Mark is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Macquarie University. He has extensive experience in research and teaching and has authored 80+ publications. Concerned about the negative effects of over-use of technology on our human interactions, he is passionate about helping people to reconnect with what matters in the real world.
Mark is currently making waves with his ‘Why Smartphones are Making us Dumb’ keynote and his challenging thinking on the over-use of technology in schools and workplaces.
Not a typical ‘academic’, Mark comes from a disjointed family background. He hated school and experienced first-hand the challenges of getting ahead in a small town in Victoria. To describe these years as ‘colourful’ is an understatement.
Aged 25, something changed. Mark returned to learning, completed his HSC and began what became a rapid rise to academic achievement, including being awarded both the CJ Martin and the Queen Elisabeth II Fellowships. He became fascinated with how we interact, learn and think. Mark went on to study brain plasticity, attention disorders, autism, prosopagnosia (face blindness), dementia and eating disorders. He has been at the cutting edge of developing computational brain imaging analysis and the adoption of new technologies like virtual reality in research.
In addition to his teaching and research work at Macquarie University, Mark now runs programmes for schools, parents, businesses and individuals to address the many problems that technologies (like smartphones) are creating.
Learning outcomes, resilience, curiosity, tolerance and emotional intelligence are all declining whilst stress, anxiety, depression and suicide are rising. Money and technology alone are not the answer to innovative practices in our schools, workplaces and society. We need a significant shift in our understanding.
Through his talks and strategies, Mark explains how our brains learn and adapt and why modern technology is addictive and potentially harmful. Mark helps people disconnect from their devices to improve their wellbeing, giving them back the time to connect, socialise, innovate, contribute and live in the real world.
- Face and Object Perception
- Learning and Memory
1998 - 2002
2002 - 2005
University of Melbourne
2005 - 2007
Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT)