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Is Your Smartphone Changing Your Brain? An OROGOLD Review

OROGOLD Cosmetics came across an exciting study that showed how the Smartphone could actually alter the brain. This study appeared on Psych Central and was conducted by a group of researchers from the University of Fribourg and a group of researchers from the University of Zurich. The researchers tried to research on and estimate the everyday plasticity of the brain by basing it on Smartphone usage. According to this study, the finger movements used to control the Smartphones can actually alter or change the brain activity in the human brain. The researchers tried to do this by studying the activation in the sensorimotor cortex, something that is known to be triggered with the help of finger movements.

According to Dr. Arko Ghosh, a professor at the Institute of Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich, Smartphones offer an amazing source of data. They offer people with the chance of analyzing and understanding exactly how normal life shapes and alters the brains of ordinary people.

OROGOLD realized that the researchers used EEG (electroencephalography) in this study in order to be able to accurately measure the cortical brain activity. The device was used on a total of 37 right handed people. Out of this research group, 26 individuals used those modern Touch Screen Smartphones while 11 individuals still used the old mobile phones. Researchers also placed a total of 62 electrodes on each individual’s head during the study in order to record the activity based on the movements of the middle finger, thumb and forefinger.

The results of this study clearly indicate that the cortical representation found in people who used those Touch Screen Smartphones was quite different from the people who still used conventional mobile phones. Ghosh also mentioned that he could demonstrate that the usage as well as frequency of use of Smartphones clearly influences cortical activity. The study determined that the more the Smartphone had been used in the past 10 days, the greater the signals that went to the human brain. This correlation was found to be the strongest in and around the thumb area. Ghosh further mentioned that this discovery seemed to be quite comparable to what usually occurs with violinists. However, in the case of violinists, the activity actually depended on the age during which the individual started playing the violin.

At the end of the study, the researchers drew out two clear cut distinctions. The first distinction was that the amount of time an individual used and owned a Smartphone device had no implication on the cortical representation. The second distinction was that there exists a linear connection between the most recent use of the Smartphone and the activation in the brain. There was no evidence of such discoveries in the case of violinists.

Ghosh summed up the study by stating that the digital technology being used by human beings on a day-to-day basis shapes up the sensory processing in their brains, that too on a scale that is most likely to surprise us.


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