Does the Presence of a Smart Phone Reduce Brain Smarts.

A new study discussed on CBS news  concluded that participants in the study with smart phones in another room significantly outperformed those with  their smartphones on their desk so that your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach–even if it is off. Studies were conducted with about 800 smartphone users in an attempt to measure how well people can complete tasks when they have their smartphones nearby even though turned off.

In one study participants were asked to sit at the computer and take a series of tests that required full concentration to score well. The tests measured the available cognitive ability of participants. Before beginning participants were randomly instructed on their desk with the face down, in their pocket or personal bag, or in another room. All were instructed to turn the phones to silence. Researchers found that those with their smartphone in another room significantly outperformed those with it on the desk, and slightly outperformed those with it in a pocket or bag.

In another study researchers looked at how a person’s self reported smartphone dependence or the strength of their reported need for a smartphone to get through a typical day– affected cognitive capacity.  Subjects performed the same series of computer-based tests as the first group and were randomly assigned to either keep their smart phones either in sight on the desk face up, in a pocket or bag, or in another room. In this study, some subjects were also asked to turn off the smartphones. Researchers found that subjects who were the most dependent on their smartphones performed worse compared with their less-dependent peers, but only when their smartphones were on the desk or in their pocket or bag. Researchers also found that it did not matter whether smartphones were turned off or on, or whether it was face down or faced up. But having a smartphone within sight or easy reach reduced a persons ability to focus and perform tasks because part of their brain was active working to not pick up the phone.

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