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Digital technology: coming of age?
  1. Lisa Marzano1,
  2. Chris Hollis2,3,
  3. Andrea Cipriani4,5,
  4. Gin S Malhi6,7
  1. 1 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Middlesex University, London, UK
  2. 2 NIHR MindTech Healthcare Technology Co-operative, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  3. 3 Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Nottingham, UK
  4. 4 Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK
  5. 5 Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK
  6. 6 Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  7. 7 Department of Psychiatry, Northern-Clinical School, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lisa Marzano, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Middlesex University, Town Hall, The Burroughs, Hendon, London NW4 4BT, UK; l.marzano{at}

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Technological advances have defined our age. Computers, the internet and mobile devices are ubiquitous and virtually essential day-to-day tools. Some would argue that they have expanded our minds—and in doing so created the so-called ‘extended mind’. Irrespective of whether this is the case, they have at the very least permeated every aspect of our lives—to the point that most of us now rely heavily on technology and would be truly lost without our mobile phone, laptop or electronic calendar; and this is particularly true of younger generations. However, though we often refer to these as recent developments, even these technological advances are not that new. Surprisingly, most of these technologies have now been available for at least two decades or more. So what has changed recently? The key advances in recent years have been the increase in reliability and portability of hardware devices, the connectivity between devices and the individuals using them and the power with which software can meaningfully process and store information. This has meant that information that previously required a powerful desktop computer to process and store can now be miniaturised into the smallest of portable equipment, …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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