Smartphones Boost the Brain

Smartphones Boost the BrainSmartphones Boost the Brain

Smartphones cannot actually make you smart, but a Swiss team of scientists discovered that the use of a touchscreen device would impact one side of the brain that is involved in processing touch.

In a study published in the journal Current Biology, Swiss researchers point out that people using smartphones enhance your somatosensory cortex, according to

Experts know that the brain is pretty malleable - that your actions can significantly change the way your brain (and the rest of your body) works. It’s why practicing piano, for instance, can help to change the way your brain works.

New research suggests that using a touchscreen smartphone, in particular, can affect the brain, too, even if you are just scrolling through the Wikipedia.

Overseeing 37 volunteers over 10 days, the team members studied 26 using touchscreen phones and 11 managing just old cellphones.

They then subjected all the volunteers to an electroencephalogram (EEG), which documented voltage changes in the brain. A strong response was given by the thumb, which was then passed on to the index and middle fingers.

 Personal Digital Tech

The use of electroencephalography helped the team to assess the cortical potentials in reaction to the mechanical touch on the thumb, index, and middle fingertips of touchscreen phone users as well as non-users, who were dependent on old technology mobile phones, according to the study.

Research felt that the “cortical sensory processing” in the brain is driven by personal digital technology. How quickly the user’s brain could change would be dependent on how fast the exposure could be on the screen.

“The closer they were to their peak usage, in time, the more brain activity they had associated with their thumb,” said the lead investigator of the study and neuroscientist at the University of Zurich, Arko Ghosh.

Even though their conclusions do not really show that they have achieved some breakthrough for brain science, however, they do show that there is a smart way to identify how the brain could change and adapt during everyday routine. Ghosh added that scientists can begin to see which specific factors matter and which don’t, as well as which are the “drivers of plasticity”. Hence, it is important to link the digital footprints to activity in the brain, he added.