Are smartphones are reprogram our brains?

Each new load with additional usage parameters that sooner or later end up assimilating, to a point tool such that the tool becomes our extension. Probably nothing fits that description better than smartphones today. A group of scientists stationed at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have discovered that prolonged use of touchscreens alters sensory relationship between the human brain and fingers.


“Practice makes perfect”. We all know that phrase, and I think we all agree with it. Talent is an important factor, but the repetition of a task or an exercise contributes decisively when optimizing speed, accuracy and ease. In the world of computing, one of the most important changes in recent years came through the smartphone . While the touchscreen was not unusual for us, the “iPhone effect” revolutionized its adoption, and today we can say that there is already a generation that only knows the touchscreen as the primary method of interaction. So what changes cause something like this in our minds? How to respond hands and fingers to the new demand, and what our brain activity?

A group of scientists from the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich found out by linking the “digital story” generated by users of smartphones and conventional mobile phones with data from electroencephalograms. The study was focused on the use of three fingers: thumb, index and middle. The results showed an optimization in the electrical activity of the brain whenever one of these three fingers touching the screen, while levels of activity in the cerebral cortex were directly proportional to the intensity of use, a detail supported by additional data brings battery consumption. In other words, prolonged our fingers on touch screens, repetitive motion and including thumbs modifies sensory processing thereof.

Perhaps what is sought here is that the effect occurs with the use of smartphones . My intention is not to minimize the study or anything, but we can not deny that there are already other striking examples of adaptability and learning with our brains. One that qualifies as “classic” within neuroscience is the Braille reading. The loss of vision causes the other senses are more sensitive, but with enough practice, every blind person achieves read faster and more accurately, developing a feeling in your fingers it seems impossible for other people.

Leave a Reply