The study made use of fMRI which is the name given to types that can compare the activity of the brain’s function with something else.
Those who excessively use smartphones were compared to those using them in a less intrusive manner. And that’s where systematic differences arise in brain function during periods of rest among different groups.
In addition to that, the study went on to highlight two fMRI indicators that designate neural activity, which was then seen correlating them to psychological testing of such addictive smartphone usage. This particular study has been published in a journal called Brain and Behavior.
Over the years, quite a few studies have been outlined showing the negative effects related to physical and psychosocial activity when using too many smartphones. And that is what we deem today to be smartphone addiction. Meanwhile, studies have gone on to prove how too much device usage may end up producing effects that are similar to other addictions.
This includes failure to overcome the excessive urge to use the device and even suffering from withdrawal symptoms when you stopped using it too. Then there’s an aspect of failing to resist the urge of using phones despite having full awareness of the negative effects involved. Lastly, it entails a sort of deception to others about how much time is being spent while utilizing the device.
This can well be compared to phone usage that’s quite similar to gaming disorders on the web which has now been highlighted to be a recognized illness as confirmed by the handbook of health practitioners across the US who are qualified to diagnose such behavior.
Researchers have outlined how people with such activity or behavior could start to showcase various structural and functional alterations to their minds. This entails shrinkage of the brain’s grey matter or reduced neural function in a part of the brain that’s deemed to be the anterior cingulate cortex.
And then there is a change in the activity of the cortex with a change in functional connectivity too so it makes it harder to process different emotions.
In this particular study, the authors wished to focus more on researching facts known and going one step further by looking at the brain’s function such as the different neural mechanisms involved. This was then compared with how the brain functions during rest to make appropriate conclusions.
A total of 44 participants were enrolled and divided into two respective groups. One was related to those having a smartphone addiction while the other had to do with those without any addictive smartphone behavior.
As far as the results are concerned, two separate restate state components were highlighted fMRI among the two entities. One of them had to do with the brain’s frontal cortex, while the other was linked to one that comprises the parietal region.
There was abnormal activity seen in both these locations and in the past, they were found to be a part of other addictions too. And then there were clear associations seen among neural networks and the time people ended up spending with such a device, not to mention having trouble sleeping.
As this was a cross-sectional study, nothing can be called out to be definite here. The authors claim that further studies would be required with larger sample sizes and the elimination of other confounding factors like mental illnesses need to be excluded to get more accurate results.
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