Small Study: Smartphone Use Leaves Strong Mark On Brain’s Somatosensory Cortex

The Los Angeles Times (12/24, Mohan) “Science Now” blog reports that smartphone use appears to “leave a strong mark” on the somatosensory cortex, the portion of the brain that “processes touch,” according to a study published in the journal Current Biology. For the study, investigators “downloaded 10 days of activity from 26 touch screen users and 11 others who still fumble around with old cellphones (all were right-handed).” Next, “they stimulated the users’ thumbs, index and middle fingers 1,250 times while the subjects were hooked up to an electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures voltage changes from brain activity.”

The New York Daily News (12/24, Engel) reports that researchers “found that activity in the brain regions connected to the thumb and index finger was higher in people who regularly text-message via a touchscreen smartphone compared to those who don’t.” In fact, “the more the person used a smartphone over the last 10 days, the higher activity in the brain.”

Related Links:

— “Does smartphone use smarten up the brain?,” Geoffrey Mohan, Los Angeles Times, December 23, 2014.

Posted in In The News.