BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- Frequent mobile
phone use may cause a slowing of brain activity and make us behave a little
unbalanced, according to a small study of 300 people in Australia, England and
The study is published in the International Journal
of Neuroscience this month and looked at the group of people over 2.4 years. But
researchers intend to expand the study to 17,000 people over a longer period of
Frequent mobile phone users demonstrated slowed brain
function, but with the caveat that the slowed brain effects are still considered
within normal brain functioning, according to the data.
A longer study with a larger sample group would
consider whether the slowed brain activity should be considered an adverse
health effect, according to a statement from Brainclinics Diagnostics in
Nijmegen, the Netherlands, one of the groups involved in the study. The noted
slowed brain function could not be explained by differences in personality,
according to researchers.
"In Alzheimer's dementia you also find a severe
slowing of brain activity," said Martijn Arns, the main investigator for
Brainclinics Diagnostics, in a statement. "However, the slowing found in this
study, with mobile phone users, can still be considered within 'normal' limits."
Still, Arns predicted that a longer-term study would show more severe
Of the 300 people in the study, only 100 were
frequent mobile phone users, while 100 were non-mobile phones users and the
third group of 100 were an intermediate user group. Differences in brain
activity, as measured with quantitative electroencephalographic (EEG) studies,
and neuropsychological functions such as attention, memory, executive function
and personality, were assessed. Among the results, frequent users scored higher
on ratings as extraverts and were found to be less open-minded.
The study also found that frequent users also showed
improved focused attention, which was explained by a learning effect due to
making more phone calls in busy places where users had to focus better on a
phone call while filtering out background noise and other distractions.
In the recent study, Brainclinics was joined by
researchers at Radbound University in Nijmegen, the Institute of Psychiatry in
London and The Brain Resource Co. Ltd. in Sydney.