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2. Smartphones make you dumb
University of Texas at Austin researchers recently found that if you want to power up your brain, you may need to power down your phone… or, in some cases, ditch it completely.
Researchers asked study participants to take a test that measured cognitive capacity. Some participants had their cell phones placed face down on the desk, others had their phones in a purse or pocket, and others had their cell phone in another room.
Even though all of the phones were turned to silent, one group outperformed the rest when it came to cognitive capacity. Can you guess who?
The participants who had their cell phones in another room, that’s who. They had the best cognitive capacity, followed by the group with their cell phones in their purses or pockets. People with their smartphones placed face down on the desk fell dead last. So basically, the less aware of your cell phone you are, the better it bodes for your brain power.
“We see a linear trend that suggests that as the smartphone becomes more noticeable, participants’ available cognitive capacity decreases,” said Adrian Ward, coauthor of the study. “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.”