Smartphone use is changing our brains, study says

According to new Swiss research, smartphone use is changing our brains.

As Psych Central reports, a team of neuroscientists from the University of Zurich and the University of Fribourg wanted to find out whether using touchscreen smartphones affects the sensorimotor cortex in the brain, which correlates to finger movements.

So they recruited 37 people for a study where they took electroencephalography (EEG) scans of the brain while they used their phones. Twenty-six of the participants had smartphones with touchscreens while 11 had old-fashioned mobiles with actual keypads.

The scan results showed that there was a difference in brain activity between the two groups, with different levels of cortical activation. This was the most obvious in the area of the brain related to the thumb, and the more that participants used their smartphone, the more obvious this was – meaning our brains are more flexible and the way our senses process information is more influenced by technological change than scientists previously realised.

Dr Arko Ghosh from the University of Zurich said that the scale of the effect of the brain surprised his team, and that this could be a fertile area for future research. ‘Smartphones offer us an opportunity to understand how normal life shapes the brains of ordinary people,’ he said.

Image via Pixabay.

Want to read more? We’ve chosen our 20 favourite coats and 16 favourite ankle boots to get ready for the winter weather.

If you’re more interested in getting a new camera than new clothes this season, you might be interested in these camera accessories for your iPhone, which beg the question: Do you need a camera if you own a camera phone?

Diane Shipley