MRI Scans Reveal That Smartphone Addiction Is As Dangerous As Drug Addiction

Science

In a recent study, MRI scans have revealed that smartphones addiction can physically change the shape and size of the brain in the same manner as drug addiction

Written By Danish Ansari | Mumbai | Updated On:
MRI scans shows phones damage brains

While smartphones have become one of the most indispensable things in our everyday lives for being a highly productive tool, some people tend to overuse them as they are constantly on their phones all the time. Now, there is a study that links smartphone addiction to significant changes in the brain. 

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What is smartphone addiction?

Smartphone addiction is when individuals spend the majority of their time on social media or playing games instead of interacting with people around them. Smartphone addiction symptoms also include the inability to keep away from repeatedly checking text messages, emails, or apps, even when it has a negative consequence in their life. And if you are one of those people who thought that using a phone can’t have a negative impact as people say it does, here is a shocker which will prove that it’s time to reassess your technology use.

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Here’s what smartphone addiction does to your brain

According to a recent study (published first in Addictive Behaviours) undertaken by a group of German researchers, it has been revealed that smartphone addiction physically changes the shape and size of a brain in the same manner as drug addiction.

As part of the research, scientists examined the MRI scans of 48 people, out of which 22 people were identified as smartphone addicts whereas 26 were identified as non-addicts. Upon examination, the MRI scans revealed that the brains of those with smartphone addiction have a lower grey matter volume in certain key parts of the brain as opposed to the non-addicts.

The MRI scans also revealed that compared to controls, individuals who had an addiction showed lower grey matter volume in their left anterior insula, inferior temporal and parahippocampal cortex. Lower levels of grey matter volume in the insula have been linked to substance abuse in various previous studies. The researchers have stated this as the physical evidence showing smartphone addiction doing considerable damage to the brain.

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Another recent study which was conducted by researchers at King’s College in London had claimed that around 10-30% of children are using smartphones or other devices in a way that it causes them immense discomfort when they do not have a phone around them. These studies indicate that smartphone addiction has become a severe problem and it is time that we start using our phones more responsibly.  

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Image credits: Unsplash | Robin Worrall

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