Cyberattack on the nervous system of the brain

Where does the digital revolution lead?

Interview with Professor Dr. Dr. Gertraud Teuchert-Noodt.

Teuchert-Noodt, G (2017): Cyberattacke auf die Nervennetze des Gehirns – Wohin führt die digitale Revolution? First published in umwelt-medizin-gesellschaft, 3/2017, p. 28-32. Verlag Forum-Medizin, Germany. Interview and translation: Johanna Wenninger-Muhr; Correspondence:

Acceleration and loss of space and time: psycho-cognitive functions – against the background of a spatio-temporal work of the nervous system – remain lifelong subject to defined biological conditions. For the first time in the history of mankind, this neural foundation, which is absolutely necessary for thought processes, is called into question by the digitization.

“Digital media is fulfilling a fundamental dream of humanity: the mastery of time and space, but that also entails a great danger“, says brain researcher Professor Dr. Dr. Gertraud Teuchert-Noodt from the University of Bielefeld. If media users do not get the upper hand over their actions and plans they succumb unnoticed to a kind of cyberattack on the networks of their brains. Particularly those subsystems, which are responsible for the memory formation and for the cognitive achievements are attacked. This can cause the loss of cognitive judgment, anxiety syndrome, addiction, burnout or depression. A new challenge both in terms of study and in the world of work will not allow the media to put us into their service. It is therefore useful to know more about those nerve networks in the brain that make us strong. At the beginning of May the brain researcher gave a lecture on „Where does the digital revolution go?“ at the Technical University of Darmstadt/Hesse. „If we keep the cart running like this, a whole generation of digitized children will return to the Stone Age“ Teuchert-Noodt warns. Professor Teuchert-Noodt, you are talking about the ‚Cyber attack on the brain nerves‘. What is meant by this, what can / must the laity imagine?

Prof. Gertraud Teuchert-Noodt: It is what it is: no matter whether a cyber attack is directed indirectly to the computer networks of digital highly-equipped devices that are important for specific infrastructures or directly to specific brain nerves, both have a corresponding penetrating force. Thus, just as hackers can shut down the power supply of a hospital, media users in their own brain can override the care center for the entire information processing at the psychocognitive level and cause an emotional / mental exhaustion. Maybe a brain crash is even worse. Because the eurochemical and brain-rhythmically controlled functions in the corresponding highest brain regions – the limbic prefrontal system – are very difficult with a recovery from a digitally induced attack, especially since this is accompanied by imperceptible creeping symptoms.

Download Interview as PDF: Teuchert-Noodt: Interview (UMG 2017; engl.)