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Portada del sitio > Estudios Científicos > The effect of mobile phone (GSM) use on Brain function. ’Slowed Brain (...)

The effect of mobile phone (GSM) use on Brain function. ’Slowed Brain Activity’ in Frequent Mobile Phone Users

International Journal of Neuroscience, 117:1341-1360, 2007.

Martes 18 de septiembre de 2007 · 2511 lecturas

The effect of mobile phone (GSM) use on Brain function
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Download here the full press-release: ’Slowed Brain Activity’ in Frequent Mobile Phone Users.

See the bottom of this page for a summary of the results.

NOTE: The effects reported here are still within normal limits and should NOT (yet) be interpreted as adverse health effects, they need replication and further study.

Slowed Brain-activity’ in frequent mobile phone users.

Nijmegen - 11/9/2007 - According to a recently published study, frequent mobile phone users demonstrated slowed Brain function. This study is the first study investigating the long term effects of mobile phone use on brain function. It was also found that frequent mobile phone users showed better focused attention, which can be explained as a learning effect related to making more phone calls in distractive surroundings. No firm conclusions can be drawn as to whether these effects are to be considered an adverse health effect or not, but data have already been collected from more than 20.000 people to replicate this study and further investigate the adverse health effects.

In the September issue of the International Journal of Neuroscience a study will be published on the long term effects of Mobile Phone use on brain function. Earlier studies have mostly investigated the acute effects of mobile phone use on brain function. However, this study employed an epidemiological approach to investigate the long-term effects of mobile phone use on brain function. In this study data was used from 300 people of which 100 were frequent mobile phone users’, 100 non-mobile phone users’ and an intermediate group’ of 100 people. Differences in brain activity (measured using QEEG or quantative EEG), Neuropsychological functions such as attention, memory and executive function and personality traits were assessed. The results show that frequent mobile phone users score higher on extraversion. Furthermore, frequent mobile phone users showed improved focused attention. This was explained by a learning effect due to making more phone calls in busy environments, whereby people learn to focus better on the phone call and filter out irrelevant environmental information. However, the brain activity from frequent mobile phone users shows more slow activity (increased Delta and Theta) and a slowing of the Alpha Peak Frequency. These effects could not be explained by the differences in personality and focused attention. “In Alzheimer’s dementia you also find a severely slowing of brain activity. However, the slowing found in this study, with mobile phone users, can still be considered within normal’ limits” according to Martijn Arns, the main investigator. “The frequent mobile phone user group used their mobile phone - at the time of data collection - only 2.4 years on average which can currently be considered as a short time. Therefore, it is to be expected that the observed effects in this study can be more severe with prolonged mobile phone use” according to Martijn Arns.
The Brain Resource International Brain Database’ was employed for this study, which currently contains data more than 20.000 people, on the basis of which this study can be replicated in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner. Future studies should point out whether this effect can be replicated in larger groups, with prolonged mobile phone use and whether this slowed brain activity is to be considered as an adverse health effect or not.
This study was carried out by researchers from Brainclinics Diagnostics and the Radboud University department of Biological Psychology both from Nijmegen (the Netherlands), the Institute of Psychiatry (London) and the Brain Resource Company Ltd. (Sydney).

More information can be found on www.brainclinics.com
Contact Brainclinics Diagnostics:
Martijn Arns
Tel.: +31(0)24-7503505

SUMMARY: Electroencephalographic, personality and executive function measures associated with frequent mobile phone use.

Martijn Arns, Gilles van Luijtelaar, Alex Sumich, Rebecca Hamilton & Evian Gordon

Published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, 117:1341-1360, 2007.

For a reprint of the full article please contact us.

Abstract :
The present study employs standardized data acquired from the Brain Resource International Database to study the relationship between mobile phone (GSM) usage, personality and brain function (N=300). Based on the frequency and duration of mobile phone usage, three groups were formed. The findings suggest a subtle slowing of brain activity related to mobile phone use which is not explained by differences in personality. These changes are still within normal physiological ranges. Better executive function in mobile phone users may reflect more focused attention, possibly associated with a cognitive training effect (i.e. frequently making phone calls in distracting places), rather than a direct effect of mobile phone use on cognition.

Keywords: EEG slowing, neuropsychology, mobile phone, GSM, personality, cognition.

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