even when we’re writing with a pen, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.
While the use of the term ‘cingulate cortex’ stretches back to at least the beginning of the 20th century, the term ‘cingulated cortex’ barely appears, until Microsoft Word’s autocorrection tool arrives on the scene.
Microsoft Word, it seems, is slowly changing the brain.
Without further ado, I have named the disorder Bell’s Frontal Nomenclature Hypertrophy Syndrome and demand that it be included in the diagnostic manuals.
Thousands of disturbed people will not get the help they need without this essential recognition, although in the mean time I will be offering private treatment at special rates.
Of course, I strongly encourage further research and welcome offers of interviews from the press, radio or television.
I am also available for weddings, funerals and Bar Mitzvahs.