Are smartphones changing the shape of our BRAINS? Area that controls the thumbs is larger in people who use touchscreens daily

The Swiss team tracked 37 volunteers over ten days - 27 of them using touchscreen phones, and 11 using traditional mobile phones with fixed buttons. The somatosensory cortex (pictured top centre) of the brain saw much more activity - increasing the connection between fingers and speeding up reaction time and sensitivity

The Swiss team tracked 37 volunteers over ten days – 27 of them using touchscreen phones, and 11 using traditional mobile phones with fixed buttons. The somatosensory cortex (pictured top centre) of the brain saw much more activity – increasing the connection between fingers and speeding up reaction time and sensitivity

  • People who use touchscreens daily have a larger somatosensory cortex
  • This is the area at the centre of the brain which controls the thumbs
  • Swiss team tracked 37 volunteers over ten days – 27 of them using touchscreen phones, and 11 using traditional mobiles with fixed buttons
  • During these tests, researchers monitored each user’s brain waves
  • Those using touchscreen phones had altered the function of their cortex

Smartphones have become so integral to modern life, they may have altered the shape and function of the human brain, according to new research.

Experts have discovered that people who use touchscreen phones on a daily basis have a larger and more powerful somatosensory cortex – the area at the centre of the brain which controls the thumbs.

They think that the more time someone spends fiddling with their smartphone, the bigger the link between brain and hand.

TRACKING CHANGES IN THE BRAIN

The Swiss team tracked 37 volunteers over ten days – 27 of them using touchscreen phones and 11 using traditional mobile telephones with fixed buttons.

Monitoring their brain waves, they found that people using the modern touchscreen phones had altered the form and function of their somatosensory cortex.

Writing in the journal Current Biology, the scientists said those who used smartphones had changed the way their thumbs and brains worked together, with a larger effect seen with those who had used their phones more.

While using fixed buttons require simple hand movements, using a touchscreen requires a far more complex set of motions.

The part of the brain controlling the sense of touch in the thumbs and fingertips saw much more activity – increasing the connection between them and speeding up reaction time and sensitivity.

More touchscreen use translated directly into greater brain activity when the thumbs were touched, they found…

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2885213/Are-smartphones-changing-shape-BRAINS-Area-controls-thumbs-larger-people-use-touchscreens-daily.html#ixzz3MkMm2enK
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