Researchers Say Smartphone 'addiction' Can Possibly Change Brain Structure


Researchers in Germany have recently discovered that people who are addicted to their smartphones have slightly different brain structure.

Written By Shubham Bose | Mumbai | Updated On:
Smartphone 'addiction' can possibly change our brain structure

Researchers in Germany have recently discovered that people who are addicted to their smartphones have slightly different brain structure to those who use their phones less. According to the reports, the researchers carried out MRI scans on 22 people that were 'addicted' to their phones and 26 who did not use their phones as regularly.

'Egg type of situation'

The researchers claimed that they faced a chicken or egg type of situation, meaning that the researchers were unsure if the changes in the brain occurred due to phone use or if the volume of grey matter dictated how much someone wanted to use their phone. The research was conducted at Heidelberg University.

According to reports, the researchers discovered that when people used their phones they showed reduced activity in the anterior cingulate cortex. The anterior cingulate cortex has been linked to a very broad range of cognitive processes and the researchers also found that individuals that used their phones often had reduced volume of grey matter in certain important areas.

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According to reports, on an average, a person in the US spends almost 5.4 hours on their smartphone while kids and teenagers spend 5.7 hours. The world still does not classify a person spending a lot of time on their smartphone an 'addiction' but instead is referred to as 'problematic smartphone use'.  The point at which smartphone usage becomes problematic is still up for debate and will depend on the individual according to reports.

According to another recent study which was conducted by researchers at King’s College in London had claimed that around 10-30 per cent 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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