Yes, I’m talking about everyone – do you know overuse of electronic devices may be related to weaker activity in areas of the brain that are key to understanding scientific texts?
I hope you won’t think of your understanding of scientific texts and find that it’s actually more and more difficult for you to get the meanings, after reading the previous paragraph.
About the study
Researchers carried out a study using neuroimaging to explore brain activity. The result revealed a negative correlation between activity in brain areas that are critical for integrating multiple sources of information, and e-device use frequency (i.e. texting on a smart phone or reading on a tablet).
How the study was done
The researchers recruited 51 participants who were asked to read five scientific articles in the MRI scanner (MRI, Magnetic resonance Imaging, a test that uses powerful magnets, radio waves, and a computer to make detailed pictures inside your body.)
The result showed that some regions in the brain were less active among people who used more electronic devices (for example, regions about language understanding including semantics or the meanings of words.)
What’s more, when you try to understand scientific contents, it’s not a single word, phrase or sentence you want to figure out, but the whole paragraph or article which is linked with hierarchical logic. Reduce in ability to acquire hierarchical order can probably reduce the understanding for the contents.
"In this case, if people use electronic devices excessively on a daily basis, that could possibly impair their ability to acquire hierarchical order—or structure—of scientific concepts." Said one of the researchers.
If your job is brain activity related, for example in researching, teaching, IT, finance, or if you are a PhD student, it’s highly likely that the contents you found difficult to understand become even more difficult after a break with chatting or going through entertainment news on a smart phone.
The work may have implications for education, according to a researcher.
"Our goal was to look for a neural basis for reading comprehension. Middle school, for example, is a time when kids are starting to read about science—very basic information in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Right now, we have very little knowledge about how a middle school student's brain is responding when they are trying to understand these very basic scientific concepts."
Of course, it may influence your business presentation or thesis Q&A session. Better control your time spending on e-devices daily.