A new study demonstrates that excessive use of smartphones causes systemic differences in brain function/digital information realm

New research is being conducted to talk about the effect of smartphone addiction on brain function.

The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging, the name given to the species that can compare brain function activity to something else.

Those who used smartphones excessively were compared to those who used them in a less intrusive way. Here, systemic differences in brain function during resting periods emerge between the different groups.

In addition, the study went on to highlight two fMRI indicators that quantify neural activity, which were then seen to correlate with psychological testing of addictive smartphone use. This particular study has been published in a journal called Brain and Behavior.

Over the years, a few studies have been identified that show negative effects related to physical and psychosocial activity when a lot of smartphones are used. And this is what we consider today as smartphone addiction. Meanwhile, studies continue to demonstrate how excessive device use may end up producing effects similar to other addictions.

This includes failing to overcome cravings to use the device and even experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it as well. Then there is the aspect of failing to resist the urge to use phones despite being fully aware of the negative effects involved. Finally, it entails kind of deceiving others about the amount of time spent while using the device.

This can be compared to the very similar phone use to web gaming disorder which has now been highlighted as a recognized disease as confirmed by a directory of health practitioners across the United States who are qualified to diagnose such behavior.

Researchers have determined how people who engage in such activity or behavior may begin to display various structural and functional alterations in their minds. This entails shrinkage of the brain’s gray matter or decreased neuronal function in a part of the brain considered the anterior cingulate cortex.

Then there is a change in cortical activity with a change in functional connectivity as well, which makes it difficult to process different emotions.

In this particular study, the authors wished to focus more on looking for known facts and go one step further by looking at brain function such as the different neural mechanisms involved. This was then compared to how the brain works at rest to make appropriate conclusions.

A total of 44 participants were enrolled and divided into two groups. One was related to those with smartphone addiction while the other was related to those without any smartphone addictive behaviour.

As far as the results are concerned, two separate components of the fMRI situation between the two entities were highlighted. One was related to the frontal cortex of the brain, while the other was related to the cortex forming the parietal region.

There has been abnormal activity seen on each of these sites and in the past, they have been found to be part of other addictions as well. Then clear correlations emerged between the neural networks and the time people spent using such a device, not to mention difficulty falling asleep.

Since this was a cross-sectional study, nothing can be called to be specific here. The authors claim that further studies with larger sample sizes will be needed and that elimination of other confounding factors such as mental illness should be ruled out to obtain more accurate results.


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