Smartphones May Be Changing Our Brains

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The more that smartphones evolve and the more we use them, the more our brains may change over time, according to a new study, published in Current Biology.

Researchers at the Univesity of Zurich measured brain activity using electroencephalography (EEG) and found significant differences between smartphone users and people who use older mobile phones.  They worked with 37 participants--26 were touchscreen smartphone users and 11 used conventional cell phones.

The EEG readings showed that smartphone users had greater EEG brain activity measurements related to movements of the thumb, index, and middle fingers and that these findings correlated with how often the study participants used their touchscreens. The more a person used their smartphone, the greater the activity in that part of the brain.

These results are in line with what scientists already knew – that the brain is a malleable organ that physically adapts to new experiences. The findings show how much influence smartphones can have, not just how we live our daily lives, but also in sharpening certain parts of our brains.