Having your mobile within arm’s reach reduces brainpower (even if the device is turned off)

Having your mobile within arm’s reach reduces brainpower (even if the device is turned off). By Harry Pettit.

Having a smartphone in the same room as you restricts your brainpower, even if the device is switched off, new research has found.

The study reveals that people struggle to complete simple tasks if their phone is in the same room as them.

The researchers say that smartphones act as a ‘brain drain’ because part of our brain is always thinking about them.

This means that the mere presence of a smartphone limits brain power and function, even when people feel they’re giving their full attention and focus to the task at hand.

‘We see a linear trend that suggests that as the smartphone becomes more noticeable, participants’ available cognitive capacity decreases,’ said study lead author Dr Adrian Ward, a business expert at the university of Texas at Austin.

‘Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but that process — the process of requiring yourself to not think about something — uses up some of your limited cognitive resources: It’s a brain drain.’

The Austin team conducted experiments with nearly 800 smartphone users to measure, for the first time, how a nearby smartphone affects brain function.

“Smart” phone, the biggest false advertising claim ever? Even worse than “Greenland”?