Tags: texting | smartphone | brain | waves | driving

Texting Changes Brain Wave Patterns

Texting Changes Brain Wave Patterns
(Copyright DPC)

Tuesday, 28 June 2016 04:17 PM

Texting on a smartphone is becoming a preferred way to communicate, but doing so can change the pattern of brain waves, a new study finds.

Although texting is increasingly popular, little is known about its neurological effects, so to learn more, a Mayo clinic research team decided to analyze the brain wave data of 129 volunteers.

They asked patients to perform activities such as message texting, finger tapping and audio cellular telephone use in addition to tests of attention and cognitive function. 

 The results found that approximately one-fifth of the patients using their smartphone to text message showed a unique ‘texting rhythm” while their brains were being monitored. Also, only text messaging produced the newly observed brain rhythm, which was different than any previously described brain rhythm.

No correlation was between the presence of a texting rhythm and the patients' demographic information, including age, gender, epilepsy type, nor did they show the presence of a brain lesion on neurological tests.

Next to smartphones, the texting rhythm was also found in iPad users. The researchers hypothesized that their smaller screens, which require more concentration, might cause the presence of a different brain wave rhythm while using mobile, handheld devices.

"We believe this new rhythm is an objective metric of the brain's ability to process non-verbal information during use of electronic devices and that it is heavily connected to a widely distributed network augmented by attention or emotion," says Dr. William Tatum, lead author of the study, which appears in Epilepsy and Behavior.

While more research is necessary to understand the significance of these changes, they could have important implications for brain-computer interfacing, gaming, and, perhaps most importantly, driving, adds Tatum.  "There is now a biological reason why people shouldn't text and drive – texting can change brain waves," he notes.

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More people are communicating by texting on their smart phones, but a new study finds doing this can alter their brain wave patterns.
texting, smartphone, brain, waves, driving
Tuesday, 28 June 2016 04:17 PM
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