“A musician’s brain is stimulated just by picking up an instrument,” Nicholas St. Fleur reports for The Atlantic. “Now, scientists have found that people who use smartphones activate and strengthen specific regions of their brains just like a violinist might.
“”The digital technology we use on a daily basis shapes the sensory processing in our brains–and on a scale that surprised us,” Arko Ghosh, a neuroscientist from the University of Zurich in Switzerland, said in a statement,” St. Fleur reports. “Ghosh, noticing the ubiquity of smartphones, was interested in analyzing how constant finger movements on the screen was reflected in brain activity.”
“After running a series of tests, the researchers found that smartphone users had more powerful somatosensory cortexes, the area in the brain that commands the thumb, as compared with people who used old cellphones,” St. Fleur reports. “‘I was really surprised by the scale of the changes introduced by the use of smartphones,’ Ghosh said. Using a smartphone regularly is similar to playing the violin, he said, but with two distinct differences: The length of time that someone spent owning a smartphone did not affect their neural activity, like it does in violinists, and the more recently someone used a touchscreen phone, the stronger their brains responded to the test, unlike with violinists.”
Read more in the full article here.